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Est. April 5, 2002
July 09, 2020 - Issue 826
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The New Enemy of America Is...Us!


"Trump loves to hug the American flag, as if he expects
it to return something of value, such as more money in
the coffers of his 'properties.'  As the election season
begins to roll, he may even embrace the Confederate
battle flag, just to earn more votes from the adherents
of white supremacy and other racist organizations and
movements that wholeheartedly support him in his efforts
to make America white again."

In recent speeches, President Trump has called out the “terrorists” that are trying to undermine the nation's traditions and values and its very history, by rallying and marching in the streets and calling for the removal of Confederate statues and other reminders of the nation's shameful slaver past and, surprise, he is calling a large percentage of U.S. citizens “terrorists.”

Reaching a new low in divisive verbiage, on July 3 Trump stood before the carvings of historical presidents on Mount Rushmore, where he longs to be enshrined, even as he decried thousands of protests against the murder of George Floyd by cops, and pervasive injustices against black citizens throughout the history of the nation. He especially has singled out the Black Lives Matter effort to make changes that would to force the powers that be to acknowledge the problem of racism that permeates nearly every U.S. institution, public and private, and affects every individual of color.

At Mount Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakota (which for the Lakota is sacred land), he called protesters “far-left fascists,” even though they were exercising their U.S. Constitution-enshrined rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, and even though it is fascists that are in control of a country that warrant being called fascist. What Trump really believes is that, if he had the power of some of his favorite strong-man leaders (Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte, North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and the Sauds of Saudi Arabia), he would be able to wipe protesters off the face of the earth, just as they do, when they get the urge.

Not that Trump has ever had a moment of self-examination, but he might ask some of his advisers a question like this: If my contempt and fear of the “antifa” movement and antifa is short for “anti-fascist,” just who are the fascists that antifa is fighting against? Naturally, the president would never ask his White House advisers, so, he goes to his best advisors, the talking heads on Fox News, and he follows their advice. Lately, though, he has become disenchanted with Fox, because they have accurately reported on multiple polls that show he is badly trailing Joe Biden, the former vice president and apparent Democratic nominee for president. Rather, he has suggested that his vast sea of cult members should go to other “sources” of news, such as One America News Network (OAN), a big purveyor of conspiracy theories and is far off on the extreme right politically. Or they could tune in to Newsmax, another right-wing “news” outlet. Imagine his being a disgruntled fan of Fox News.

There are so many things that worry Trump right now that COVID-19, the economy, and the state of the nation have taken a back seat to his overarching concern for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from public places and, even, from the state flag of Mississippi. He decries the loss of historical artifacts, as he sees them, but he is widely known not to read much of anything, let alone history in general or history of the U.S.A., in particular. That's why he would not know much about the beginning years of chattel slavery or the people who wrote the founding documents of the nation. In that way, like most Republicans before him, he could ignore the modern day results of the aftermath of slavery and the oppression and suppression of people of color to this day. Even if he did know about these things, he would be unable to relate to them, as he is only concerned about himself and what the presidency can do for his “properties” and his bankroll. As many have pointed out, he is a full-blown narcissistic and his actions have shown his sociopathic bent and, therefore, he is incapable of the thought of walking in a black man's shoes to learn the difficulty of staying alive or even living a full life in this country, in addition to keeping his children safe.

The battle rages over Confederate statues and statues of revered (by some) public figures out of the nation's past who were slaveholders, including some of the founders. Trump wants to preserve all of them and denounces those who protest such statuary and want to tear them all down, as, he claimed in his Mount Rushmore speech, they not only want to tear down statues, their goal “is not a better America. Their goal is to end America.” Thus, he continued his racially divisive rhetoric to feed his cultish base and strike more fear in their hearts that change is coming to their lives that they won't like and must oppose.

Trump loves to hug the American flag, as if he expects it to return something of value, such as more money in the coffers of his “properties.” As the election season begins to roll, he may even embrace the Confederate battle flag, just to earn more votes from the adherents of white supremacy and other racist organizations and movements that wholeheartedly support him in his efforts to make America white again. He revels in their adulation and support, which just increases his foray into a complete racist haze. For now, it's the only thing he has. No longer can he stir up hatred and resentment of Mexicans at the southern frontier or stir the pot of hatred against all Muslims. Lately, he has engendered hatred in his white supremacist partners in crime against the kneeling of football players during the national anthem and against Black Lives Matter, which he describes as a hate group (a flat-out projection on his part).

Some Americans, including Charles Blow, a columnist for the New York Times, believe that all statues of all slaveholders should be removed from public spaces, including icons such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In a column on the Fourth of July, he recounted a description of a patrol ship that was attempting to enforce the ban against the international slave trade, passed first, by Great Britain in 1807 and then, by the U.S. in 1808. “What Walsh (anti-slavetrader) saw when he boarded the ship is beyond belief,” Blow wrote. “The ship had been at sea for 17 days. There were more than 500 kidnapped Africans onboard. Fifty-five had already been thrown overboard. The Africans were crowded below the main deck. Each deck was only 3 feet, 3 inches high. They were packed so tight that they were sitting up between one another's legs, everyone completely nude.” The lower decks reeked of horrendous filth and heat, Walsh the observer, noted.

Blow continued, “Many of the enslaved, sick or driven mad, were thrown overboard. Others simply jumped. In fact, there was so much human flesh going over the side of those ships that sharks learned to trail them...But of the people who showed up to greet these reeking vessels of human torture, to bid on its cargo, or to in any way benefit from the trade and industry that provided the demand for such a supply, I have absolute contempt.”

If Trump hasn't a clue about the reason for a Black Lives Matter movement, he could learn a small lesson in history from what Blow describes. But the racist occupant of the White House doesn't learn anything easily. He will ignore the history of his country, so long as he has supporters who believe that the “enemy” is who he says it is and that they are entitled to the life style that they have had until this time of pandemic. For their votes, he will promise that their lives will return to “normal,” which includes keeping minorities in their place (second class) and this he has promised, from his speech at Mount Rushmore, to his diatribes in Washington. But, what of Trump's enemies of the republic (antifa protesters, BLM demonstrators, trade unionists, teachers and educators who are “miseducating” our children, the nation's free press, Democrats, and others)? Take one, antifa, which is an apparently leaderless movement against fascism. What or who are they against? Mostly it is Trump and his Republicans and his bully boys and girls with guns. And, if they are against fascism and Trump, what exactly does that make Trump? Columnist, John Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.

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