In the 1950s, the brilliant and legendary folk songwriter, Woody Guthrie, of “This Land Is Your Land” fame, returned from service in the Merchant Marine and lived for a while in “Beach Haven.” Which was an apartment complex built by Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump. There were some disturbingly bigoted policies in place at Beach Haven, and Woody was stirred to write some lyrics, telling the plain truth like he usually did:
I suppose Old Man Trump knows Just how much Racial Hate he stirred up In the bloodpot of human hearts When he drawed That color line here at his Eighteen hundred family project… Where no black ones come to roam! No, no, no! Old Man Trump! Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!
Turns out things back in the ‘50s were about the same as they are today, as far as our nation being plagued and pilfered by a racist housing developer named Trump.
Fred Trump was investigated by a U.S. Senate Committee in 1954 for profiteering off public contracts, overestimating charges to the government, and other dandy little scams of that nature. Fred Trump was also widely known to be bitterly racist. His homes, as Woody had observed, had a “color line.” No blacks needed apply. This charming little foible persisted into the 1970s, when the Justice Department filed a civil rights case against the Trump firm––which by then involved both Fred and Donald––for racist housing discrimination. Again, no blacks wanted. The case was eventually settled out of court, which became a pattern for Donald, despite his raving during this recent political campaign that he would “never settle.”
Then he paid $25 million out of court to settle fraud claims from his Trump University mega-scam, just a few months after he’d taken office as 45th president of the United States. Keepin’ it classy, as the saying goes.
Fast forward to today. It sure didn’t take Trump long to pivot from yesterday’s respectable condemnation of white supremacists, the obviously forced “racism is evil” prepared statement, back to his usual off-script, angry, confrontational, arrogant-little-schoolboy-running-off-at-the-mouth-while-shitting-his-pants-from-pyscyotic-fury-and-fear stance.
I applauded Donald Trump yesterday, for saying what should have been said. Words that could have been a good start toward cooling the venom and division that’s brewing in this country. Even though Trump had obviously been shamed, cajoled and most likely “advised” to make the statement––it mattered. It was an official declaration that America opposes bigotry and the oppression of one race or class by another. It was decent and reasonable and American.
That’s all over now, make no mistake about it. Trump fully outed himself today as a KKK and Nazi sympathizer at heart, no matter what scripts he’s forced to recite. You can hear it in his voice. Anyone with a free mind of your own, just look––watch him. Watch the two videos and see who this man is we have in our White House.
In the carefully scripted “racism is evil” speech, you can see Trump white-knuckling his way through the words. Obviously less-than-pleased about the message he’s grinding out. Satirical columnist Andy Borowitz compared Trump’s delivery to a “man in hostage video…whose robotic performance indicated that he was reading a prepared statement under duress.”
In today’s speech, our boy was BACK. He wasn’t reading from a script. He was arguing with and trying to bully-pulpit a room of reporters. He got to suckle his favorite pacifier with the shiny, simple-minded catch phrase, “You’re fake news!” And he asked us, “What about the alt-Left?…I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.” (You don’t get to tell us what we think, you clueless, classless, woman-fearing little piece of refuse washed ashore from the sewers of reality TV.)
He told us, “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. Is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson?” (No one ever said rich, white, early American men didn’t own slaves, including the Founding Fathers…but if you don’t understand the distinction between…on one hand, two men who shaped our principles of government, occupied the office of American President, and helped frame the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence…and on the other hand, a general who came along generations later, and deserted this country to fight against us with the Confederacy, in an attempt to defend the very principle that white humans are superior to others, and to defend institutionalized slavery in the South…if you just can’t see the difference, we can’t help you, you tiny-brained, tiny-handed, twittering little tyrant.)
He told us, “I watched this very closely” (the incident in Charlottesville). “I watched it much more closely than you people watched it.” (Prove it.) “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay?” (No, it’s not okay, Nutty Professor. Again, prove it. And, if there were non-racist "decent people” among those marchers, as you contend, wouldn’t they have felt a little uncomfortable sandwiched between a squadron of heavily-armed, vile-racial-epithet-shoutin’, “Heil Trump” chantin’, swastika-and-Conferedate-flag-wavin’ mutants?)
Trump had held it in. You could hear the gluttonous relish in his voice as he let it all bust loose again. He tore into the reporters with the vengeance of a junkie who’d been deprived of his stash. His advisers can’t cage him. He came out of hiding, and we saw it happen right before our eyes, the werewolf-like transformation, back into the real creep behind the golden curtain. Our freak of nature. Our Hate-Monger in Chief. Our two-headed American Monster.
So there it is. Another fine mess. Why does all this matter? Shouldn’t we just be used to the brazen lies and arrogant indecency by now? It matters because Trump is encouraging dangerous idiocy. The stench is drifting back up from the latrine:
White Nationalist leader Richard Spencer praised Trump’s tantrum today: “I’m proud of him for speaking the truth.”
Former Imperial Wizard of the KKK David Duke said, “Thank you President Trump for your honesty and courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville and condemn the Leftist terrorists.”
Following Trump’s first weak-kneed speech about Charlottesville, neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer said, “We have an army! This is the beginning of a war!…Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us…He said he loves us all…No condemnation at all…When asked to condemn, [Trump] just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him”
Yeah…the ugly side of his support base is getting hungry. They’ve been pushed to the edges of society for a long, long time. As they righteously should be, with extreme prejudice. But they’ve got an agent on the inside now, and they’re slithering up toward the gates.
So many extremely conservative Republicans have by now bashed the white supremacists in no uncertain terms. But the Trump administration is a new beast. Not Republican, not Conservative, not American…a brand new ugliness.
The extremely conservative Senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch, hit a nerve when he said, “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
But maybe the former Republican Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, best summed up why traditional conservative Republicans are disgusted with the alt-Right, in the following tweet:
“ ‘White Supremacy’ crap is worst kind of racism––it’s EVIL and perversion of God’s truth to ever think our Creator values some above others.”
That statement really reconnects to the heart of the issue. The white supremacists hold a basic belief that they’re superior to other races, religions, etc. And they want to legislate that belief into action in our society. If certain members of the “alt-Left” engage in violence, or behave badly in whatever way––then it’s reasonable to condemn those actions. But they aren’t promoting a hideous, oppressive, bigoted belief system. They’re trying to defend themselves. And that difference is why any decent American president would speak out specifically against white supremacy, without hedging and hem-hawing and giving the old nod and wink of approval to his brethren.