OP-ED BY: Edward Martin Cifelli
Donald Trump will go down in history as the president who gave his rank and file supporters official permission to embrace their bigotry and openly hate Blacks. Trump told them in so many words it was just fine to be white supremacists, to stand up for white America, and to put aside Black people because Black lives didn’t really matter after all.
Trump and his supporters have long-hated the liberal trend of America that culminated with the election of Black president Barack Obama, an eight-year stretch that successfully brought whites and Blacks together. They seethed through the Obama presidency that clearly threatened white privilege and white superiority, both of which are bedrock foundations of what Trump and his people think America is all about.
They boiled over with self-righteous excitement when Donald Trump embraced them in the 2016 election. They were suddenly proud of their white America, and they strutted their bigotry with bitter voices their president approved of. They were finally being heard by a president who was as guilty as they were. It grew into a four-year orgy of shameful behavior. They were all the way out of the closet and wearing their hatred proudly. Defiantly.
It is worth pointing out that white supremacy is not the sole purview of openly racist organizations like the Neo-Nazis, the Proud Boys or the Ku Klux Klan, that it runs clear to the bone of many white Americans who believe they are better than Black people. Superior. They support law and order and secretly applaud police killings of Blacks. They are driven to rage over Black Lives Matter. Taking a knee makes them crazy. They don’t want to be reminded of the horrors Black Americans have suffered in their family histories, the stories of slaves owned, tortured, bought and sold for the white ruling class of American Southerners—and Northern supporters. Blacks were, after all, only sixty percent human, it said so in the sacred Constitution, which stipulated that slaves were only to be counted as three-fifths of a white man.
That’s the bigoted mindset that Donald Trump saw and exploited for his own political benefit. He played his hand so well that he became the president of white racists everywhere—they are fanatically and uncritically devoted to their president. So much so that they took up arms and stormed the Capitol building on January 6, an act of sedition that is already being called our second Day of Infamy. They became right-wing insurrectionists out to preserve white privilege. That’s the country and the democracy they want to conserve, what makes them conservative. Theirs is not a country of equal opportunity and respect for individuals in a pluralistic society. What they want is white power. They’re proud boys, even though it’s hard to imagine what they have to be proud of.
But on January 20 Blue Collar Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, taking the place of the mean-spirited ego maniac, Donald Trump, who has been unceremoniously dumped by millions of Americans who came together to throw him out of office.
On Inauguration Day put your flags out to welcome the return of responsible government and humane democracy to our country. It’s Liberation Day. As a nation we finally, once again, do have something to be proud of.