“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King Jr., slain civil rights leader
Three days before King Day on Monday, Donald Trump signed a proclamation for the anniversary with a hypocritical posture just eight days before his one-year inauguration, airing veiled bigoted and crude remarks that demean countries of majority people of color.
Trump’s response: “I’m not a racist.” An unusual and flip response that dodges his immense legacy of racially motivated behavior. What if he had, instead,invited low-income and children of color to his golf course for inspirational exposure to elevate their mindset that they can rise above their birth status. It could’ve been a phenomenal King Day community service to reduce Trump’s deafening bullhorn and democratic bulldozer. Instead he introduced a flip flop of all that King espoused: economic viability, equal rights and opportunity, freedom and justice.
I’m not appalled, stunned, or amazed that doubters who claim Trump’s outhouse ditty was rejection of impoverished nations, not race-based, but the denials and criticisms de-oxygenized media and the international environs responded to his maligning Africa and its progressive, upscale Nigeria, as having huts, dismissing the nation’s rich natural resources — diamonds, the uncaged habitats of animals enticing world tourists, and wealthy African people, and their contributions to America or of Haiti with vast contributions to America and ubiquitous natives from many foreign countries came, saw, and conquered success as doctors, lawyers, educators, journalists.
America is a country of immigrants, lest we forget that all of our ancestors arrived on their own except slaves who came kicking and silently screaming and landlocked Native Americans, Indians, whose numbers declined through unorganized genocide. Immigration is the glue that binds us, and still immigrants build new lives and contribute in every way, but naysayers verbally assassinate the latest waves of non-whites as detractors accusing them of gaming the system. Explosive, derogatory comments about these unsung heroes while drooling for inhabitants of majority white culture is un-American and straight up racism by die-hards.
King day is once a year, but immigration’s political grandstanding and blackmail attempts to erect a wall prolongs the fate of Dreamers, 800,000, who came as children or were born here. Trump killed Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, reneging on our government’s promise is blasphemy against righteousness for those who play by rules in the agonizing struggle for equality, justice, and the pursuit of happiness.
Congress lacks moral courage to change these God-awful Trump policies, and King would be disappointed at this devaluing of humanity and America’s proud achievement. The callous and inhumane political wrangling against Dreamers and others who migrate to America undermines the tenets we hold dear. But King would proclaim that the power of equality rests in continued struggle and remind us: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
It’s a chronic reminder that the struggle for equality is forever. If we don’t rise up and fight back, the threatened, power holders will trample all that’s great about a progressive and diverse America, which means putting love of people and country above party. Onward.
Perspective: The biggest problem with racist tone or verbiage is racial behavior through policies dictated by action through a bigoted prism of policies. This POTUS’ action is more dangerous than spoken words, although speech or tweets are a barometer of closed door democratic disruption and destruction.
Silence in the GOP and defense by surrogates or supporters of this president are unnerving. As Eldridge Cleaver, American author of Soul on Ice said: “You’re part of the problem or part of the solution.”
And King said he’s not concerned about enemy’s acts against him but is more “disturbed by the silence of friends.”
I call politicians whose silence is complicit in a dereliction of duty to the Constitution and people they represent. But change in culture and discrimination and the current crisis cannot be fixed by politicians. Only people can effect that change for keeping human rights in progress and to protect the gains for which dedicated and courageous activists and leaders died.
Hence, people have to rise up to protect the American way. Going back to dark days is unacceptable.