Saturday, August 4, 2018

Donald Trump is just another Great White Hope

On November 23, 1887, when a mob of whites in Thibodaux,  Louisiana killed as many as 300 men, women and children because Black farmers dared to seek fair prices for their crops. The white press cheered along with the murderers:

“….this will settle the question of who is to rule, the nigger or the white man.…” 

In 1908, when  Black boxer Jack Johnson knocked out Tommy Burns, 12,000 miles away in Australia and became heavyweight boxing champion of the world, the American press called for a 

"great white hope to restore order to the world”  

Former champion Jim Jeffries came out of retirement saying, 

"I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a Negro." 

At the 1910 challenge, the ringside band played "All coons look alike to me" and the all-white crowd chanted "Kill the nigger".

Jeffries was humbled by the loss,  
"I could never have whipped Johnson at my best," he said. "I couldn't have hit him. No, I couldn't have reached him in 1,000 years."   
But the loss angered white boxing fans who hated seeing a Black man as champion of the sport.  Race riots ignited in Houston, New York, St. Louis, Omaha, New Orleans, Little Rock, and Los Angeles.
A Black man was shot in Arkansas, Mounds, Ill., and Roundeye, Va. ; two Negroes were killed at Lake Providence, La.   In Omaha, a Black man was smothered to death in a barber’s chair and in West Virginia a mob pulled a Black man from his car and lynched him. 
When Charles Williams expressed appreciation at Johnson’s win, a white man slashed his throat from ear to ear on a streetcar in Houston. While, in Manhattan’s San Juan Hill neighborhood, a mob set fire to a Black tenement, while blocking the doorway to prevent the occupants’ escape.
In 1913, Johnson fled the U.S. in the wake of charges he transported white women across state lines for prostitution. He returned to the U.S. in 1920, was arrested and sent to Leavenworth Prison, where he presumably couldn’t beat-up any more white men.
In 1913, Johnson fled the U.S. in the wake of charges he transported white women across state lines for prostitution. He returned to the U.S. in 1920, was arrested and sent to Leavenworth Prison, where he presumably couldn’t beat-up any more white men.

As Hank Aaron’s home run record threatened to eclipse the  Babe’s, he received 3,000 pieces of hate mail a day:

Dear Nigger Henry:

You are not going to break this record established by the great Babe Ruth if I can help it…..Whites are far more superior than jungle bunnies…My gun is watching your every black move.”

On April 8, 1974, Aaron became the new home run king. "Hammerin' Hank” retired from baseball in 1976, but whites never retired from sending him hate mail.

The economy imploded, the tech bubbles burst, 9/11 happened, the US went to war in Afghanistan and then Iraq. Hurricane Katrina displaced half a million people and the U.S. experienced the embarrassment of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.  

We had a subprime mortgage crisis,  a swelling cascade of mortgage defaults, oil prices that were higher than they had ever been, job losses that exceeded 700,000 a month and the dollar was so weak for an American to buy a cup of coffee in Europe one needed a financial plan.

As the presidential election advanced, whites had no problem expressing their sentiment:
                              “I’m afraid if Obama wins, Blacks will take over.”
But to shepard the U.S. out of this wilderness, voters elected Barack Obama…a Black man.  While allies and enemies alike throughout the world rejoiced, many white Americans recoiled. 

During Obama’s inauguration, Republican Congressmen skulked about the basement of a steakhouse plotting the new President’s demise.  The economy had fallen off a cliff, but instead of “all hands on deck”, Republicans sought to block, diminish and challenge everything the new President did. They were politicians, not patriots.

Threats on the life of the President rose by as much as 400% and gun sales surged. Elementary school children chanted “assassinate Obama”.  A federal judge implied Obama’s mother had sex with a dog, while Republican operatives called her a slut and a whore.   Ministers prayed for the death of the President and his family.  All while Trump questioned President Obama’s birthplace and intelligence.

So now, when complaints are waged about Trump’s offensive rhetoric, one can only wonder what people expected and why anyone is surprised. It is merely a continuation of what has persisted since President Obama tossed his hat in the ring.  To exclude race as a reason for today’s animus is the consequence of mass denial and the desire to whitewash America and everyone in it.

The idea that people voted for Trump because they felt forgotten and neglected is sheer lunacy.  Were that the case, they would have voted out the entire Republican Congress who’d sat on their hands for eight years, blocked and challenged every legislation that might have helped them; and they did so when Americans were more economically vulnerable than they’d been in decades.  It was more important for the Republicans to regain the White House than to rescue the country from economic disaster.

The late George Voinovich, who served as mayor of Cleveland, governor of Ohio, and a U.S. senator said the Republican strategy was simple, 

                                           “If Obama was for it, we had to be against it.”

But then again, under America’s racist ideology, anything that benefits Blacks is antithetical to white interest because Blacks’ advancement diminishes white superiority.  Making America Great Again is about erasing every trace of influence the Black president had in order to tip the social scales back to their “proper white alignment”.

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