Archive for January, 2018

Is President Trump a Racial Hygienists?

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Trump and Hitler, Playthell on politics with tags , , on January 29, 2018 by playthell

Fanatical whites adoring their Savior

On Making America White Again

It was nauseating to witness Donald Trump, surrounded by grinning handkerchief head black quislings, read a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. The bumbling fashion in which he read the text made it clear that he was not familiar with the facts, nor was it coming from the heart.   Like so much about Trump, it came across as phony.   That was certainly how it struck Congressman John Lewis, who walked with Dr. King in the heat of the Civil Rights battle and was brutally beaten by racist redneck cops on the Edmund Pettis bridge, during the voter registration drive in Lowndes County, Alabama.

When asked by reporter Katy Tur if he thought Trump’s remarks praising Dr. King was sincere, Congressman Lewis said no; pointing out that you cannot make racist statements one day and praise Dr. King’s legacy the next, yet expect to be taken seriously.  He said that he will not attend the upcoming State of the Union Address, because he does not consider Trump’s election to be legit, given the role played by Russian intelligence agencies in sabotaging Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The racist statement Lewis was referencing, was Trump’s declaration that the US should not welcome immigrants from “shit-hole” nations like Haiti and African countries.  Trump said he would prefer more immigrants from “Norway” instead.   There was no shame in Mighty whitey’s game.  Aside from the fact that Trump’s comments about Haitians and Nigerians during a discussion of immigration policy in the Oval Office, exposed his abysmal ignorance about black people once more, they also conjured up memories of some of the most racist episodes of the last century.

It is obvious that Trump knows nothing about the role played in the American War of Independence by Les Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint Domingue, ten companies of Haitian soldiers numbering 500 each, who fought heroically in the battle of Savanna during 1779.  They were repaid a few years later with racist American opposition to their own heroic revolution against their French oppressors, despite the fact the Haitian Revolution was based upon the same ideals as the US and French Revolutions: “Liberty, Brotherhood and equality.”  As CLR James, says: “It was one the three great bourgeois revolutions of the 18th century” that helped shape the modern world.

Savanna Monument to Haitian Heroes of 1779

Lest  We Forget?

 It is equally clear that Trump does not understand the contributions Nigerian immigrants are now making to the US.  As a community Nigerian-Americans are model citizens.  They earn college degrees at a rate 10% higher than native born Americans. According to the Houston Chronical of January 12, “Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in this city and the nation, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data bolstered by an analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University.”

These figures are reflected in the three Nigerians in my building: an international lawyer, a medical doctor and a mechanical engineer who has worked for Con-Edison, keeping the lights on in Trump Tower for the last 15 years.  I could cite many outstanding Nigerians contributing to the US in a variety of fields if I had the space.

Alas, none of this matters to Donald Trump, because his concern is keeping America white and, given his choice of Norwegians as the ideal immigrant: The whiter the better!  In this attitude Trump has taken us back 100 years to the ideas of another white New Yorker, Madison Grant.  A Columbia University graduate, Grant really did have the Ivy League education Trump bogusly brags about.  The President of the New York Zoological Society, and a leading voice in the racist Eugenics Movement – which advocated selective breeding to improve the human species – Grant published a 1917 book titled The Passing of the Great Race. 

This book was written as a warning against the Superior Teutonic “race,” whose ideal prototype was the blue-eyed blond, represented in America by the “conquering Anglo-Saxon,” intermixing with the “lesser races.” And here Grant was talking about European “races,” such as Greeks and Italians, whom he labeled “men from failed civilizations.”

In Grant’s view, the ancient civilization of Greece and Rome was built by blond haired Teutons, and it was their bad judgement in breeding with the darker races that brought on the decay and collapse of their civilization. There was a special warning against Jews.  Africans and other subhuman “colored races” were strictly off limits.

One way to prevent this dreaded intermixing with inferior racial stock was by controlling their presence in the American population through immigration policy.  However, Grant was elaborating on the ideas of another rich New Yorker, Teddy Roosevelt, who cultivated the role of Anglo Saxon superman to the hilt; even buying a ranch in Wyoming where he was said to have led posses against outlaws in the late 19th century.

This image was enhanced after he led the “Rough Riders” in the battle of San Juan Hill in Santiago Cuba during the Spanish American War.  Roosevelt felt that the paramount objective of reproductive practices was to prevent overly fertile “lesser breeds” from outbreeding the superior Anglo Saxons.  He was quite open in his views on the superiority of Anglo Saxons and felt that the decimation of American Indians and the conquest of the Philippines were acts of God.

These ideas would inform the passage of the racist National Origins Act of 1924, which set quotas on immigrants based on the countries from which they came.  The Act provided that be visas be issued to 2% of each ethnic group based on the 1890 Census, which would insure that Anglo Saxon’s would forever remain the majority.  One big fan of this law was Adolph Hitler, who praised it in Mein Kempf:

“There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but [the US], in which an effort is made to consult reason at least partially. By refusing immigrants on principle…by simply excluding certain races from naturalisation,”

Hitler was also a big fan of Madison Grant’s “Passing of the Great Race,” from which he lifted his Teutonic master race theory.  We know this because historians have uncovered a letter Hitler wrote to Madison Grant, in which the Nazi leader thanked him profusely and gushed: “Your book is my bible!”  It was these all-American ideas that informed and inspired the Nazi “racial hygienists” to exterminate six million of their Jewish countrymen by industrializing mass murder, and launching a World War which resulted in 50 million deaths.

This is the tradition Donald Trump has so passionately embraced, a set of racist ideas that resulted in the enslavement of Africans and their descendants for 250 years, and the extermination of Indigenous Native Americans resulting in the greatest land theft in history!  Of course, Dumb Donnie Dimwit is too ignorant of history to know any of this – and based on his racist behavior many thoughtful observers believe it wouldn’t matter if he did – he is propagating these ideas nevertheless.

Ignorance is no excuse in any case.  After all, he ran for the presidency, he was not drafted. That he should attempt to associate himself with the prophetic legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, an Apostle of Peace and justice, with the aid of genuflecting Sambos, is beyond shameful: It is blasphemy!

***************************

Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

January 29, 2018

A Made in America Autocrat!

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Trump and Hitler, Playthell on politics with tags , on January 6, 2018 by playthell

Dirty Donnie and the Brow Nosers
Senators Shamelessly Genuflect Before the Great Leader

It was nauseating watching the Republicans singing the praises of Fat Donald, assuming an embarrassing lips to posterior posture, while slapping themselves on the back for robbing the poor and showering the rich with even more money…making it rain bigtime for the super-rich plutocrats who own them, the billionaire donors who paid for the campaigns that put these pols in office. They are the new masters of Republican politics created by the Citizens United Decision of the US Supreme Court.

It was sad enough when we saw members of the cabinet cravenly kissing Trump’s rump in public, but this could be largely explained by the fact that their fate depends upon pleasing a vindictive president with a mercurial combustible temperament.  Yet for anyone who reveres the US Constitution, or just can’t stand suck ups, it was especially galling to witness members of the US Senate, a co-equal branch of government, the self-declared “greatest deliberative body in the world,” behave like lackeys in the Court of Ming the Merciless.

It was as if each Senator tried to outdo the other in crafting the most worshipful panegyric to the Great Leader.  They seemed terrified of the ever- present possibility of ritual crucifixion by the tweeting twit on Twitter, which could result in political death.  All one need to do in transcribing their remarks is substitute the salutation “Mr. President” with “Heil Hitler!” or “O Great Leader!” in order to recognize the dimensions of the crisis our democracy is presently facing from Donald Trump’s presidency. Sadly, congressional members of the GOP – Grand Opportunists Party – have entered into a Faustian bargain with an instable accidental President who the shrinks say is suffering from “Malignant Narcissism and Paranoia.” And who can say what the consequences will be?

The scene after the tax heist was, well, frightening, especially when one realizes that autocrats have been elected in other democratic societies to the enduring sorrow of its citizens. Most famously Weimar Germany, which was one of the freest and open democratic societies in the world, with a citizenry far better educated than the US electorate just now, when Hitler was elected. The foundations for a liberal enlightened German society such as Weimar had developed in Germany several decades before.

When the young Afro-American scholar WEB DuBois studied at the University of Berlin in the late 19th century, working on a PhD in economics, it was widely considered the world’s finest university. By the second decade of the 20th century Germany was publishing more books a year than any other country, which is evidence of widespread literacy.   And it was a leader in technology and Industry.

This was a society that had engaged in a protracted intergenerational debate about whether the soldier and statesman, or poet and philosopher represented the highest expression of citizenship. Whereas the billionaire business man is the most admired figure in America even if they are odious, stupid, amoral cretins.  Which does much to explain the ascendancy of Trump.

The Weimar Republic, which emerged in the aftermath of military defeat in the First World War spanning the years 1919-1933, represented a new expression of Democracy following the abdication of Wilhelm II, the last German Kaiser.  Weimar was a far freer and socially advanced society than the US was at the time. Weimar Germans were much more enlightened on race and gender issues, recreational use of drugs, and support for the arts. Afro-American Jazz music and dance – with its ethos of modernity and freedom performed at the “velocity of celebration” as Albert Murray called it – was in vogue, as is poignantly portrayed in the movie Swing Kids.

This tolerant open-minded milieu, where social life is played out to a jazz sound track, is meticulously recreated in the brilliant Novel “Clifford’s Blues; by John A. Williams.  And it is given rigorous scholarly treatment in The Jazz Republic: Music, Race and American Culture in Weimar Germany, by Johnathan O. Whipplinger.   To speak of Weimar says Whipplinger,

“is to evoke images not only of political radicalism and avant-garde artistic experiment but also jazz. More to the point, the Weimar Republic was, in a central way, Germany’s own “jazz age.”

 

But as Edwin Black shows in his seminal book, “Hitler’s Debt to America,” white America’s Master Race theories, racist laws against black people and attitudes about euthanasia advocated by the US Eugenics movement were all adopted by the Third Reich that crushed the Weimar democracy. Alas, the twin disasters that befell Germany after World War I due to the war reparations imposed by the 1919 Versailles Treaty and the Wall street Crash of 1929, sparking a world -wide depression that created a sense of hopelessness among Germans, set the stage for the rise of Hitler.

Although white Americans love to portray Nazis as subhuman monsters who are the antithesis of themselves, after interviewing some of the top leaders placed on trial for war crimes at Nurnburg, the insightful Jewish philosopher Hanna Arendt disagreed, she found them quite ordinary people, and coined the term “the banality of evil” to describe their behavior. Dr. Arendt outraged many Americans, and Jews everywhere, by concluding there was nothing uniquely evil about the Germans.

The problem, she concluded, was blind submission to authority and predicted that there are people we all know who are capable of running concentration camps if ordered to do so by our government.  It is evident that there are many such personality types among Trump’s followers, and like those who blindly followed Hitler, they cite emotional despair caused by economic anxieties as the reason for their allegiance.

Americans have been protected from the rise of an autocrat by our Constitution, which gives Congress the power to check the excesses of the President through legislation or impeachment.  But what happens if the Congress fails to use that power?  This is the question now being raised by serious people as Trump threatens to fire Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating whether members of the Trump campaign team collaborated with the Russians to steal the presidential election, which Trump has repeatedly called a hoax.

After Trump launched threats against128 foreign countries that voted against the US on Jerusalem, former CIA Director Robert O. Brennan remarked: “Trump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone—qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats.”  One of the main characteristics of autocratic regimes are fawning flunkies who say things like the once proud Republican Senators were  Trump after the tax heist. Longtime Utah Senator Orin Hatch, said Trump might well be “The greatest president in history!”

This kind of sycophantic praise does not inspire confidence that the Republican controlled Congress will checkmate the power of a President who wishes to turn the FBI into his personal Gestapo and unleash them on his political adversaries; despises the free press; the independent judiciary and congressional opposition.  All the institutions that guard our democracy. In view of this reality, the thoughtful observer is compelled to wonder if the difference between Trump, Hitler and Kim Jung UN, has less to do with philosophy than opportunity.

*******************

Playthell G. Benjamin
January 6, 2018
1013 words