Thursday, May 5, 2016

Racism, fascism, wrapped in the flag....

In North Carolina, a tow truck driver refused to aid a disabled woman because she had Sanders stickers on her car.   And because he's a Christian.

Shupe, a 51-year-old from Travelers Rest, South Carolina, was very serious. “I’m a conservative Christian, I’ve just drawn a line in the sand,” he said. “I’m not going to associate or conduct business with them.” 
Right, because Jesus would decline to tow a Sanders supporter, a woman.  This is the same as the bogus "religious freedom" that wants to legalize discrimination against gays.

Of course, he's a Trump supporter.  Welcome to The Donald's America, us vs them, as long as "us" is not women, not minorities, not gays, not disabled, not Muslims.   

One of the very scary things about Donald Trump is how he has emboldened the separatists, which culminates in open racism. Indeed, this is probably the scariest thing.  White supremacists are emboldened by Trump, they call him their own.  And he won't disavow them, or the KKK.

David Duke, notable supremacist, hopes that Trump will "dispose of the Jews".  Right out there.  Breathtaking.   This is the 1930s.

Let's be clear,  This isn't just any election.
You cannot view this election solely as a choice between two platforms, two parties, or two personalities. This election is about much bigger issues. It’s about the way way we look at people, and talk about them, and care for them. It’s about the soul of America and its relationships to the world. If you care about that, you cannot vote Trump, or stay home, or vote for a third party spoiler. 
How can this man, who has fomented so much anger and hate, represent the United States to the world, and to its own people? How will minorities feel safe in the U.S. if he is president? How can this country stand to be even further divided? The chasm is already too wide. 
This isn't about politics.  This is about extinction.  Andrew Sullivan writes, in a new article entitled "Democracies end when they are too democratic"
In the wake of his most recent primary triumphs, at a time when he is perilously close to winning enough delegates to grab the Republican nomination outright, I think we must confront this dread and be clear about what this election has already revealed about the fragility of our way of life and the threat late-stage democracy is beginning to pose to itself.... 
For Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.
It's not about Sanders vs Clinton.  It's about Trump the fascist vs the future of our Republic.


John CLIFFORD said...

And so the American Revolution becomes the Arab Spring at last. Much as I
feel the Bern, I will cross my fingers and vote for Hilary rather than aid Herr Drumpf by action or inaction.

JCF said...

"It's not about Sanders vs Clinton."

But someone who will remain nameless (but whose blog is on FoJ's blogroll) says that Trump and Clinton are indistinguishable.


8thday said...

You can hardly blame the discrimination by Christians in North Carolina on Trump. The south has been quite proficient bigotry all on their own for centuries. But the fact is, discrimination by Christians has been going on since the dawn of the religion.

Do you think the truck driver would have stopped 8 years ago for an Obama bumper sticker? I also remember when white folks were wondering if they would feel safe if Obama was elected. A friend of mine’s brother actually built a bunker out of fear.

Nor is it right to suggest that David Duke is now openly racist because of Trump. He has been quite vocal about his racism since the 70s.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to blame white Christians for the rise of Trump and Duke.

I am not a Trump supporter. But neither am I a supporter of fear mongering. And to blame Trump for enabling open racism is to ignore the underlying causes. He may be exposing the cancer to all to see, even using it to his advantage, but that cancer has been killing us for decades. I think you are pointing your finger in the wrong direction.

Marshall Scott said...

Sibling 8thday, I don't quite follow. I recognize that the two truck driver claimed to be Christian. I don't see anyone claiming that this is a reflection on all Christians, or even all white Christians. Sure, all these things were true before Trump. That doesn't mean his incitement isn't also a problem. It's not a good idea to let the grass grow tall in the ditch in a dry summer. That doesn't mean there's no culpability as well for the passing driver who tosses out a burning cigarette butt. Neither one is good; but the two together are more harmful than either alone. Even the fact that there's no evil intent (and, really, I don't think Trump has evil intent; he's just one heck of an opportunist) gets anyone off the hook. There were good intentions behind the crossbreeding of European and African honeybees; with unfortunate consequences.

So, no, I don't agree that to blame Trump for enabling racism is the same as blaming him for creating racism. The fact that he didn't create it doesn't make his enabling it acceptable. His "using the cancer to his advantage" does mean more to that patient, and not simply the same harm. (And, I'm sure you know, we face issues like this specifically in cancer care with some frequency.)

8thday said...

Marshall Scott - yes I agree with you that there is a difference between creating racism and enabling it, which I agree Trump is openly doing. But I disagree with your comparing racism to allowing tall dry grass to grow in a ditch, as if it is some uncontrollable random act of nature. Racism has been a very carefully constructed institutionalized pyre, and I still think that if you examine the components of that pyre, that you will find white Christians behind, and supporting, the majority of them. Nor am I suggesting that Christianity as a religion encourages racism (although they have quite the violent history against “others”.) But I am saying that if you show me a racist in America. I would put money on the probability of them identifying as a white Christian.

As an aside, I am unclear why you are calling me “sibling”?

Marshall Scott said...

8thday, I can address your second question first. I happen to use, out of long Christian history, "brother" or "sister" as a respectful form of address. Since we haven't met except here I went for the generic usage. It's an affectation or an idiosyncrasy; but folks in the hospital and in the churches where I celebrate have gotten used to it. Know that it was really intended with respect, and to note how we are related in Christ.

I think I must have misunderstood your intent in your first post. In any case, I absolutely agree that behind the racism that we've experienced there are many white folks who call themselves Christian. I almost added yesterday, and then edited myself, that I grew up in the segregated South, where the direct connection was explicit. It was "un-Christian" to support integration for many, in the first instance as being "un-Biblical" (and, yes, I would agree it's a misuse of Scripture, but that was the claim); and in the second because it was "standing strong" in the face of Godless (and at least on paper integrationist) Communism. I have ridden past Klan rallies (a monthly Saturday gathering on the courthouse lawn, as regular - and assumed to be as normal - as the changing of the moon), knowing that all those men under all those robes would be happy to profess the Christianity that they claimed. We have to acknowledge that there were and are those who want to use the faith that way, seeing it in their view as "the faith once received...."

As for my grass image: while I agree that racism in the United States and in the Western Hemisphere is a construct supported by white Christians, I do think that tribalism, and brutality supported by tribalism, are all too much a part of the human condition. I spent several months in Sri Lanka. I could not tell you at sight a Singhalese person from a Tamil person; but they could tell, and the Singhalese were quite happy to use structures of government and society to keep privilege. I could not on sight tell a Han person from a Tibetan person; but the Chinese government has made it abundantly clear that they can, and that there is a powerful preference for the Han majority (who are also, by the way, the vast majority in the Communist party). So, yes, I do fear that tribal brutality, that happens to be expressed here largely on skin tone, is very much part of the human condition; and like dry grass, is unjust, and sometimes explosive, and must be challenged again and again in any of its forms.

8thday said...

MS - Those are interesting observations about tribalism and our basic human nature. Sad as they may be, I tend to agree with you. Which leads me to think about whether the folks who are blaming Trump for inciting racism may be projecting self loathing for their own inherited tribalism. You have given me much to think about.

Lastly, you have made a wrong assumption (although I believe it was done kindly). I am not a member of your Christian tribe and am very uncomfortable with being called a sibling in Christ. Interesting why you would make that assumption.

Marshall Scott said...

8thday, apologies. I'm grateful that you recognize my gaff was made without ill intent. I will remember. I think I made the assumption both from the conversation, and out of my own habits (and I'm quite conscious of IT's way of being in the world, so I really should have known better). Thanks for the response.