Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday of special importance. It’s a day on which Americans come together, to mourn the passing of a man who gave his life for the betterment of mankind, and to celebrate the vitality of the magnificent dream he built his life around.
We celebrate our diversity on this day, together, because we know that’s really what makes America great. Variety is the spice of life.
Past years have seen American presidents take it seriously. In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday. Since then, US presidents have typically observed the holiday publicly, making remarks or attending events honouring the day.
Donald Trump spent his MLK Day at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. The only event on the White House daily public schedule was the flight that brought him back to Washington in the afternoon.
Ultimately, it’s best he didn’t try, as anything he could possibly have said would have been a ludicrous falsehood. He’s said enough already.
” I’m not a racist,” Trump said, to a room full of reporters on Sunday. “I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”
Whenever people go around talking about how not racist they are, they’re lying.
Trump also took the opportunity to further deny that he had used the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and a number of African nations, but everybody knows.
The problems with Trump’s attacks on persons who are not rich white men seems to grow bigger every day.
News outlets and social media accounts have been overflowing with reports of a whole variety of hate-fueled attacks. Slate.com catalogued 1064 such incidents of this kind to take place since last January.
It has called the syndrome a virus in our country. It has catalogued 1064 such incidents since Trump took office last November. Most Americans have heard of Charlottesville’s victim Heather Heyer by now. Sadly, she is far from being the only casualty.
Members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested for stabbing three people in Anaheim, California.
Student Richard Collins III was killed by a white supremacist days before his graduation from the venerable HBCU Bowie State University. A man named Sean Urbanski walked up to him as he waited for an Uber with friends, and allegedly yelled, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you!” As this directive was not complied with, Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest.
In other news, Cliven Bundy, the white rancher who decided to forcefully conquer government land a while back, was set free on Monday. The incident didn’t lead to violence, but that’s only because President Obama happened to be a kindly man. They just turned off their electricity and waited until it got cold for them all to surrender, which they did.
It’s doubtful that even many Trump supporters would argue it would have happened the same way if Cliven Bundy and his followers were black.
During the eight years of the Obama presidency, we made progress in the field of anti-racism. But whenever progress is made, there’s always going to be a period of reaction. We are seeing a wave of reaction now that is very powerful.
Plainly stated, the deplorables will never forgive any one of us that voted for Obama. Those who dared to put a black man in a White House will be hated by this type for all eternity. Because no matter what they do, no matter what laws they unwrite or what executive orders they reverse, they can never go back in time and make it so that all of our Presidents were white again.
And that’s what it’s really all about. Ann Coulter said it with total candor, Adam’s apple bobbing like a cork in a wine bottle. Make America white again. That’s the great America the Trump supporters recall and want back. That’s what they thought was great about it.
It’s a sad thing.
At any rate, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.
A higher level of contact with diverse groups of people has been shown to reduce prejudice.
A 2016 study found that “the racial and ethnic isolation of white people at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” As such, it’s important to note that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans.
This makes it much easier to fear and hate the people they consider outsiders. History has shown us where that goes.
On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray stood in the bathtub of a shared bathroom, balanced his rifle on a window ledge and shot Martin Luther King Jr. dead, as the civil rights leader was standing on a balcony outside of his motel room.
The same animus that drove that hateful crime is alive and well and cavorting in the streets of today’s America. And it is getting stronger. Every day that malignant orange tumour is polluting the Oval Office is another day the problem gets worse.
However, we are not without recourse. By coming together in unity, by organizing, by refusing to accept, we can outlast any dictator. We’ve got to keep raising awareness, and we’ve got to keep speaking out.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.