I try hard not to get caught up in the political news cycle of the moment. I try to ignore it when the president of the United States does something that isn’t presidential even if it is at the expense of his presidency. I try not to write about Trump or focus on what he does because I know that there will always be something new that he will do or say to show a different side of himself even if the side he is showing is the same side of his face all along. But there are times when despite my best efforts, I can’t turn away when the person that occupies the oval office does or says something that shows who he really is.
Like many of us, I am no longer surprised when he says or does something that is so abhorrent in nature that you wonder if this is really coming from the White House. I wish I could say that I am surprised.
But I’m not.
And while I am not surprised over the latest comments from the commander-in-chief that four Congress women of color should “go back to their countries” even though all four of them are citizens, I am no less appalled.
And like many of you, I am tired.
I am tired of a man who truly believes that he is above the rule of law and will therefore do or say anything to anyone simply because it comes to his mind to do or say it. I am tired of the scandals. I am tired of the name calling. I am tired of his overtly racist policies of child separation. I am tired of wondering what happened to the missing infants and teen aged girls. But I mostly tired of the supporters who seemingly worship the ground he walks on simply because he appeals to the needs of tribalism. I am also tired of the GOP which has rapidly become the party of Trump giving him a pass for everything he says and does.
I have never felt the need to write about a president as much as I have to write about this one. No president has done so much damage simply because of who he is. But who he is accompanied with the power of the presidency which makes for a scary combination.
It’s not that I believe that he will propel us into a national confrontation although that thought alone would be enough to keep me up at night.
What I believe is that he is on a mission to re-make the United States into an image of a white dominated country…a country were men of color were relegated to second-class stature. He wants to take us back to a time where it was okay to talk down to women of color and then dismiss them as if they didn’t matter no matter how many degrees they held or achievements they may have accomplished. Based on what he has already said and done, it appears to be his mission to stop the black and browning of this country and instead make it predominated by white people. Even though he has stated that he has no problem with the LGBTQ community, he has attacked the transgender community in our military…and it won’t be long before he launches an attack against the rest of us that belongs to that same community.
He seems poised, ready to attack any unsuspecting victim at any given time. In watching the news cycle, I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve heard, “Trump attacks” or “Trump lashes out” because someone may disagree with his policies, much like these four Congress women of color.
And here’s the funny part…we knew who he was. We knew that he had a pre disposition to racist tendencies, was misogynistic, a sexist, thieving, a liar, Islamophobic, Xenophobic, Trans phobic, rude, ignorant, insensitive and chauvinistic. And yet, he still has supporters. He still has the GOP under his thumb. What is frightening about all of this is not the rise of Trump per se, but that we are seeing more and more of the man that he has become. Giving a man who has been surrounded by both “yes” people and money and mixing that with the power of the presidency is dangerous.
Where other men that have been president had filters if someone disagreed with them, this one does not. He does not have the restraints of someone who gives thought to what he will do or say if someone responds negatively to his actions.
But in order to have someone like a Donald Trump you must have people that enable him. His supporters and the GOP have given rise to a man who is perhaps the most non-deserving man to hold the office. And if you think that his behavior will get better over time, it won’t. Over the last two years, you see him growing more emboldened by the day to say what he truly thinks even if it is not expedient to do so.
The four Congress women that he has attacked for the past couple of days were elected to do a job for the Democratic Party. It is a system of checks and balances that is much needed to run this nation. And yet, part of that job is calling out the president on the policies that he has implemented at our border. The un humanitarian crisis at the border where men and women are forced into overcrowded detention centers where they are forced to sleep on the floor for nothing more than fleeing conditions that are life threatening is unconscionable.
Animal kennels have better conditions.
And yet, Trump will tell them that if conditions are so awful, go back to where you came from…the same language that he used to these four Congress women.
The language of an overt racist is to tell all people that he deems as “other” to go back to where they came from; that this is his land…a land that has been claimed by he and his followers because they too have the gall to tell others to get out of “their” country.
But here’s the real problem and a possible solution. If Trump did not have access to the media; the same media that he has attacked and deemed the enemy of the people; would his actions change? If the media did not cover every single thing he says, ignoring his tweets and his statements, would that make a difference?
But we in the media have a duty to report the actions and policies of the president. So, what do we do?
I for one can ignore him. I can go dark and not say anything about him. But that’s just me. I don’t know what to suggest for the rest of us
He still has a following. People still cheer him on.
And he will continue to behave this way until he is given a reason not to. Because you see, he believes that no one will tell him not to. Right now, there is no system of checks and balances in place. There are no repercussions for his actions.
We are living in an age where we have a racist man-child holding the reigns of the most powerful office in the land.
But there is something that we can do about it. We simply must wait until the time comes and do what we need to do to get rid of racist in the White House.
Until then, we must be patient. And patience as we know is truly a virtue.
~ J.L. Whitehead