Trump. Mission accomplished! Photo: Gage Skidmore–Flickr
In one of the most troubling weeks, in this two-year train wreck of a presidency, Republican officials were busy campaigning on fearmongering, even as the nation now reaps the seeds of hate.
The president is prepared to ignite racist and religious attacks hoping to mobilize his base for the midterms to avoid Congressional election defeat and the impeachment he deserves.
On Saturday, 11 people were murdered at the Tree of Life Jewish synagogue, in Squirrel Hill, a city in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Suspected murderer Robert Bowers allegedly said, “I just want to kill Jews.” If one can’t be safe worshiping in a church, mosque, or synagogue where can one be safe?
Unfortunately, in Trump’s America, racism and bigotry is flourishing right in the open. And anyone who doesn’t fit the racial or religious rubric of right-wing whiteness is now a target.
A Florida terrorist who identities with Trump politics, who was busy mailing bombs to prominent Democrats.
The silence of President Trump –or tepid responses– and Republican leaders on the multiple terroristic assassination attempts by suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr.—while they inflame bigotry with their fear tactics about immigrants at the border—speaks volumes about GOP hypocrisy and dishonesty.
There’s been no declared mobilization against racism and religious bigotry by Trump; but thousands of troops are being dispatched to tbe borders.
Will more blood have to flow on America’s streets before Republicans denounce the racist terrorists in their base?
On Friday, FBI and law enforcement officials arrested 56-year-old Ceasar Sayoc Jr., of Aventura Florida, for allegedly mailing bombs to several leaders of the Democratic Party including: Sen. Corey Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Maxine Waters, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.
Reportedly, bombs were also mailed to former CIA Director John Brennan; to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and to liberal billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.
While this was going on, Republicans were stoking fears that a caravan of immigrants, a thousand miles from the U.S. border, is a security risk.
Mr. Sayoc apparently mailed his bombs from Opa-locka, Florida, outside Miami. Some 14 packages were intercepted by law enforcement. FBI Director Christopher Wray did not rule out the possibility that “there may be more packages” of bombs floating through the mail.
Reportedly, Sayoc’s fingerprints were found on a package intended for Rep. Waters, a forcefully outspoken critic of Donald Trump. Sayoc is apparently a “super fan” of Trump, his confiscated van was plastered with images of gunsight targets taking aim at critics of Trump like filmmakers Michael Moore, CNN’s Van Jones, and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein. Sayoc is an avowed White supremacist like the Charlottesville terrorists who Trump called “very fine people.”
Sayoc was once arrested and charged for threatening to bomb the Florida Power and Light Company. He allegedly said at the time “it would be worse than September 11.” For this, he was given a one-year probation sentence.
Sayoc has now been charged with five federal crimes including making threats to former President Obama and illegally mailing explosives. He faces up to 48 years in prison.
It seems clear Mr. Sayoc is a delusional racist who lost his grip with reality long ago. Republicans are using this to say Sayoc’s actions have nothing to do with the inflammatory actions of Donald Trump.
It is certainly true Mr. Sayoc, not Trump, sent those bombs. However, Trump is far from blameless for the bigoted attacks now occurring across America—including Sayoc’s targeting of Democrats, and critics of Trump. Indeed, Trump is guilty of weaponizing racial resentment, and with a wink and nod—like his recent “I’m a nationalist” comment—is encouraging all the “very fine people,” from assorted White supremacist groups, to be brazen with their bigotry.
Initially, after the first sets of bombs were discovered, Trump talked about bringing back “civility” to the political discourse. Trump has zero credibility here. His mouth is funkier than a backed-up cesspool, remember when he called African nations “shithole countries?”
Isn’t demonization the main element of Trump’s political orientation and oration?
Let’s not forget how he used “Birther” bigotry, against President Obama, as the launching pad for his presidential aspirations—calculating that hatred for America’s first Black president would play well with Republican voters. Having used that to successfully secure the Republican nomination, he added hatred for Mexicans and Muslims to the mix to secure a presidential win.
Republican apologists claim this president, who talked about knocking “the crap” out of people; and who reminisced about the time when opponents were put “on a stretcher;” should bear no responsibility for the divided state of the nation. Words have consequences. And we’re seeing some of the consequences of Trump’s combustible rhetoric, not just on the domestic front, but on the international front as well.
The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey is an example of the dangerous foreign policy implications of President Trump’s rhetoric.
For some time now, Trump has called media outlets critical of him the “enemy of the people,” even though mainstream media is the main reason—not Russian meddling—that he won the presidency. Why should it surprise us then that Saudi officials thought it would be just fine with Trump’s White House to murder Khashoggi, and dismember his body with a bone saw?
Trump has proven them correct by articulating his primary concern is with not disrupting the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. He made it clear he doesn’t care about Khashoggi’s assassination.
The same cold calculated insensitivity President Trump showed to news of Khashoggi’s murder, was shown by his refusal to reach out to those who were targeted by his “super-fan” MAGA bomber Sayoc. On Friday, when asked by a reporter whether he would call President Obama and President Clinton, Trump answered “If they wanted me to, but I think we’ll probably pass.”
This is the callous disregard President Trump gives along with empty words about “civility.”
Trump is a power-hungry presidential puppeteer, who pumps up his bigoted base by playing with fire. His presidency has inspired and ignited intolerance unlike anything America has seen in decades. Worst of all, he seems to be reveling in his malevolent power to provoke prejudice.
Trump doesn’t care who his words hurt, as long as he can hold on to power. He has opened up a Pandora’s box that cannot be closed easily now. Trump pushes prejudice like pharmaceutical companies push pills.
One of Trump’s most insightful statements, that gives us a view into his sordid soul, is when he said he could stand on Fifth Avenue, in New York, and “shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any votes.” Trump was bragging about his hypnotic power over Republicans who support him. His statement here also tells us this: he knows there are those who are willing to engage in violence for his benefit.
We now see violent hate groups like the “Proud Boys,” “Patriots Prayer” and the “Trumpkrigers” surfacing on the scene.
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean had it right, when he told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that Trump has “tapped into evil…is evil.” Trump is a racist opportunist who has made a deal with the devils who are marching wearing Nazi regalia and Swastikas.
Last Wednesday, Kentucky Police arrested Gregory A. Bush, 51, for the cold-blooded murder of two African-Americans—Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones—at a local Kroger grocery store. Ten minutes before these murders, Bush reportedly tried to enter the First Baptist Church, a Black church. Thankfully, the church doors were locked because most of the 70, or so, Black parishioners had already left—averting the kind of disaster we just saw in Pittsburg, and in South Carolina, at Emanuel AME Church, back on June 17, 2015, where 9 African-American parishioners were murdered by Dylann Roof.
Trump has blamed the media for America’s divided nation. There is some truth here. Ironically, however, it is right-wing media outlets like Fox News, and press personalities that Trump follows—like Sean Hannity— who are primarily pumping up prejudice on their million-dollar media megaphones to a fearfully disgruntled White mass.
Moreover, Trump has parroted this very technique to gain power—and now the nation is sitting on an explosive powder-keg filled of pent-up prejudice. And, America could at any time go up in flames.