Tag Archives: racism

If only POTUS could ever learn from his predecessors

Donald Trump ventured today to two American cities that are suffering intense emotional pain.

He went to Dayton, Ohio and then to El Paso, Texas, communities ripped to pieces by gunmen. One’s motives remain unclear. The other one, the young man who killed 22 people in El Paso, was fueled by hatred of Mexican immigrants. He drove to El Paso from North Texas intent on, as he told police, “killing as many Mexicans as possible.”

Donald Trump ventured to those cities today, ostensibly to lend support and comfort. It remains to be seen whether this president has a hint of compassion anywhere within him.

Indeed, he fired off Twitter messages blasting Democrats, the media, and assorted critics who said he was unwelcome, particularly in El Paso. Why? The Latino community has been subjected to insults and invective from Trump, and millions of Americans believe the shooter was inspired by Trump’s angry rhetoric aimed at the Latino community.

So … he came to Texas after visiting Ohio. Is this man capable of performing his unwritten role as Comforter in Chief?

I doubt it strongly.

I am thinking at this moment of a previous president who was damn good at talking exclusively to those who were in pain. Indeed, there have been many presidents who’ve exhibited that skill. President Reagan showed it when the Challenger exploded on liftoff; President George W. Bush stood among the rubble at Ground Zero and rallied the nation with the bullhorn and his arm draped around the shoulder of a firefighter; President Obama went to the church in Charleston, S.C., where a racist gunman killed nine worshipers and led the congregation in singing “Amazing Grace.”

I want to talk about President Clinton. He had his Comforter in Chief moment, too, in April 1995 when the bomber blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The president spoke to us from his heart. He called on our better angels.

I am reminded at this moment of an anecdote that former U.S. Rep. Larry Combest once told me. Combest was a West Texas Republican congressman who opposed Bill Clinton repeatedly on policy matters. He voted to impeach the president in 1998.

However, Combest held a healthy respect for Clinton’s ability to hear you. Combest told me that the president possessed a unique skill of talking to someone as if the two of them were the only people on Earth. Combest said, “I know because he did that with me … in the White House.”

We need that skill now from the president of the United States. We do not need a thin-skinned individual who cannot cease sending Twitter taunts to his foes, or cannot stop dividing this nation along racial and ethnic lines.

Who’s the racist, Mr. President?

A social media friend of mine made a cogent and insightful observation about Donald J. Trump’s behavior and his comments about the state of affairs in certain Democratically run American cities.

Here is what my friend posted on Facebook: Things that make you slap your forehead. Why has Trump attacked the mayors of Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta for crime, vermin and housing, but not the mayors of New York, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles? They are all Democrats. What could it be? Look up their photographs, as I did.

What is my friend’s point?

It’s as clear as it gets. The mayors of Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta are, um, African-American. The mayors of NYC, Philly and Los Angeles are white.

My friend might be mistaken, though, on whether the president has been stone-cold silent about LA’s problems. I believe his point, though, is well-taken, in that Donald Trump — at best — spends relatively little emotional energy blasting white Democrats while unloading heavily on those Democratic politicians who happen to be people of color.

Is that the act of a racist politician?

Wasn’t it the comedian Arsenio Hall who used to poke fun at those things “that you make you go … hmm”?

This trend, though, ain’t funny.

Presidents must never denigrate communities

Donald John Trump won an election in 2016 to be president of the entire United States of America.

Why, then, can this individual say with a straight face that one of this country’s great cities in effect is not fit for human habitation?

The president has gone after U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who represents a largely African-American congressional district in Baltimore, Md.

My memory at times fails me, but I am trying to remember ever hearing a president say the things that Trump has said about Baltimore. The very idea that he would chastise a community and its elected representatives using language such as what he used is reprehensible on its face.

He called Baltimore  a “rat- and rodent-infested” hell hole. No one should live there, he said. Why did he drag this issue into the sewer? Because Rep. Cummings, who has represented Baltimore for 23 years in Congress, has criticized the president’s policies. Trump responded by calling Cummings a “racist.” Of course, he repeated the idiotic mantra that he is the “least racist person” on Earth, which to my ears is the kind of thing that comes from the mouths of people with racist intent.

I simply cannot tolerate a president who denigrates communities in the manner that Donald Trump has done. He has castigated the leadership in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and now Baltimore. What do they have in common? They’re all governed by politicians who disagree with Trump.

They also have something else in common. They all are part of a nation governed by the individual who has heaped insults on them.


Twitter tirades reveal deep, sinister weirdness in POTUS

Mr. President, I feel the need to call you out on your latest Twitter tirade, this one against yet another politician “of color.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings is one of the smartest, most astute and erudite members of Congress. Yet you have decided  yet again to go after this fellow in a Twitter rant that questions the quality of life in his Baltimore congressional district.

Your latest rant — not unlike the one you launched against those four Democratic congresswomen (all of color, of course) — was intensely personal.

Oh, and I also noticed you decided to verbalize some alleged concern about President Obama’s “book deal.” You want the Justice Department to probe that matter … which also happens to involve the nation’s first African-American president? Is that right?

Give me a break!

I don’t object so much that you have decided to use Twitter as a forum to make policy pronouncements. That’s your call. What is troubling, though, is that you do so without informing your staff. You catch them flat-footed, unable to respond cogently on what flies into cyberspace from your (allegedly) smart phone.

You also seem hell bent on castigating individuals such as Chairman Cummings and the four members of The Squad in intensely personal terms.

If you would limit your Twitter use to making positive pronouncements, well, that’s one thing. The good jobs numbers are fine. The budget deal that takes the government shutdown threats off the table for two years also is worth commenting on; one can debate the merits of the deal, certainly. Hey, I’d even accept your use of Twitter to argue for your side of the argument.

This constant haranguing, harassment and hassling of politicians — particularly those who, um, represent ethnic and racial minorities is seriously frightening to me.

You were elected to represent all Americans, Mr. President. Your constant use of Twitter to split the nation along racial, ethnic and partisan lines is disturbing in the extreme.

You vowed to cut back on your Twitter use. You pledged to “unify” the country. You said you would act “more presidential.”

On those key pledges, Mr. President, you are zero for three. You are not making America great again.

So, just who is the politician who ‘hates’ America?

I cannot get past Donald Trump’s assertion that four members of Congress who criticize him and his policies “hate” the country they take an oath to protect and defend against foreign enemies.

Yes, the president takes the oath, too.

Who among them, though, has demonstrated faithfulness to their respective oaths?

Trump has gone to rhetorical war against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. They “hate” the country, Trump said, because of the terrible things they say about the country, its leaders.

But wait a second!

Have any of them sided with a foreign hostile leader in the argument over whether his government attacked our electoral system? Trump has done precisely that, denigrating our professional intelligence agents and analysts who say Russia attacked our system in 2016.

Who among those four lawmakers has said called a murderous tyrant a “smart cookie” and a man with whom he has fallen “in love”? None! Yet the president has said those things about North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, in whom he has placed his trust in a phony pledge to stop developing nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump has exhibited more signs of “hatred” toward the nation by his dismissing of experts’ and by his snuggling up to dictators than anything these lawmakers have said.

The president’s incessant lying insults Americans’ sensibilities at every turn. He accuses one of the lawmakers, Rep. Omar, of “anti-Semitism” and yet he says via Twitter that she is free to return to the country of her birth — which she fled when she was 12 to become a U.S. citizen. The president’s tweets are soaked in racist intent — and yet he has the audacity to level charges of bigotry against other public officeholders?

Donald Trump’s calculated effort to divide the electorate and to appeal only to those who endorse his rhetorical clap-trap is fundamentally more hateful than the criticism he is receiving.

Waiting for that first ‘go back’ insult to surface

If you still do not believe that Donald Trump’s “go back to where you came from” insult to four non-Anglo members of Congress wasn’t racist in nature, I want to share something with you.

Trump told four progressive congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — to go back to their country of origin. Three of them were born in the United States; the fourth, Omar, was born in Somalia and is now a naturalized U.S. citizen.

I have been writing this blog for about a decade and for the past two-plus years I have been savaging Donald Trump fairly relentlessly. I detest this man’s presence in the White House — which is our house. I have said so repeatedly. He is unfit for the office. He disgraces the presidency. He is ignorant of the government. He flouts the law. Trump’s pre-politics behavior is scandalous on its face.

No one who has taken issue with my view of Donald Trump ever has told me to “go back to where you come from.” Why do you suppose that’s the case? Here’s my hunch: I am of European descent.

I am only two generations removed from southern Europe. My father’s parents came from southern Greece; my mother’s parents hailed from the tiny of portion of Turkey that sits in Europe. They didn’t come here from “sh**hole countries.”

Yes, I have taken my share of criticism. I accept that it goes with the territory. No one, though, has had the gall to suggest I should go back to where I came from, which in my case would be to Portland, Ore., a fine, cosmopolitan city in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America. 

Do you get my point? It is that the president’s tweets about the four congresswomen were inherently racist.

And yet … the vast majority of Republican lawmakers chose to vote against a congressional resolution condemning Donald John Trump for the disgraceful manner in which he has treated these congressional critics.

Does this mean Donald Trump is a racist? Well, you be the judge.

Racist tweets reveal chilling side of POTUS

To critics of this blog who have challenged my assertions — along with those of others — that Donald Trump has posted “racist” tweets regarding four members of Congress, I want to respond with a question.

Would the president ever have dared to say such a thing had the congresswomen been of, say, western European heritage?

You know the answer. He would not have said such a thing. 

The four Democratic members of Congress, in case you’ve been hiding in a cave, are: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

They are in order, of Puerto Rican, Somali, African-American and Palestinian descent. Three of them were born in the United States; Rep. Omar was born in Somalia, but came here when she was 12 years of age.

They’re all U.S. citizens. They all are duly elected members of the House. They all are women of color.

Donald Trump’s tweets — that said they should return to their countries of origin — are soaked in racism. Do they confirm that Donald Trump is a racist? Well, you know the saying about whether the shoe fits … correct?

The president has just made history once again by dragging his high office into the gutter of racism. Yes, Donald Trump’s Twitter rants are racist to the core!

House condemns Trump’s racist tweets … what happens now?

This is no surprise in the least.

The U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, has voted along most party lines to condemn Donald Trump’s racist tweets aimed at four progressive Democratic members of the House.

All the Democrats voted for the resolution. Four Republicans joined them. The rest of the GOP caucus stood with the president. I am sorry to say that my congressman, Van Taylor of Plano, stood with Trump and his idiotic notion that the Democrats — all of whom are U.S. citizens and three of whom were born in the United States — could return to their country of origin.

Oh, the racism element? They’re all women of color. One of them hails from Somalia, but she moved here when she was 12 years of age.

All of the women were duly elected to the House in 2018. They all have left an immediate imprint on the body. Sure, I have grown impatient at a couple of them. Rep. Rashida Tlaib used some profane language about impeaching the president even before she took office; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the most ubiquitous freshman member of the House in my recent memory.

But they do not deserve to be treated with such racist rhetoric by the president of the United States.

My question now is this: What happens with this condemnation?

Trump won’t give a damn about it. His Republican allies in Congress won’t care, either, as they have followed virtually in lockstep with a president who brought zero political history with him to the White House. Yet the GOP remains loyal to this guy? The reasons for that fealty boggle my mind.

I am not going use this blog to declare that Donald Trump is a racist. I am going to endorse the House resolution that declares that his Twitter tirade against four member of Congress was racist to its core. Of that there can be no doubt.

Why do congressional Republicans, with so frighteningly few exceptions, fail to recognize what most of the rest of us understand?

Trump has become the cause for serious depression

Donald Trump causes depression. I believe it might be a clinical depression at that.

Here I sit in Flyover Country, Collin County in Texas, a place where Trump still stands tall. I write this blog full time in my retirement years. I spend a lot of time cogitating over what to write, offering commentary on this and that public policy and those who make those policies.

The president’s latest Twitter tirade/torrent/tempest has taken aim at four members of Congress who have been critical of Trump and his policies. He has gone after them with racist rants.

It’s depressing, man. I find myself looking for positive elements.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles, the minor-league baseball team that now plays in the city where I used to live, is one option. I take joy in reading about the big crowds they’re drawing and that ballpark that graces the downtown district.

So, too, is the ongoing renovation of that city’s downtown business/entertainment district.

I like commenting on adventures with out 5-year-old pooch, Toby the Puppy.

I relish talking to you about retirement, travel and spending time with our precious granddaughter, Emma.

High Plains Blogger, though, is built largely around the discussion of public policy and the politics that drive it. I make no apologies for my bias. I know I have it, although my bias is no more pronounced than anyone else’s bias.

My commentary on the president, however, is getting me down. As in down in the dumps. I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t like the feeling of hopelessness that at times creeps into my skull when I think of this guy, which — I regret to acknowledge — is quite often … perhaps too often.

I’ll have to get over it. I’ll work through it.

If only Donald John Trump would stop providing all that grist that gets me down.

Not a ‘small group,’ Mr. President

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.” 

So said Donald Trump today in response to a reporter’s question about white nationalism and whether it’s a worldwide problem.

Mr. President, it is not merely a “small group” of people. It is a growing crisis around the world. The New Zealand massacre at the two mosques in Christchurch presents a symptom of what we’re witnessing.

White supremacists are getting bolder in Europe. We see more of it in Latin America. Make no mistake, there has been a serious increase of white nationalist attacks in the United States of America.

I won’t belabor the reason for the increase in this country. We’ve trod down that path before in this forum and elsewhere. I just have to challenge the president’s assertion that it is not a “rising problem,” that the surge in such terror attacks are the work of a “small group of people” with “serious problems.”

Trump is correct to call it a “terrible thing, a terrible thing.”

Yes it is, Mr. President.

The crisis, though, is worse than you would have us believe. As the leader of the United States, the president needs to step up and lead the chorus against the scourge of race- and faith-based hatred.