The racist history of the US revisited

ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU,  Tuesday 09:43, 16 January 2018

The insulting statements U.S. President Donald Trump made about African countries, Haiti and El Salvador in a meeting he had with Republican and Democratic senators put American diplomats working in these countries in a tight spot. After Trump’s racist remarks, John Feeley, the U.S. ambassador to Panama resigned. The American diplomats in Africa are trying to clean the air polluted by Trump.

Even though Trump says he did not use the epithet “shithole” for the said countries, people don’t seem to believe him. Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue said they can’t remember if Trump used those insulting words for Africa. I’d be very surprised if they did! Republican Lindsay Graham, who attended the same meeting, admits that Trump used those words. Right wing journalists defending Trump have been adding fuel to the fire by publishing statistics of countries on the occasion of “World Toilet Day.” 

Trump’s remarks about Africa, Haiti and El Salvador set off the controversies of racism and racial discrimination in the U.S. The controversies show that the American community is divided into two on these subjects. Many people see this division as “the new U.S. Civil War.” It is not discussed in our media much, but conflicts between the group named Antifa (Anti-fascists) and White Supremacists are becoming more intense.

A woman died and 19 were injured during the conflicts between the two groups in the Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist rammed his car into the Antifa group. Trump’s comments on this incident caused some controversy as well.

The fact that Trump associated white supremacists with the anti-racists received wide reaction. So much so that the White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn almost resigned. Cohn’s resignation was prevented by the White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “The president speaks for himself” on the matter. The far right news site, Breitbart News, commenced a smear campaign on the Secretary of the State after his comments.

Trump’s latest remarks sparked racial controversies once again. Some in the media claimed that Trump’s father Fred Trump was arrested during a protest conducted by the white supremacist organization, the Ku Klux Klan, in 1920s. Lists that presented examples of Trump’s racial discriminations were published. It was interesting coincidence that these controversies coincided with the birthday of Martin Luther King, one of the icons in the fight against racism. King, who was born on  Jan. 15, 1929, was assassinated in 1968. These controversies coinciding with King’s birthday once again reminded us of the shameful and racist history of the U.S. Black people who live in the U.S. or Haiti are the grandchildren of the innocent people who were brought to the U.S. from Africa as slaves.

According to Douglas Brinkley, an author who is known for his books on U.S. presidents, “Trump is the most racist president in the history of the United States since Woodrow Wilson. In fact, Trump’s immigration policy are seen as a return to the strict immigration laws that deepened racial discrimination during the early 1920s, including the Wilson term. Controversies of racial discrimination and white supremacy is a deep wound of the U.S., which is occasionally palliated, but starts to bleed again after just a simple sentence. Trump viciously scratched this wound, causing it to bleed again. And now American diplomats are trying their best to clean this “shithole” Trump opened with his words.

NavigationSee Other Columns