Rahim Islam is a National Speaker and Writer, Convener of Philadelphia Community of Leaders, and President/CEO of Universal Companies, a community development and education management company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Follow Rahim Islam on FaceBook(Rahim Islam) & Twitter (@RahimIslamUC)
Donald Trump began his presidential campaign by challenging the legitimacy of President Barak Obama with the explosion of the “birther” movement – feeding “red meat” to his White supremacist base. This was followed by his attacks against Islamic and Hispanic immigrants coupled with his racist attacks against Black America with the code slogan of “making America great again.” Blacks are asking: when was America great in the past? Contrary to Trump’s narrow views, America is the “melting pot” of the world and reflects a diversity unlike any country, and in a relatively short period of time, Trump has managed to piss-off every group except White men (the core of his so-called base). A White billionaire has managed to get poor, uneducated White men to believe that he represents them – this trick has been played many times by using race as the difference as the tool.
Trump’s “America’s First,” nationalistic rhetoric, has begun to isolate America on the global front and he has completely denied America’s standing in the world as the “thee” world super-power and “thee” leader. The world needs America’s leadership because the world is more inter-connected and interdependent now more than at any other time in history and if America doesn’t continue to lead, it will be led by others (i.e. China, Russia, etc.). Releasing and/or relaxing our obligations to keep the world at peace is anti-American and should be challenged at every level. “American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend,” said Barak Obama. Trump is America’s Hypocrisy.
In addition to leading the world, all the previous Presidents, no matter what their party, have adopted the position that the Office of the President of United States, in addition to protecting its citizens, has the sole responsibility of bringing the country together – this is not only morally correct, but it’s also politically correct as well. All presidents begin their presidency with nearly half of the nation’s population against them politically so it’s natural to govern from the center versus governing from the extreme right or the extreme left – most Americas are philosophically in the middle and getting their support requires real leadership. Even though successful political campaigns have their relevance, successful Presidents come to know the difference between the campaign and to how govern something Trump has failed to come grips with. Trump is America’s Hypocrisy.
Uniting the country is extremely critical because America is already extremely divided on so many levels (i.e. class, race, geography, religious, political, etc.), and while most Presidents seek to grow their base of support, Trump has chosen to do the opposite. Instead of working to increase his base, Trump has sought to optimize on dividing America more. Trump has owned almost every “wedge” issue that requires the skills of an accomplished politician to navigate. There are so many issues that are extremely difficult to tackle on your best day and with the best intentions, yet Trump has violated both (i.e. race relations, immigration, terrorism, gun control, health care, etc.). Trump has begun to address these issues and many others with racist ignorance and meanness that has one goal and one goal only – feed his base and divide the nation even more.
Trump’s addressing of America’s domestic issues is void of any intellectual integrity and filled with extreme contempt and emptiness for minorities and those in weaker standings. Sure, these issues are difficult but they have solutions if there is a degree of respect and understanding of the issues. When there are bad intentions and no real dialogue, these discussions become hyperbolic in tone. The one-sided rhetoric creates an environment where solutions are impossible to achieve. Today, after almost ten months of Trump’s presidency, America is more polarized and divided than at any other time in the past 100 years. Trump is America’s Hypocrisy.
There are real consequences for this rhetoric because physical harm can be done due to Trump’s arrogance and ignorance. Tensions are so high in America today because of the negative behavior by the President of the United States. Trump has emboldened White supremacist and they alone are solely responsible for the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, VA during a KKK/Nazi protest (and this is just the beginning). On the far right, there are very damaged and extreme thinking White supremacist that are waiting for the signal to attack Blacks, Latinos and/ or Muslims because of the hate that has been allowed to fester and grow under Trump. We’ve had problems before but nothing like what we see today – Trump has poured gasoline on the small fires of America division. It’s been years since the KKK and Nazi have been accepted by a major political party and it’s been over 100 years since these groups have had a sympathizer in the White House until now with Trump saying, “there are good on both sides.” Trump is America’s Hypocrisy.
Trump’s hypocrisy has been on full display recently with his response to the three mass killings over the past six to eight weeks – Trump’s behavior is contributing to a very dangerous precedent that will produce real violence in this country if not checked: Las Vegas, NV 58 killed and over 500 injured; New York City, NY 8 Killed and over 20 injured; and Sutherland Springs, TX 26 killed and over 20 injured. Because of the heighten level of racial fears and the tension associated with it, I, like many Black people, held our breath waiting to hear who the perpetrators were – praying that it wasn’t a Black man. It’s not too far fetch to believe that Latinos and Muslims were praying that the perpetrator wasn’t either Latino or Muslim. My fear is that if this was a Black man, it would’ve initiated a race war that members of the White supremacists KKK and Nazi’s have longed for.
Because the Vegas and Texas killers were both White men, the response from Trump was to place all the blame on their “mental” illness which fails to acknowledge the “terrorism” associated with these violent acts. Because both events involved the use of automatic weapons, Trump was quick to dismiss the gun issue and instead attacked those that sought to politicize the situation by calling for tougher gun legislation—His response, “this is not the time to discuss politics, we allow for the mourning of those that have die.” His hypocrisy was on full display when the attacker in New York was a Muslim and he immediately labeled the act as a “terror” attack and then called for tougher immigration vetting policies – Trump had no problem politicizing this issue when it fits his narrow and racist narrative. Trump is America’s Hypocrisy.
What more do we need to see from Donald Trump that should alert the Black community that we need to organize ourselves? It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: the president of the United States is the most powerful person in the world. Therefore, Donald J. Trump, the racist, is the most powerful person in the world and he’s polluting the environment along racial divide that is extremely toxic and simply dangerous. His feeding of the racist base will ultimately backfire because most American’s live in the “middle” of the philosophical spectrum, and if he doesn’t destroy America in the process, the country will respond and totally reject this behavior.
While I’m very concerned with the climate that he is creating, I’m equally concerned about the policies that he’s implementing. It appears that anything that is good, rationale and moderate is under attack and/or being blown up by Trump. His policies are so extreme and favor only one group – the White capitalist and not the uneducated White men that think he’s their champion. The policies that Trump has begun to undo and/or implement are so alarming and far reaching, the damage being done will take years to fix, if ever. Trump is a walking time-bomb and he is, on a daily basis, attacking the pillars and fabric of American institutions including our standing in the world. Trump is America’s Hypocrisy.