Blog: We Shall Overcome One Day 
  
To listen to this MLK speech, click here
Should the Republicans who are quick to bow and kiss Trump's feet be left alone in a room with him? While everyone knows that Trump is a racist is it possible to say that he is influencing their behavior, too and, in the process, normalizing immorality amongst these politicians --- or is Trump simply responsible for their release from Pandora's Box?

What would Martin Luther King think about a POTUS who has lied over 2000 times and who holds racist views --- and espouses white only preferences that could amount to ethnic cleansing if not a  "ruthless clearance of immigrants of color or a certain obvious populace" from the U.S.? Here's what we know about the the current U.S. president based on his most recent racist views and unpopular policies: Trump, indeed, is a racist and wherever he goes on the planet earth he will be met with mass nonviolent protests. It is truly an achievement for the global community to be able to state that Trump is now confined to racist areas in the south if he wants to find people who believe in his white supremacist mindset. 

(From My Previous Trump Blog Post/Note. . .  to most people of color racism has always been about social exclusion, an out of sight, out of mind mindset or a failure to recognize the humanity in all humans. It is about expecting people of the darker hues to automatically know their place in an environment that fails to recognize inequality and/or how inequality is created and supported. This view is accepted by far too many people --- who have never felt compelled to question why so many children end up in the school to prison pipeline. When  Martin Luther King asked: "How Long --- and answered: Not Long" (Please refer to MLK's entire speech entitled: "God's Truth Is Marching On.") he certainly did not know that the world would ever have to deal with such a racist, vulgar president as Trump and/or the feeble response to his racism by Republican elected officials (omit John Kaschic from this category since he has publicly rejected Trump's racism). This feeble, unChristian response to racism includes the cowardliness of a small group of black and white ministers (such as Mark Burns) who are willing to take on Stepin Fetchit roles to overlook, and in the process, indirectly defend the president's racist practices). 

Who can call any elected official or even a minister an effective leader if it requires overlooking Trump's racist tendencies or his weak leadership practices or, perhaps, his vindictiveness that springs from his threats and snares once you enter his circle? How can these so called leaders identify and address racism --- wherever it is found --- if their objective has always been, from the start, to please Trump and, in turn, his racist base, a noncompetitve role reserved for the worst of the worst that tends to remain vacant in most instances --- and especially in presidential campaigns?  

How can these individuals then ever hold the president accountable for his 2000 lies if they are liars, too? How can they recognize his collusion with the Russians if they are willing to compromise their own dignity and sense of worth (at whatever the cost) by setting their ethical stanards so low that they no longer can understand what a public servant is? How can they call themselves Christians if they can be bought for a coin or two --- and/or are required to accept and then hide his vile, differential treatment of people of color that even disadvantages children on purpose. . .?  What would Martin Luther King probably say about these public figures? The answers are embedded in the questions. . .

In this light, until ghettos, (along with low performing schools) disappear American racism will always remain visible to anyone who does not want to pretend that the U.S. has overcome its racist past -- or to anyone who truly wants to win the battle against inequality. It will remain visible to anyone who does not want an out of sight, out of mind mindset to suffice that ignores the plight of people of color. Racism will remain visible until it no longer exists. To tolerate it --- or to cavlierly pretend racism has not harmed people of color is an insult to those who have died and  fought against racist practices or racist leaders (whether black or white) who continue to support white only strategies and then feign ignorance. Democracy's promises must, in truth, apply to all American citizens, not just some.

Despite this view, we also know that there are far too many Americans who continue to remain silent about their racist beliefs, (in particular) even as they claim to be caring citizens  --- a sentiment showing that they do not believe in the U.S. Constitution and its emphasis on equality and democratic principles --- citizens who have never thought about the root causes of U.S. racism. In fact, these same Americans may even live their entire lifetimes without considering that t heir own silence had something to do with the suffering of their fellow Americans. 

And, this, of course, produces confusion, for most Americans, who do not understand how Trump's voters, "including the 52% of white women who voted for
Trump " could continue to support a POTUS who is deliberately  weakening the very foundation of the United States  --- for which the U.S. public school system must stand. For Trump's voters, their choice to still support Trump produces a kind of quandary or a dilemma that should not exist for they are either for truth, justice, morality and Jesus or they are for Trump. They cannot be for both or say they are for morality and then support Trump's ongoing white nationalist tendencies (whether in secret or in public). They should not have  to hesitate either in weighing the cost or consequences of racism unless they are having a hard time trying to figure out if it is wrong to have beliefs on par wit
h his beliefs about segregation and/or social exclusion when it comes to people of color. If so, the choice to reject Trump is a choice for them to reach higher, instead, of lower to sustain his immoral abyss, a choice to distinguish between right and wrong, a choice that does not "go along to get along" at whatever the cost ---  if it means supporting policies that, at their root, exist to harm other Americans.)   

For instance, in Wolff's new book: Fire & Fury Trump tries to defend the KKK. (We now know that a vote for Trump is a vote for the KKK.) This point alone proves one thing and one thing alone: General McMaster, etc. must find it very painful to serve under Trump --- if this book is just a tad true. All of the generals, however, should be commended for staying put, along with all of the personel in all of the  intelligence agencies who continue to serve as public servants  ---  as well as Mueller who is leading the Trump/Russian investigation that is, at its root, protecting, preserving, and defending the nation from all of its enemies. Could it be that Trump is one of those enemies whose love of WikiLeaks and a whole bunch of Russians (he will never say an unkind word about. . .) who interfered in an American election (according to 17 Intelligence agencies) be the reason most Americans (if not the entire world) have always believed that he is, unequivocally, guilty?


Wolff, at least, is being kind when he states that the "White House staff" called Trump an idiot, moron, dope, etc. for various reasons.  This type of name-calling seems plausible but it is probably far worst in reality and proves that there are signs that many people who continue to  work there still have a working conscience. 

But, should these same names be applied to the Republicans, too?  When McConnell tries to mistake American voters for fools and states that Trump and the Republicans have accomplished a great deal in the past year it is an opportunity to remind him about a document called the U.S. Constitution.  Surely, McDonnell and Co. have done the world a disservice when they overlook ethics in passing a tax bill that exploits the system and  produces a final product that, at its core, is theft on behalf of the rich or their doners. They did all of this because they can. They no longer believe that the U.S. Constitution is a document that they should honor, especially the "We the People" reference point that they have eliminated by omitting 
public hearings and witness testimonies or the whole idea of Democracy from the passing of a bill --- or without the Democrats making enough noise to get their attention.   

To many, however, their actions are not surprising for they have always been rogue, unprincipled politicians who will even weaken programs that help their own voters. In other words, there's plenty of evidence that shows that have placed their own political needs above the needs of their own voters -- including preventing President Obama from passing bills time and time again to meet goals that serve all Americans. That they have never felt the urgency to offer any alternative policies that would have really helped their voters is an ongoing reminder and sign of their weak leadership abilities and unethical practices. 


With Trump as their leader they have clearly met the threshold for Republican kleptocracy and should be held responsible for their inability to lead or to serve American citizens with the U.S. Constitution in mind.  In fact, they should be held responsible for pretending to be public servants and should be blamed for failing to really address the opioid epidemic and/or for failing to prevent the deaths of the 67, 000 Americans who are impacted by it.  If they were interested in addressing it they would have publicly supported Americans in understanding who exactly is keeping the opiod epidemic alive and  well. . . starting with Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut who invented the pain-killer called OxyContin.

In other words, the Republicans are ignoring transparency and accountability priniciples and, in the process, following Trump down a dark path where they seem more interested in: 

       . . . rationalizing and enabling Mr. Trump’s autocratic, kleptocratic, dangerous                 and downright embarrassing behavior in hopes of salvaging key elements of its             ideological agenda: cutting taxes for the wealthy (as part of possibly the worst                 tax bill in American history), hobbling the regulatory regime, gutting core                         government functions and repealing Obamacare without any reasonable plan to           replace it. 

Clearly, Trump's incompetence, racist comments and presidential lies represent his ongoing madness but they also represent the Republicans willingness to accept his madness as a tool to advance their racist agenda. No one should mistake them for true public servants for they are not only following Trump's lead they are following the lead of some of the most racist presidents and politicians the nation has ever known.

The Trump family overall should be added to this list of hard core kleptocrats, too --- especially Trump, Jr. who visited Neshoba County where the three slain civil rights workers were murdered. He, of course, was following the lead of Reagan who did the same thing to make a statement about states rights. Nixon used this conservative strategy as well to feed his racist voters. For example:

        A documentary focusing on Nixon’s “Southern Strategy" details how Nixon                     promised Thurmond and other Southerners support for “states’ rights” and to                 appoint only “strict constructionists” to the Supreme Court, code language for                stalling desegregation. It speaks about how Nixon tapped into the sharp                          racial divisions in the country and the fear of change to reach those white                        Southern voters.

But did any of these politicians or Trump, Jr. review lessons learned when it comes to white nationalism and white supremacy? They could start by studying Hitler's life and Nazism to learn what happened to him as well as Nazi soldiers. They could also review the history of the confederacy. 


And, after they finish reviewing best practices in addressing white supremacy and reading Wolff's book ---- they could then focus on what was already set in motion years ago due to the faith of Martin Luther King  and the leadership of President Obama  as well as countless others who sacrificed their lives for a high calling. This process begins by understanding that the "arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." For example: 

      Economic growth is now ubiquitous in the developed world (including even Japan) for the first       time in quite a while. In America, we are in a record eighth year of economic growth, bringing       peak employment and finally a bump in earnings. Median household income is now                         the highest in history. The Dow is at 25,000. Medicine has effectively abolished most of the             diseases which used to kill us in mass numbers. Illegal border crossings to the U.S. have                 fallen to record lows. More Americans have health insurance than at any point in history, and       Trump has failed to kill Obamacare. Crime rates are at historic lows and keep declining in               ways that simply baffle criminologists. Solar energy is finally competitive with fossil fuels.               Global conflict continues its long centuries-old decline. ISIS has been destroyed in its own               heartland. Anyone with a phone has access to more learning and knowledge than at any                 point in human history. More people live in democracies today than a dozen years ago. When       natural disasters happen, they kill fewer people in a far more populous world. The last                     decade has seen the biggest decline in global poverty ever. And on and on. All this renders             the collapse of the American presidency more tolerable. For more information, click here.



The Legacy and Life of Martin Luther King with comments from Representative John Lewis, etc.. . .

For a discussion on the "5 leadership Lessons from Martin Luther King,"  click here.  
To Learn about Highlander's "Justice Camp for Children," click  here

 

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David Landers