Blog: We Shall Overcome One Day     
To listen to this MLK speech, please 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 madness 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, who holds racist views --- and espouses white only preferences --- 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 --- 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 president as Trump or the current feeble response to his racism from Republican elected officials ( omit Lindsey Graham, John Kaschic and Jeff Flake from this category since they have all publicly rejected Trump's racism). This response includes the cowardliness of a small group of white and black 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 tied to policies that support kleptocracy --- or, perhaps, forced collusion that originates from a fear of his vindictiveness that springs from his threats and snares (Is Trump a behind the scenes reincarnation of  Preston Brooks?) The question has to be addressed --- just what did it take to get Cotton, Purdue, and   Kirstjen Nielsen to lie for him? Did Trump literally draw a circle around these loyalists and then demand that they never step out of it or else risk a Brooks' type beating --- thereby giving the concept of the Trump "inner circle" a special meaning --- by reinstituting "force" as a familiar tradition tied to U.S. conservatism? )

How can these so called leaders identify and address racism --- wherever it is found --- if they find it necessary to serve as cowards whose obsequious ways demand that they please Trump (and, in turn, his racist, uninformed base, a base incapable of knowing that it is working against its own interests)? How can they be called leaders if they have never had an original thought --- or must serve as puppets for an incompetent POTUS who insists on speaking for them? How can they be called leaders if they are really automatons who have no concept of what it means to lead or if they call disadvanging their fellow Americans (especially of they are people of color) an acceptable practice when it is pure evil?

Most importantly, they must know that the POTUS only won because 47% of eligible voters did not bother to vote since no one thought such a vulgar, vile person could win. This is a distinction that will follow his presidency throughout world history (if not eternity) and will serve as a cautionary tale to future generations who need to remember why each and every vote is a vote that counts or why "not voting"  is akin to an acceptance of Trumpian racism or remaining silent about civil rights. In fact, Trump's presidency is so bad that future generations will talk about Trump as the one who heard the call from the abyss to serve a racist base, a noncompetitve role reserved for the worst of the worst--- (a role that tends to remain vacant in the U.S. in most instances --- and especially in presidential campaigns) --- a point demonstrated by his self-servng decision-making abilities that must always serve as a symbol, if not a loud  alarm for the world on any given day if not every hour, minute or second --- to the shame of the United States of America --- to stay woke.  

How then can Republican leaders hold the president accountable for his 2000 lies if they are liars, too. In fact, at this point, all of them have put Pinocchio to shame in front of a global community --- and should resign --- for their actions represent a visible decline in American leadership standards. If the world is stunned, too by these developments and the chaos that Trump promotes daily with no end in sight --- proving that he does not respect the U.S. constitution --- how will America recover from a Trump presidency and regain its status as a true, sane super power unless he is impeached?  If the world is shocked --- that U.S. Republican elected officials think that they think that they are expected to respect a racist as the POTUS or a world leader simply because he is the POTUS --- when no one --- anywhere  should ever be expected to lower their standards to follow Trump into the abyss except those that are sleep walking ---  it is not a dilemma for them (even if it is for the Republicans do not understand this point as Americans) it is an insult to the U.S. Constitution and democratic principles. The only thing left to do is to uplift politicians and pundits (as media outlets did last week) who support America more so than politicians who do not.   


In other words, it is not fair to Americans or the world to only see a vulgar, sleazy, off the cuff, racist man as Trump as the key representative of the U.S. --- only the uninformed (at best) who do not understand the U.S. Constituion would expect or respect this choice. The Martin Luther King holiday was a welcome reprieve from Trump who cannot compete with a true leader. The world also knows that democratic voters make up the majority of the 70% of individuals who are all against Trump --- voters who represent American ideals --- who are upholding them with all of their might --- voters who have a right to join the discussions and be heard --for they are not as gullible or as easily deceived as Trump's voters who are guilty of supporting the root causes of racism over and over again. 

Democratic voters must be heard --- for everyone knows that even though Trump and the Republicans act like it, Trump never won a mandate: " only muddled support from his voters ." His incompetence and chaos reinforce this fact on a daily basis. The world knows it and understands this fact and agrees with  democratic voters that Trump should be impeached for he " targets the innocent" especially if they are people of color and does not support basic human relations tied to national or world politics. They know democratic voters  are the ones who know a change is in the air --- and who are more than ready to accept Trump's 
governmental shutdown threat or ultimatum --- for the sake of DACA with no primitive Trump "wall" in sight to serve as a bargaining chip --- to prove this point.   

In the case of the sh_ _thole statement, all American citizens should, therefore, be expected to weigh their options and either believe the POTUS and the Rupublicans or Sens. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and  Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat. The decision is an easy one. The 2000 lies of the POTUS  serve as the only evidence that even a child would need to prove that no one is holding the POTUS accountable for his actions or his lies (or posssibly they do not know how to deal with his immorality), which is why he keeps telling lies over and over again.  

American citizens also know that the shithole comment is all about DACA, too for Trump is a racist whose preferences for "whites only" should be an impeachable act. His ideas clearly go against God and country --- and represent something other than America. His racist beliefs also prove that the majority of Republican voters do not believe the POTUS should be transparent in the truest sense of the word --- in which Trump as POTUS should be expected to stand by what he says behind closed doors in public. But alas, he is a coward. This low standard also evidently applies to all of their elected officials who should never be called elected officials or Americans if inequality is their hidden preference. If they do not like America they should just move to another nation whose founding principles support their low standards.

But it does not stop there. Anyone who is paying attention knows that the Republican elected officials do not think that they have to consider what is in the best interest of their own base (jobs, the opioid crisis). They do not believe that they have to place their responsiblility as public servants above their own self-intersts ---- even as all of their lies and contradictions (raising the U.S. debt, etc., hiring an inexperienced student to address the opioid crisis tied to 50, 000 deaths each year) keep growing in number showing that no one is at home in the Republican Party at all. Is it any wonder that their approval ratings are historically low overall?     

With this fact in mind, how can Republican officials or clergy hold him accountable for his collusion with the Russians if they are willing to cover up his lies at his beck and call (at whatever the cost), a decision that constitutes treason or, at the least, a compromise that fails to honor the checks and balances that are a necessary part of the U.S. Consitution?  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 racist strategies and then feign ignorance.  Democracy's promises must, in actuality, 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 that shows they may never even think about the root causes of racism. In fact, these same Americans may even live their entire lives without considering that their own silence had something to do with the suffering of other human beings.  

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. Surprisingly, 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 Life & Legacy of Martin Luther King with comments from John Lewis, etc. 

To listen to the song: "We Shall Overcome," click here .


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