Local Voices: What Can We Do About Pres. Trump?

Well, here we go, again …
Our “favorite” president (Donald J. Trump) is at it again.

It has been verified that President Trump said immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and other African countries are from “sh*thole countries,” and America needs more immigrants for countries like Norway.

Moreover, I submit, herein, some of Trump’s history of discriminatory behavior  and racial inflammatory statements:
• All Haitians have “AIDS.”
• Once Nigerian immigrants come to America, they will never want to return to their “huts.”
• Responding to the Charlottesville racial turmoil, there are “good” people on both sides of the fighting and violence.
• Prolonging the “Obama – born in Kenya” movement … accusing Obama of not being a “legitimate” American.
• Disputing a federal judge’s authority (U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel), because he was of Mexican heritage.
• Involving himself in the National Football League Players’ “kneeling vs. flag” incidents, calling players “sons of bitches.”
• Initiating his presidential campaign by claiming that Mexican immigrants were “rapists, drug smugglers, criminals,” etc.
• Taking out full-page ads (May 1989) in all four major NYC newspapers to wrongly accuse five Black and Hispanic teenagers of raping a white woman. The youth were later exonerated and pardoned by DNA evidence.
• Federal lawsuits brought against Trump and his company in 1973, for racial discrimination at his housing developments in New York.
• Belittling a Gold Star Family (Khan), Pakistani Americans, whose son, Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War.

Needless to say, I am profoundly perplexed and emotionally disturbed that “my/our” president would think and espouse this divisive language and exhibit such hurtful behavior…especially at this time and place in our history and status.

All of this reminds me of the reflections and remarks by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” (Dr. King)

“No one is born hating another person, because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” (Nelson Mandela) 

Now to address the question of what to do about Trump’s vile language and incendiary behavior? First, what we can do is to “learn from our history.” America has always been troubled by our history of racism and discrimination. I believe most of it is based around hatred, fear and greed.

America (still) is the greatest nation in the world, despite its blemishes, bruises and blushes. Many truly want to “make America white again.” Many are greedy and selfish and they don’t want to share the vast wealth and equal opportunity of America with “others.”

America has not reached her full potential and rightful destination for all of her peoples … not yet, but she can. Together, “we” can do this. Together, “we” can do almost anything. If it is to be, it is up to “us.”

We can learn from our “history.” We can be that “shining city on the hill.” (Reagan) We can be those “thousand points of light.” (Bush -1) We can “overcome fear itself.” (FDR) We can strive towards our vision of “Camelot.” (JFK)

It has been wisely stated: If we fail to know and learn from our history, then we are doomed to (negatively) repeat it. As aforementioned, America is (still) the greatest nation in the world. And, we must appeal to our “better angels.”

Speaking succinctly and saliently, this is what “we” must do about Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and boorish behavior. We have come too far and done too much, together, to settle for anything lesser.

Therefore, let us come together and do the right things … for all of us. And, may God bless and keep “our” America safe, strong, sacred and special.

John L. Horton is a resident of Norfolk and a frequent contributor to this newspaper.

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