Opinion: Racism is still a major problem in U.S.
If you can’t remember a time when overt racism was at this level in America during your lifetime, that’s because the majority of Americans alive today have never lived through an America this bad. For some, a state of near comatose denial is preferable to the horror show that is reality, because the reality of America today is too much to bear. For many, denial is the best way to cope.
We are witnessing a remainder of the days before and after the Civil War. It is not simply the last gasp of democracy; it is the death rattle of the American conscience. Our fate is not yet sealed, but it is inevitable unless the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, common sense and sanity come to grips with what we face and act as swiftly, making the right choices in 2020, beginning with the removal of the apparent leaders of the racist messaging. We need to deal with the cause.
Once upon a time, we were shocked at behavior exhibited by the president of the United States.
For perhaps the first six months of his presidency, we were shocked at a seemingly never-ending series of revelations that competed for space in the nation’s headlines. There wasn’t enough room on the page to detail how much was going so horribly wrong and how fast it was getting there. But we were shocked in a way that allowed us to cling to the belief that surely this would soon come to an end. Because once Trump was exposed for the embodiment of evil and depravity, Uncle Sam would stick a finger down his throat and purge himself of the virus, for self-preservation if nothing else.
Only that never happened, and eventually we stopped being shocked. Eventually, we crawled into our shell of denial. For self-preservation.
Meanwhile, beyond the shell, racism is not only peaking at record high levels, it has become the price of admission into Trump’s newly refurbished Republican Party. Few dare oppose him for fear of his rabid base of followers.
Trump represents the best opportunity that right wing Republicans have ever had to get their agenda rubber stamped. From the stacking and packing of the courts to the dismantling of abortion rights and voting rights — and that’s just barely for starters — the right wing agenda has been fast-tracked. Moderate Republicans have sewn their own lips shut, watching their hard-right colleagues play with matches as they douse the nation in gasoline and call it rain.
Who cares if the Nazis march openly down our streets? Who cares if the president tells dark-skinned American citizens to go back where they came from (while those who can’t prove their citizenship are tossed into cages)? Who cares if the president openly bullies those who disagree with him and his policies?
And who cares that an entire television network has been co-opted to spread every distorted lie he tells as he seeks to destroy any news outlet that labors to report the truth?
Shifting gears from President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump has inflicted cultural whiplash on an unsuspecting and woefully unprepared nation. It is this lack of preparedness for the triumph of evil that has cast our democracy into a second Civil War that has already begun. Whether or not we truly won the first will be determined by what happens next.
Mario Morrow is a Michigan based communications and political consultant who has worked for members of both the Democratic and Republican parties.