We, as human beings who live in this country, the United States of America, many of us anyway, keep thinking we are past racism. It's been an ugly blot on the history we claim is so pristine and pure. It's not just blacks we have misused but Native Americans (too weak to hold their land from our thefts, wars, and manipulations), Chinese (yes, do our hard labor but then go home and abusing you is okay because not fully human are you?), Hispanics (ditto to both of above), and many others.
This kind of nature is not unique to Americans but aren't we supposed to be the ones who showed the way? Isn't that what we tell ourselves?
The greatest disgrace here or in any culture is that of slavery and the aftermath of which we in the US are still living today. Does affirmative action help when the attitude is of the heart? Well it at least gets doors open that some would slam closed. But then that self-righteous bunch claim it meant people like Condoleeza Rice weren't really that smart (ignore evidence to the contrary as that's what racists do).
Trump claimed how proud he was that he was able to get Obama to release his long-form birth certificate as though he had made a great accomplishment. Oh he did all right. He brought to light something that usually has been shoved under rocks. He's made it seem respectable to other bigots. Trump is so ignorant that he can't see that he showed his own bigotry in bright shiny letters. The pride that he said he felt should have been in his arrogance and ignorance of which he has plenty.
So he accomplished that but he can't rest until he shows the level to which he has sunk. You know the old joke we already know what you are, we're just debating how low you will go. He's illustrating it.
Now he's onto college scores and who gains admittance into a university. He hit on an earlier hot button racist resentment and now comes another-- affirmative action.
Clearly, he is trying to claim, it should not have been Obama or his ilk. What Trump wants is a world where people like G.W. Bush get into college based on their ancestry or people like Trump's children who should be allowed to buy their way in.
Diversity is an ugly word to those folks. The idea that colleges might take into account grades, civic accomplishments, ethnicity, parts of the country, lifestyle, all of those as factors, that's not good. Money is the valid way to determine it all.
Trump, and he knows those who hang on his words, does not want a world where someone like Obama can get into a good university at all. It works so well when it's all to the rich go the spoils, doesn't it? I mean look at Bush who got in based on mediocre scores, continued to do the same thing at university, and then bragged about it all after he became president which again came to him through parentage.
Obama, whatever his high school scores were, graduated magna cum laude. That is not given to anybody based on race. That means graduating with high marks and praise. He also was editor of the Harvard Law Review which once again isn't handed to people. He went onto a career he earned for himself which is something neither Trump nor his children can claim.
Noblesse oblige is a word Trump should look up. Too bad people like him don't remember or never knew what it meant. It seems for only a few, of our extremely wealthy people today, do they feel a sense of obligation to give back for what they have been blessed. Too few...
What Trump has done and the others like him is remind this country of how far we have to go to reach a point where people like them don't get the microphone. Where we treat them with the disdain they deserve.
This week I watched The Patriot again. It's a good film actually starring Mel Gibson about the Revolutionary War and the high cost of what that war cost some individuals and families. War is horrifying and fortunately this was one of the films that portrayed that strongly which is to Gibson's credit. There was also a subtle reminder in it of the huge mistake we made back then.
The hero, Gibson's character, used black, freed laborers on his farm. They worked for him by choice and he owned no human. But the country as a whole had not done that and when the war was over, when the new country was formed, the slaves remained what they had been even in the home of those like Thomas Jefferson.
What would our country be like today if slavery had been abolished right then and there, if there had never been a need for a Civil War? A lot of Americans back then didn't have the advantage of schooling. If slavery had been ended by our founding fathers, we'd have begun here on equal standing (other than that wealthy class who always start with an advantage from the time they are born).
It's hard to imagine what we might be like today if that had happened because bigotry and greed ruled the decision back then. Their kind couldn't handle freedom. Slave labor was needed to make this country prosperous. It was an opportunity lost.
It took another hundred years for a war to settle the slavery issue, then a hundred more to get civil rights laws enacted, and here we are fifty years later when we can watch a megalomaniac like Trump be given a microphone and say what he did without being booed by the country as a whole. It says we haven't come all that far when a black president must prove to over half the Republicans that he was born in the United States. It is enough to make a caring person cry.