The Re-emergence Of Racism In Politics And Academia And How It Has Been Met With Silence

By

Leonard Zwelling

And you thought it couldn’t get any worse. Ha!

Now President Trump has singled out four liberal, freshman Congresswoman of color for ridicule in his latest Tweet storm telling them to go back to the countries from which they came when three of them came from America and the fourth has been a naturalized citizen for years. Maybe the secret to understanding Donald Trump is that he is a PR genius and an everyday idiot. He also has a lot of idiot followers who chanted “send her back” egged on by Trump. This should not be mistaken for anything less than what it is—modern Nazism.

Mr. Trump knows exactly what he is doing. Just as he launched his political career as a “birther,” questioning the citizenship of Barack Obama and just as he said there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville riot when one side was white supremacists, he now motivates his racist followers with calls for the deportation of duly elected American members of the House of Representatives whose major crime is disagreeing with him and his policies. They espouse a liberal agenda to which he objects so he calls them names and calls for their expulsion.

None of this is surprising. This is all outlined on page one of the Donald Trump political playbook. He’s a racist, a misogynist, a nativist and a bigot. Does anyone really expect him to do anything else? They shouldn’t.

But, where is the rest of the Republican Party disavowing this behavior? Nowhere to be seen or heard from. Mitch McConnell is silent. GOP leaders in Congress deny that the president is a racist, when he clearly is just that and has no compunction about playing the race card to enliven his base and split the country further down the middle. Of course, the fact that the Democrats have no answer but outrage doesn’t help. For goodness sake, impeach the man. Even if he prevails and remains in office, this needs to get a public hearing. He is not qualified to be president and the only reason everyone is not sure of this is that he has not had to handle a real crisis yet. He’s been lucky. I dare say should another 9/11 occur, not only would Mr. Trump be lost, but also he has surrounded himself with know-nothings and acting Cabinet members who have not undergone Senatorial scrutiny. This government is a shambles. Let’s get on with the Constitutionally mandated way to deal with it. Impeachment is necessary at this point.

Racism is not only alive and well in our national politics. It is seeping into American academia as well. This racial bias is against those of Asian origin, especially those whose roots can be traced back to China. The firings at MD Anderson and Emory are the two most prominent examples, but not the only ones as members of other academic communities in the United States and Canada have been fired for being guilty of “doing research while Chinese.”

Here too, as in Congress, the faculty remains silent allowing the leaders of these major institutions to do the government’s bidding and fire those suspected of…what? We never do find out.

The Republicans in Congress must loudly register their objection to the latest tweets by the racist in chief and the faculty at places like MD Anderson should protest firings of colleagues without thorough investigations and public revelation of the offenses that mandated termination.

Racism is bad enough, but it’s never gone away in America. It predates the founding of the country for slavery was alive and well in the Colonies before 1776. Indians, African-Americans, the Japanese and now the Chinese have been singled out for bigoted rants and forms of concentration camps in the service of political agendas. As a child of the 60’s, I didn’t think I would see such behavior again. And yet, here it is, right on the South Lawn of the White House.

It must be vocally resisted at all costs—in the halls of Congress and in the corridors of American academia. There is no place for this in America. Once and for all, racism needs to die.

Leonard Zwelling