Frankly, we were expecting a speech about how great America is, how great Trump is, how great the economy is, a few racist dog whistles, something about how Biden has dementia, and then some ill-advised, but pretty fireworks.
That’s not what we got. Instead, we got a forty minute declaration of war on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Our Nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values & indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials & unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”President Trump
Many believe that this rousing speech was written by Stephen Miller, the U.S. Secretary of Propaganda and Fascism–or something. Who knows what his role is.
The most we know about Stephen Miller is that he spent the 2016 campaign emailing white nationalist content to Breitbart. Considering Trump fans are so concerned about emails, you would think they might be interested in Miller’s? Nope.
The entire message of Trump’s speech can be encapsulated in a single uninspiring phrase that was a specific rebuke to the athletes who have protested against police brutality:
“We only kneel to Almighty God. We will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.”President Trump
Bad, evil people? The people that peacefully kneel during the national anthem are ‘bad’ and ‘evil’? The reason why they are kneeling is simply to call attention to the disturbing fact that police disproportionately kill black people.
Trump engages in hyperbolic insults every day, so it is not surprising that he would carelessly start to label ‘leftists’ as bad and evil. The problem, however, is that this kind of language is creating an us against them atmosphere in the U.S. That is dangerous.
Different points of view are necessary for democracy. One point of view should not drown out all others, but this is what Trumpism is about. They have demonized all views, but their own, and then are attempting to gaslight their opponents into believing they are doing something wrong.
The Black Lives Matter movement is standing up against structural racism. Structural racism is a thing. It is a thing that both the left, and the right, are normally against. Surely Republicans are disturbed that the police disproportionately kill black people. All the Black Lives Matter people want is to be treated as equals. Are Trumpists disturbed by that?
What Trumpists need to understand is that ripping down statues depicting racists is not erasing history. The statues are not the history. They are merely tools of veneration. We can remember the Civil War without actually venerating racists. Can’t we?
No one learns history by staring at a Confederate monument. Most of these statues were erected by the Klan in the 1920s. They are not history. They are monuments to racism and veneration of the Antebellum South.
America has a racism problem. The whole world knows it. Americans must decide if they want to cancel racism, or if they want to venerate it. It is America or Trump.