Archive for Sunday, October 22, 2017

Opinion: Trump embodies white privilege

October 22, 2017


Perhaps you remember Barack Obama’s so-called “patriotism problem.”

It was that some people said he didn’t have any. The claim was based on the flimsiest of evidence: his failure to wear an American flag pin on his lapel and a picture, widely circulated online, that purported to show him with hands clasped instead of over his heart, refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Of course, most men don’t wear flag pins. And the picture was taken during the singing of the national anthem, not the recitation of the pledge.

But the feebleness of the evidence did not stop a whisper campaign about this supposed defect in Obama’s character. Then-Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) demanded to know where the candidate and his wife “stand on America.”

Bill O’Reilly said Obama needed to “answer some questions” about how he sees this country. Even CNN ran an online poll asking whether Obama showed “the proper patriotism.”

The question would dog Obama well into his presidency. Every time you turned around, it seemed, someone was asserting his otherness and he was being asked to prove himself again.

Donald Trump has faced no sustained questions about his patriotism, though the evidence for his lack thereof is far more substantial than an empty lapel and a photograph. Indeed, in just the last few days, we’ve learned that he failed for almost two weeks to contact the families of four American soldiers killed in Niger. He did, however, manage to squeeze in multiple Twitter feuds and lots of golf in that time.

Called on this, Trump offered the lazy, sniveling excuse that previous presidents had also failed to console grieving families. The problem is, previous presidents had done no such thing, as their furious staff members made abundantly clear.

Trump only made matters worse when he finally got around to this most somber of presidential duties. Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, who was listening on speakerphone, reports that he told Myeshia Johnson, pregnant widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, that her husband “knew what he signed up for, but when it happens, it hurts anyway.”

Wilson says Trump kept referring to La David as “your guy,” as if he couldn’t remember his name. It made Myeshia weep and Wilson, furious.

Trump has denied this. So we must decide whether to believe Wilson, whose account is supported by La David’s aunt, who raised him, or a man who insisted his sparsely attended inauguration was the biggest in history.

It is not a tough call.

Over time, one becomes inured to the double standards imposed by race, but this one is especially galling because it is especially obvious. And yet, even in its obviousness, it is largely unremarked upon.

The black guy fails to wear a lapel pin and endures months of questions about whether he belongs. The white guy canoodles with Russia, insults the intelligence community, undermines the judiciary and makes a Gold Star widow cry, dismissing her husband’s sacrifice as, apparently, just one of those things.

And though he is reviled for it, no poll asks whether he shows “the proper patriotism” and there is no accusation of otherness. Even at a level of awfulness bordering on sedition, his American-ness, his “one of us-ness,” is a taken for granted thing. Meanwhile, football players are asked to reassure us they love America.

Donald Trump is thus the poster boy for white privilege, including, the privilege of being terrible. And yes, some will look at this and see no unfairness, nor cause for anger or despair. That’s no surprise.

Blindness is a privilege, too.

— Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 months, 4 weeks ago

This is news??? I think by now that most intelligent and competent citizens are very well aware of the horrible and disgusting mistake that our Constitution (The Electoral College) has made. The presence of this 18th century anomaly in our founding document has done great damage to our country. The failure to elevate the true winner to the office of President of the United States has already had dire effect to our nation.

Trump is a card carrying racist and bigot. Something that all honest folks will realize that their hatefulness toward the other candidate is the most destructive element of modern elections.

This disgusting and incompetent fool who "won" the election will be the greatest disaster in modern history. He cannot function even in his own party.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Yes, it is stating the obvious, but it will be interesting to see his supporters come on here and try and defend him. But what will be more interesting will be finding out what happened. Why was this soldier left behind? Where was their backup? Where was Trump when all of this was happening? If there isn't as much investigation into this as there was in Benghazi, we can call hypocrites.

Could Trump have stumbled over a sentiment? Yes. He is not known for his communication skills, except that his ardent supporters think he talks just like them. No further comment needed here. But a real leader, when called out like this, would have come back with a public apology, saying he is sorry that his statement was misunderstood and explained what he really meant. But no. Let one of your staff come out to try and explain, then start another lie about Wilson, like the original lies his boss made about former presidents, mentioning Obama, of course, not consoling Gold Star families.

He is really playing his presidency like a reality TV show. And those people who are addicted to these drama queen and king kind of shows are eating it up.

Gary Stussie 5 months, 4 weeks ago

The reality is that the #Resist movement is not the revolutionary force that it pretends to be. Rather than battling the Establishment, the Resistance is the Establishment and is extraordinarily powerful. It must be the first resistance movement in history that actually runs most of the nation and makes up most of the political and cultural elite.

The pillars of the Establishment masquerading as the Resistance are:

The Indoctrinators. This is made up of academia and the education industry. Members range from K-12 teachers to tenured university professors and administrators. They are more concerned with social justice activism than teaching. They are the most insidious, because they are shaping the minds of our children and future generations.

The Enforcers. These include social media giants Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, pushing a leftist agenda and trying to stifle conservative ideas and speech. Add high-tech conglomerates such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. Then throw in the left-leaning CEOs of many huge multinational corporations – billionaires like George Soros, Ted Turner and Richard Branson. On top of that, add thousands of liberal nongovernmental organizations. Collectively they spend millions of dollars promoting left-wing causes.

The Propagandists. This consists of nearly everyone in the media-entertainment complex, including most TV news channels, broadcast networks, newspapers, websites and the film industry.

The Democratic Party. The wealthy and powerful party of the left has minions throughout the American civil service and the Deep State.

Does this sound like a struggling, oppressed and poorly financed resistance? Or does it sound more like a vast, controlling, obscenely wealthy progressive network that uses all the tools at its disposal to oppose a democratic election result? These tools include indoctrination, propaganda, the suppression of free speech and even the violence practiced by Antifa – the well-funded and armed wing of the Resistance.

Paul Beyer 5 months, 4 weeks ago

When the first item in your post was a link to Fox, I didn't waste my time reading the post. It's obvious you are one of the deplorable, uneducated, low IQ voters trump loves.

Gary Stussie 5 months, 4 weeks ago

"The Propagandists" are counting on you to limit your viewership. I, on the other hand, watch/read a number of sources ... and will match credentials with you anytime! Interesting that anytime an idea that does not fit the liberal mindset is presented, the name calling starts.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

OK, Gary; your little list of "indoctrinators, enforcers, propagandists and opposition party" diatribe could have come out of the mouth of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has swept through his country and rounded up almost 50,000 citizens, mostly teachers, journalists, social media leaders and users and the opposition party members, a chilling reflection of the very list you just presented. Are you really for democracy, because it sure sounds like you are placing the consolidation of power above the free expression dialogue that occurs in a true democracy. I'd like you to disavow right up front the tactics used by the Turkish president in his own country as an example of everything that is antithetical to what American values stand for. If you are not familiar with Ergodan's tactics, may I suggest you start here: Of course, if you don't believe the people of Turkey who courageously put this website up, feel free to corroborate what they list with a recognized legitimate news source of your choice.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Still waiting for your disavowal of the Turkish leader's tactics, Gary. What exactly do you propose to do about those teachers, parties and social media types whom you disagree with? And do you have a problem with the veracity of my news sources?

Bob Smith 5 months, 4 weeks ago

When Das Lennypitts has nothing else in his hand, he plays the race card.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 3 weeks ago

As near as I can tell, you don't have much in your hand - on name calling and snarky comments with little factual data to support them. Gee, name calling - so "Das Lennypitts" is supposed to refer to what?

Michael Kort 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Trump is a self serving economic elitist......but to tie that to the word "White" is a mistake because he is only about " richer folks "......which still means to hell in a hand basket for poorer whites and to all others who are of no great means ( he plays their fears and bigotries with no respect to their real needs )

Trump has politically played any falsehoods or distortions that serves his purposes......including the 5 year lie about Obama's citizen ship .

A dictator at heart, if you voted for this piece of work you are going to get what you deserve because dictators turn on their own !

His presidency is just the next season of the Apprentice where people show up and get fired but he takes no legitimate leadership responsibility for anything because he is good at telling distorted truths and lies that present disasters as accomplishments and himself as great to the slow of thought .

And now he sells the Arthur Laffer Tax cuts in the middle of two wars ( and facing a third one ) by manipulating a Republican Conngress to cut government services and social programs .

He is essentially an ADD MAN at heart who no longer runs businesses but mostly licenses his name all over the place and farms the presidential day to day out to people that he frequently fires or publicly disparages thru nasty tweets because he is pure as a pointless snow flake and has no responsibility (?) for the running of his own day to day administration !..........some body else's fault !

Richard Aronoff 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Pitts is exactly what the African-American American professor and CNN commentator, Marc Lamont Hill, called Jim Brown, Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King III. After he made his comment on the air there was not a word to be found in the so-called main stream media.

Steve King 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Chad, the big picture. Put on the travel ban. Pulls their troops out of Niger that were supporting us. Isis moves back in. Ambushed our Troops.

Bob Summers 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Pitts embodies congenital Liberals.

Next to Frederica Wilson, Pitts epitomizes behavior of people under the influence of the Liberal genetic condition.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

And you seem to be a spokesperson for the neo-Eugenics community, Bob. Where do you want to go with all of your "Liberalism is a genetic mutation" talk?

Bob Summers 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Diagnosing the causation why elements of human society behave socially aberrant is crucial in forming a proper refutation.

The constitution was a good start. But, more needs to be done to promote a civil society. Possibly tagging those elements that cannot play nicely is in order.

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"Possibly tagging those elements that cannot play nicely is in order."

Good idea, let's start with you.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"Diagnosing the causation why elements of human society behave socially aberrant is crucial in forming a proper refutation."

I completely agree, which is why I am consistently going to challenge you with your bogus theory about genetic mutations causing all of the ills of our society. You are not only labeling problem solving that is different from your own as somehow pathological; you are also limiting the way we as a society can respond the novel and chronic problems we face, something is both shortsighted and lessens our potential.

Finally, your genetics-as-behavioral determinism is a further, more dangerous step that can lead to nowhere good that I can think of. As I said in an earlier comment, prison is not just made of up folks with a DRD4 polymorphism mutation--how can that be? Last I checked, prison was not made up of folks with a certain kind of genetic profile; it houses mostly those who "earned" their room and board through their actions.

Bob Summers 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"genetic mutations" ?

This is just like someone under the influence of the genetic condition to immediately formulate a derogatory assessment of a completely natural and positive event.

One positive event. There would not be a Hollywood without the ability of the Liberal to formulate fantasies out of thin air. On the downside. Hollywood is littered with Weinstein's and Clinton's enabling their sexual behaviour.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

DRD4 polymorphism is no more a "genetic condition" than a "genetic condition" that predisposes someone who is primarily analytical and averse to novel conditions. They are both within the normal range of genetic variability, both benefit and harm society when isolated out of context and neither genetic predispositions are deterministic. I can guarantee you that there are plenty of perverts who have an analytic predisposition, just as there are analytic individuals who are capable of formulating fantasies out of thin air. Your theory is merely misleading and potentially dangerous. Wake up, Bob.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

What A Fraud Trump Is ..... a president who has gotten wealthy by bilking others, colluding with criminals, evading prosecution, and romancing the press.

David Cay Johnston is an American investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

David Cay Johnston has been one of the nation’s premier investigative reporters for decades, specializing in the ways government works for the wealthy at the expense of everyday Americans.

He first met and covered Donald Trump in the 1980s. In his latest book:

The Making of Donald Trump, he profiles the many ways the Republican president has gotten wealthy by bilking others, colluding with criminals, evading prosecution, and romancing the press. I spoke with Johnston recently about his new book.

Steven Rosenfeld: What are you trying to show readers about Donald Trump that they might not know?

What A Fraud Trump Is

Richard Heckler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

In the meantime what is the party that Trump/Pence represent doing to America?

Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws

Like it or not we old school republicans need to stop voting the republican ticket because ultra conservatives took over our party through unethical methods. Big reckless spending and monster lies. Time for all of us to break ranks with the GOP.

Not voting is the same as voting for ALEC and a very radical right wing government.


The ALEC/Trump/Pence War ON America:

--- War against Medical Insurance and Single Payer

--- War on public education and Higher Education

--- War against women

--- War on Voters Rights

--- War on strict gun regulations

--- War On National Monuments/Parks

--- War on the USA Postal Service

--- War On Environmental Cleanliness

--- War On Good Wages aka Right To Work Legislation

--- War On USA Jobs aka Free Trade Agreements and Leveraged Buyout Scams

--- War On Social Security Insurance

--- War On Medicaid

--- War On Medicare

--- War for Oil Control Worldwide

--- War on truth about global warming/climate change

Union of Concerned Scientists

Corporate Welfare Profiteering

Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws

=== Pay close attention to this 24/7 organized activity:

--- How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party

Bob Summers 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Pitts is smitten by the fact his cultural appropriation of "White privilege" is mired in his Liberal privilege.

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