I am amazed that anyone is surprised at the actions and behaviour of Donald Trump during the recent demonstrations against racism in the USA.
Remember this is a man who apart from being a habitual liar also praised the Chinese Government for their decisive actions and methods in dealing with protesters when clearing Tiananmen Square.
So why the surprise that he turned to violence and tear gassing peaceful protesters to clear a path for the sole purpose of him having a photo opportunity in front of a church holding a bible (albeit upside down which suggests something about his ability or should that be inability to read).
His willingness and in reality eagerness to use the armed police and security forces of the USA to suppress peaceful protests is in fact well in keeping with the character of the man.
In fact it is well in keeping with the character of all bullies who hide their cowardice and fear of discovery behind brute unthinking force that inevitably when faced down see them retreat and bleat about how they are being unfairly treated in the aftermath of their actions.
I predict that between now and the November USA Election we will be seeing and hearing a great deal of this from Donald Trump and his supporters.
Incidentally did anyone ever find out exactly who the “unmarked” and well armed force was that appeared around the White House and at the Lincoln Memorial?
Perhaps one of the most disturbing things to see as a result of his “dominate them policy” was the use of brutal force against journalists.
You cannot claim it as “fake news” when the brutality and suppression of the free press is being broadcast and seen across the world.
Nor can the USA ever again claim the moral high-ground and criticise any other nation for their suppression of freedom of speech when the self-proclaimed bastion of freedom and freedom of speech as set out in its own constitution acts to suppress it in its own backyard.
The death and manner in which George Floyd was killed (OK murdered) has highlighted the inherent inequality and rascism not only in the USA but across the world which has given rise to world wide protest, demonstrations and calls for action against racism.
As someone who comes from a very working class background I’m only too well aware that I have the advantage of being born with a white skin in a world that is – or at least was (depending on who you listen to) – “dominated” by white English Speaking Nations.
I cannot and it would be dishonest to claim that I know what it is like to face a constant barrage of racism and inequality based on nothing more than the colour of my skin.
That doesn’t mean that I should just shrug, tut,tut and walk away with the excuse “I’m not racist” and anyway “what can I do about it”?
To take that approach, and sadly it is an approach and attitude taken by so many is effectively being complicit and condoning racism.
Here in the UK we have also had demonstrations protesting that “Black Lives Matter” and seeing the very emotive “I Can’t Breathe” placards.
Our Prime Minister, Alexander Johnston (he likes to be known as Boris but that’s just an act) stopped short of condemning the actions of Donald Trump and called for a collective and calm response and actions to address the issue of racism.
Which sounds great until you remember that this is the same man who called people Pickanniny’s, women who wear a burka as looking like a letter box and black people as having “watermelon smiles” and is the man who led the Brexit referendum based almost exclusively on demonising and deriding people from other nations.
“Take Back Control”,
“Stop movement of people from the European Union”,
“There are hordes of foreigners lining up to come here”,
“The foreigners who are here are overwhelming the welfare state and national Health Service”.
“Send them back”
This was the attitude and approach of Alexander Johnston and his cabal of wealthy white privileged friends.
Are Donald Trump and Alexander Johnston racist and autocratic?
They will of course say they aren’t and unquestionably will use the argument that how can they possibly be racists when they both have “black friends”.
The evidence tells a different story –
Both of them are only to happy to stoke up resentment of foreigners and use racism to achieve their personal ambitions.
It is what racists do.
Both of them are only to happy to stoke up resentment against the media and refuse to be interviewed by sections of the media in order to avoid being held to account.
It is what autocrats and fascists do.
Incidentally it will not have gone unnoticed that “the foreigners who are here” have inevitably been the very same “foreigners” who have “overwhelmingly” nursed, cared for and protected tens of thousands of UK citizens throughout the Covid 19 pandemic and sadly in far too many cases with the sacrifice of their own lives.
Nor should it be unnoticed that the very same Alexander Johnston who shouted “keep them out, send them back” is now pleading for the very same ‘foreigners’ to come back to the UK to help get the economy and especially the rural economy running again.
Is there any wonder that people and especially BAME people are protesting both in the UK and USA when you have ‘leaders’ (and I use that word in its loosest possible meaning) who have not only time and time again demonstrated their racist attitudes but also that they lack any empathy with those who have and are constantly being denied the equality afforded to white counterparts.
The world has been watching and if there is one good thing that might come from the killing of George Floyd it is that the image and veneer of democratic freedom and equality in the USA and the UK has now been well and truly stripped away for all to see.
Perhaps now change will come but it will sadly not be by this generation but by the younger generation who in my opinion will in the future look back and wonder – and perhaps condemn – the current generation for allowing the institutional racism to develop, thrive and flourish in our society.
Only time will tell and one can only hope – be vigilant – stand up – speak up – and fight back.