Justice Is a Verb!
©Wendell Griffen, 2016
The understandable controversy surrounding recent revelations that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boasted of assaulting unsuspecting women by groping their genitals has been discussed a lot. Most of the discussion has centered on reactions by politicians to Trump’s 2005 remarks and whether politicians who endorsed or supported Trump’s presidential candidacy will remain in his camp. But not much has been said and reported on the relationship between Trump’s remarks, other aspects of his personal and business history, and notions of white male supremacy within the United States.
Who believes that a black, Latino, Native American, Asian, or female politician could become the nominee of one of the two dominant U.S. political parties with a history of conduct similar to Donald Trump?
Would a politician from any of those less-favored demographic groups be excused for branding immigrants rapists and murderers?
Would a political candidate from any of those less-favored demographic groups be excused for suspecting people to be terrorists because they are Muslims?
Would a politician from any of those less-favored demographic groups be excused for deliberately asserting the false charge that a white male President of the United States is not a U.S. citizen?
Would a politician from any of those less-favored demographic groups be excused for inciting political supporters to commit violence against protestors?
Would a politician from any of those less-favored demographic groups be excused for engaging in personal insults, name-calling, and other acts of verbal abuse towards anyone, not to mention targeting disabled and other vulnerable persons for such abuse?
Donald John Trump personifies the privilege associated with white and male supremacy. His history of abusive, boorish, bullying behavior is dismissed by journalists, politicians, and by people who claim to be “evangelical Christian conservatives.” That history was not hidden or unknown. It is excused, dismissed, and tolerated because the political, commercial, religious, social, and moral character of the United States has always been defined by and for the benefit of white males.
White men have lusted for lordship over this country from the moment they arrived. That lust for lordship inspired and financed their designs to “settle” what Europeans called “the New World.” Donald Trump’s abusive, boorish, and bullying behavior is contemporary proof of attitudes and behaviors long held, practiced, and validated by white men in this society.
The election of Barack Hussein Obama as president of the United States was an especially defining event for white male supremacists. Until President Obama’s election, white men held an unchallenged monopoly on executive power within the U.S. government. When Obama was elected by an inclusive voting coalition of progressive white women, blacks, Latinos, young adults, Asians, and progressive white workers, white male supremacy was challenged—and defeated—in a way never before imagined, let alone experienced.
Despite efforts by white male supremacists in Congress acting under the guise of the Tea Party movement, Mr. Obama managed to push through the Affordable Care Act. He nominated and the Senate confirmed two women who currently are justices on the U.S. Supreme Court (Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor). After Justice Antonin Scalia died earlier this year the stage was set for President Obama to nominate a third person to the Supreme Court. Republicans in the U.S. Senate (under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) refused to hold confirmation hearings for Judge Merrick Garland (currently the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia) because Judge Garland’s confirmation would be another defeat for white male supremacy.
Donald Trump has no leadership experience at any level of government. His history of abusive, boorish, and bullying behavior is plain. But if Trump is defeated by Hillary Clinton, the white male supremacy establishment will have been defeated in three consecutive national elections. White male supremacists and white women who routinely enable and are systematically exploited by white male supremacists fear what life would mean in a society where white men are not in charge. Donald John Trump is their Great White Hope.
Donald Trump personifies the racism, sexism, militarism, crass materialism, imperialism, and idolatrous white nationalism that has terrorized and traumatized people throughout the history of the United States. We will soon know whether U.S. voters want white male supremacy to define the future of our nation and the way it behaves in the world.