NEW BLOG - Matthew "AntiFrantik" Carter's "MuddYork Express": Donald Trump a
After participating in, and witnessing, over a year of protest — after helplessly watching the brutalization of dozens of Black children at the hands of the state — I will be the first to admit that my faith in the United States is at an all-time low.
I understand that there are a lot of good people residing within the States — people that are fighting tirelessly to right the ship. However, they, in my mind, do little to represent a country founded upon institutions that continue to exercise and enact racist policies to this very day. When I think of America, I think of redlining. COINTELPRO. The Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Confederation. Black Wall Street. I think of the Ferguson Police Department.
And I think of Donald Trump.
Trump, with his presidential campaign, hasn’t revealed the true face of America; he’s confirmed it, as the revelation has long since come and gone. Consider, if you will, how the United States comports itself on an international scale. Does not this image align itself exceptionally well with The Donald and his brand?
Devotees fawn over Trump, enamored by his wealth. His ability to amass riches appears to qualify him in the eyes of many for the position of President. Not a thought is spared to exactly how these riches have been amassed, on the many that have been victimized by predatory deals and shady practices, left to fend for themselves in his destructive wake.
The United States, similarly, prides itself on being one of the wealthiest nations on Earth — and yet this is a wealth that, as the middle class continues to shrink, works to destroy a majority of its own population. Capital-saturated corporations take advantage of shortcuts and loopholes baked into the system, while those struggling and strapped for cash are begrudgingly offered only the most meager of assistance. It is a country where capitalism reigns supreme, and the Donald is a perfect avatar for everything this system has offered to the American people.
Trump is, additionally, a great representation for what America offers to the rest of the world. The United States is responsible for an entire third of the world’s military spending. Wielding what is by far the biggest stick, the States have very much seen themselves as the world’s law enforcement, taking out threats and doling out justice as they see fit. It is an alpha status that is reveled in — one that has also certainly been exploited, as was the case when the United States invaded Iraq against the wishes of the UN.
Similarly, Trump has, throughout the primaries, reveled in his alpha-male status. It has become part of his brand, and it is an aspect that he cultivates on a continual basis. He is constantly talking about his fame and about how he draws the largest crowds; he boasts about how he can’t be pushed around. His bullying treatment of Jeb Bush, most notably, fed into the biggest-kid-in-the-schoolyard narrative that he so enjoys — that is widely celebrated by his supporters.
But Trump’s most conspicuous quality is his racist and xenophobic rhetoric. His kicked off his campaign by targeting Mexicans, referring to them as criminals and rapists. He has denigrated the Chinese, as well as incoming Syrian refugees. Indeed, his rhetoric has been so potent that it has attracted the endorsement of the KKK.
Again: redlining; COINTELPRO; Confederation; Black Wall Street. Racism is as old as America itself. It is, one could argue, built right into the country’s very foundation. Here, the alignment is all too obvious. Additionally, the privilege they both enjoy — Trump being a rich, White man, and America being a wealthy, developed, and highly militarized nation — allows them to command, and move through, spaces in ways that others can only dream of. It also affords them a level of ignorance to the trials and tribulations of others that they themselves perhaps have been in part responsible for.
I witness Trump and his success, and I may be dismayed, but I am far from surprised. When I look at Trump, I see America looking right back at me.
Matthew "AntiFrantik" Carter | Twitter: @AntiFrantik | IG: @AntiFrantik | https://muddyork.wordpress.com/