“DIVIDED States of America” has been the title since last year of numerous articles and documentaries in US and Western media which juxtaposes — with some sarcasm — the “united” in that nation’s name to the deep fissure in American society that has been laid so starkly bare.
I can’t think of any developed country with such a deep de facto partitioning of its society.
Despite Trump’s colossal bungling in handling the pandemic, making the US the worst hit by Covid-19, 74 million Americans, or 47 percent of voters, still want him to lead the country.
America’s political leadership vividly demonstrates the division. The Democratic Party has 51 percent of the House of Representatives, while its rival, the Republicans, have 49 percent. Its Senate is cleanly cut into two, with each party having 50 seats (actually, two independents are the Democrats’ allies), giving the vice president the additional and crucial job as tie-breaker.
The biggest European ethnic group, 14 percent of the population or 44 million, going by a survey, are Germans. They are from the nation where the most developed — and horrible — belief in white supremacy emerged, by the Nazis in the mid-20th century. Trump is racist, under whose administration white supremacist organizations have grown and during which cases of police brutality against African Americans have dramatically increased. Trump’s parents were both Germans, with variations of the name — Tromb, Trumpf and Dromb — common in southwestern Germany. Is that just coincidental?
The usual images of America we have seen — i.e., depicted in movies, TV series, newscasters, the “average” American family — are images of mostly blond Caucasians, the kind one would eerily see in Nazi propaganda reels of World War 2 depicting the ideal “Aryan” family.
One can tag this half of America racist, but it is a spectrum of beliefs starting with the worst kind of Nazi-type racists, the likes of Ku Klux Klan, Proud Boys and European Legacy. But there are other more moderate, “quiet” racism, if you can even call it that. Trump himself revealed such a range of racism when in one debate he blurted, “I am really the least racist among us here.”
These are Americans who in their conscious minds don’t think Blacks and people of color are inferior beings, but who still in their hearts believe that American blood cannot be mixed with others, especially Blacks who have developed their own, distinct way of speaking English, dressing and even walking.
In essence, this had been the ideology articulated in Southern states up to the 1960s, which the civil rights movement fought: “Segregation,” or “Equal but Separate.”
Trump’s popularity has been due to the fact that he has tapped into this deep American racism in its various forms, and the 74 million Americans who voted for him see as the leader who shares their views of European supremacy, even if he didn’t announce it. Trump has even been clever to hurl his invectives against the newer hate-figures of American racism: Latinos purportedly crashing at America’s gates and China, which is contesting US global supremacy. Trump in his speeches always refers to Covid-19 as the “China virus.” Trump is basically the counterrevolution to the Black President Obama’s revolution,
With whites owning most of the productive assets, the status of Black Americans has clashed with the reality of stark inequality. Some examples:
– African Americans own approximately one-tenth of the wealth of white Americans.
– Black households have fewer and are in greater need of personal savings than their white counterparts and are more likely to fall behind on their bills and go into debt during times of emergency.
– Blacks have fewer assets than whites and are less likely to be homeowners, to own their own business, and to have a retirement account.
– In 2018, Black Americans represented 33 percent of the sentenced prison population, nearly triple their 12 percent share of the US adult population. Whites accounted for 30 percent of prisoners, about half their 63 percent share of the adult population.
The other half of the “Divided States of America,” those who voted Joseph Biden to the presidency, could be the nonracist America, those enlightened by the modern world’s ideologies of equality among men, especially since science (i.e., genetics) says so. Or is it that they just don’t bother to hate or even think about Blacks, as they are focused on other things, such as getting rich?
But even this half has its dark side, to which a pro-Trump social media that became viral alluded to: “Did ya know? Trump’s was the 1st 4 year term without a new war since Eisenhower.”
While US media have mostly contested that by resorting to definitions, i.e., formal declarations of war, there is some truth to that post. The Democrat’s Clinton brought the US to the Bosnian War and Obama to the Libyan civil war. Kennedy tried to bring a war to Cuba with his Bay of Pigs invasion fiasco. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon presided over the Vietnam War, while the two Bushes brought America to war in the Middle East. Justifications for these wars — such making the world safe — don’t wash for American rednecks, who ask “Why should we fight for these colored peoples?”
Indeed, Jimmy Carter, the only US president to complete his term without war, military attack or occupation has called the United States “the most warlike nation in the history of the world.”
Carter even contrasted the US to China, which American lackeys like the Sinophobic former justice Antonio Carpio have been shrieking are warlike imperialists and a “threat to world peace.”
“Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None, and we have stayed at war.”
One half of America is racist, the other warlike?