Pushing Donald Trump back in his hole
BY SOUMANOU SALIFOU
Ever since our democracy tripped on 9 November 2016 and a racist, insecure, vulgar and ignorant bigot, after bleeding from self-inflicted wounds of proven women’s groping and blatant lies, won the presidency in this great nation that millions of immigrants like me are proud to call our new home, the world has heard so many unheard-of vulgarities coming from the White House, but nothing like the profanities he uttered on 12 January, referring to African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as ‘shithole nations.’
Donald Trump, an ignorant man who is described by Michael Wolff in his newly-published book Fire and Fury as “no more than semiliterate,’ probably does not know the positive contributions of African immigrants to our great nation. Or he’s just too much of a racist to acknowledge the contributions of a Dikembe Mutombo from the Congo to the game of basketball, of a Daniel Yohannes, a top-notch American business executive of Ethiopian origin who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and more recently as C.E.O. of the Mellennium Challenge Corporation—an important element of U.S. soft diplomacy for more than a decade. Not to mention the dedication of hundreds of African immigrants who routinely save American lives as doctors, nurses, firefighters, or protect us against terror. Trump’s vitriolic remarks came just a month after 28-year-old private Emmanuel Mensah, originally from Ghana, a member of the Army National Guard, lost his life in the heroic attempt to save a fifth person from his burning apartment building in December in the Bronx, New York, in what the authorities have dubbed the city’s deadliest fire in more than 25 years.
A proven demagogue, Trump ran for president on the bogus slogan “Make America great again,” when America was already great, not by the assessment of this immigrant publisher, but according to a survey by of about 6,000 respondents, 31.6% of whom chose 2016 (out of 1952, 1962, 1969, 1988, 1999 and 2016 which more of less corresponds with a cyclical peak in employment and the sweet spot in the business cycle) as the best year.
While some of our scared compartiots took to the streets to protest the election of this insecure, prejudiced man who led the so-called birther movement—the unhealthy attempt to doubt Obama was born in the U.S.—dangerous members of our society, some of whom Trump had condoned during the campaign, were having a party. Among many others, 39-year-old Dallas, Tx native Richard Spencer, a key member of the radical conservative movement, was quoted in an article by reporter Caleb Downs of the Dallas News published on 16 November 2016 as saying about Trump: “He’s not your father’s conservative. He’s not in this to promote free markets or neoconservative foreign politics or to protect Israel, for that matter. He’s in this to protect his people. He’s in this to protect the historic American nation.” According to the newspaper, Spencer also said in a video he titled The Knight of the Long Knives: “This is a sign we have power.”
Trump, the bigot whose name some of us are still reluctant to associate with the respect-inspiring words “President of the United States,” is here to undo the huge progress our society has made over the past several decades towards racial equality. Republican senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who was present at the White House meeting and heard Trump’s profanities first-hand, later said: “I said my piece directly to him [Trump]. I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people, but its ideals.”
Soumanou Salifou is the founder/publisher of The African Magazine