From the White House to white supremacist to anonymous people across America, this nation appears to have reduced itself to allowing platforms for repugnant racists to spew their bigotry and hate. Racism is especially prevalent on electronic media, most recently soon after Tallahassee’s Mayor Andrew Gillum announced that he was running on the Democrat ticket for governor of Florida. In recorded calls, someone falsely identified himself as Andrew Gillum, and was using a racist, minstrel dialect to ask voters for their support. The calls began on August 31, 2018, and were paid for by the Road to Power, a white supremacist group based in Idaho.
Even before the ugly racist robo calls, Gillum’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, on Fox “News” warned his supporters that “the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up” by supporting Gillum. DeSantis denied that “monkey this up” was a racist term, but anyone who knows the long history of picturing African-Americans as apes, baboons, monkeys, and other four-legged creatures has no doubt: THAT STATEMENT IS RACIST.
In today’s world, the racism in this country starts from the top with Trump and some of his supporters trying to prevent black and brown people from coming to the United States and demonizing those who are here. I’ve written about this in a previous blog: “The Racist in the White House.” The racism of the Trump administration has gone well beyond the White House to recently accelerated practices at the border between Mexico and the United State in the southernmost part of Texas. There patrol agents are requiring people of Hispanic, primarily Mexican, heritage who are American citizens—yes AMERICAN CITIZENS—to turn over their authentic passports for intense scrutiny.
In addition, Hispanics with legitimate passports living and working in the United States are being denied renewal by the U.S. State Department. One individual affected described his frustration to a Washington Post journalist. Juan spent three years of his life in the U.S. Army and then was a Border Patrol cadet. Presently he is a state prison guard. When he “applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen,” the Post reported. To prove his citizenship, the State Department required Juan to provide “evidence of his mother’s prenatal care, his baptismal certificate, (and) rental agreements from when he was a baby.” Once Juan provided some of the documentation, he was still denied a passport; the government said the information didn’t establish that he was born in the United States.
WTF, this is like Trump and the birther movement claiming over and over again that President Obama was born in Kenya, thus was not a U.S. citizen. (Trump finally admitted in September 2016 that Obama was born in the United States.) In short, the present passport entanglements are akin to another birther movement, which could encompass anyone whose skin color doesn’t match the racists in the White House and the repugnant white supremacists throughout the nation.