Donald Trump’s public declaration to a nearly all-White crowd of Minnesota supporters last Friday that he believes in the “racehorse theory” of “good genes” went largely unreported and unnoticed. But it should be a major cause for alarm.
With news this week of the United States nearing and then surpassing a grim milestone of 201,000 COVID-19 deaths, much of the nation’s attention was focused on the latest congressional testimony and updates on a potential vaccine, so it's no wonder.
But, his open promotion of this theory based on eugenics, a study of how to genetically breed people to increase desirable traits, was a new racist low. But most Americans, enthusiastic supporters of Trump’s authoritarianism and racism and his vocal opponents alike, hardly blinked. Nor did much of the media.
Made Popular by Hitler, Resurrected by Trump
But for those of us who are outspoken about the shocking and precipitous decline of civility, decency and sanity coming from the mouth of the president of the United States, it was a surreal, blood curdling reminder of the kind of racism that fueled the Holocaust, which resulted in the extermination of 11 million Jews in Nazi Germany.
We must remember that Hitler, too, believed in eugenics and humanity suffered because of those dark and debunked theories of genetic superiority.
The alarm bells are ringing, or at least they should.
Also last week, in a speech at the National Archives Trump declared that U.S. schools should not be indoctrinating students with a “left-wing agenda” hostile to the nation’s Founding Fathers and said he would establish a national commission aimed at pushing a more “pro-American” U.S. history.
In case you’re wondering what that means, Trump’s American history would likely leave out the 400 years of slavery and decades of racist Jim Crow laws in favor of a whitewashed recasting of history portraying the Founding Fathers and their descendants as heroes and patriots one and all.
If we’ve learned anything in the nearly four years of the dumpster fire that is the Donald Trump presidency, it’s that he’s no student of history (nor of science, geography or logic), so his critique of the history lessons that America’s school children receive is uninformed to say the least. Rather, it’s more of the same from the president, whose thinly veiled race-baiting tactics are as predictable as they are shameful.
And yet….there’s more….
This week, Trump signed an Executive Order banning federal funding for racial sensitivity training. Why? Because he believes that such training would “indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies.”
The irony of a man who would stand before an all-White crowd hailing their superior genes calling diversity training for federal employees and contractors racist is just laughable. But it’s also dangerous.
It’s been a troubling couple of weeks of Trump’s incendiary, divisive, racist and hateful remarks.
Yet, for months, he’s been ratcheting up talk of voter fraud for the upcoming election, despite the fact that there’s no evidence whatsoever that voting by mail results in widespread election fraud.
For weeks, he’s been using the subtle language of white supremacy to appeal to the “Suburban Moms” of America – particularly the 56 percent of White women who supported him in 2016, telling them that only he can secure their safety and make America great.
For days, his supporters have been holding rallies in various cities, some of which included chants of “White Power” and we’ve grown accustomed to it. Few of us are asking how he continues to get away with this anymore.
More of the Same or Change?
As we approach the November election, I can’t help but be hopeful…but also admit to a little fear.
My hope is that like in 2016, when polls showed Hillary Clinton winning by a double-digit margin, that somehow, some way, millions of Americans shock us and we’ll jump for joy with exhilaration at a Biden/Harris win.
My hope is that we’ve quietly, yet collectively decided that we’re done with complaining and will now speak with our votes. That we’ve determined that “enough is enough” and will not waste another second pointing and gawking at the spectacle of Trump.
My hope is that November 3, or likely sometime around the end of November, we’ll finally be able to celebrate the defeat of Trump and Trumpism, before our democracy dies at the hand of a madman.
Or maybe….Trump will somehow win, which I firmly believe is a strong possibility. After all, look at how he's trying to stack the Supreme Court before the election just in case he needs to challenge those mailed-in ballots that he hates so much. And then, he said he wouldn't guarantee a peaceful transfer of power should he lose, saying there wouldn't be a transfer if those ballots aren't counted.
I’m wrong about people all the time. I expect them to be good and decent. I want them to be. But I haven’t really trusted many people since 2016 because they voted for Trump. I don’t trust those people now because I know that most will stick with him.
And if he wins, God help us. We’ll be stuck with another four years of the president that we deserve, because we couldn’t muster the collective decency, unity and resolve to vote him out.