Just a few days ago on Thursday, January 18, the Rasmussen Report released a survey. It was an amazing question about whether the President of the United States is a racist. About half of U.S. likely voters felt President Trump is a racist.
Is Trump A Racist? Rasmussen Reports Thursday, January 18, 2018
Prominent Democrats are now accusing President Trump of being a racist for championing the bringing of higher educated, more skilled immigrants to America, and voters tend to believe they’re right. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the president is a racist. Forty-three percent (43%) disagree and say his opponents are accusing him of racism for political gain.
The Staccato-Repetitive Charge of Racism
This is amazing in so many ways. Charges of racism have been a part of the American political narrative for many years. They have been constant and repetitive beginning with the 2016 election over media such as CNN. They have become a standard background to the American political experience. For some they are revealed truth, for others they are noise.
Medicine for Racism
Racism is a difficult construct to really understand because its impact is very personal. Remembering from the 1950s and 60s, the trappings of Jim Crow, many feel the culture has moved. Clearly racist statements and actions of year’s past based upon a racial group being more or less worthy than others have been significantly reduced. We see concerted efforts including fair housing acts, affirmative action programs, equal opportunity training and requirements. Basic is a cultural change that precludes jokes dealing with race or statements using race as a judgmental criterion. In some cases, it is illegal and in others it is boorish.
A Racism Case Study Is Presented
There remains, however, compelling commentaries of modern American life chronicling clearly racist actions where one is denied livelihood and opportunities for improvement because of race. A vigilance and willingness to engage perpetrators is required to address these instances.
Is America Irredeemably Racist?
We also read narratives that define the United States as irredeemably racist. For many, it is not a state we can escape. The well regarded management thinker Umair Haque, makes the case that the U.S. has generally failed its people by never developing public goods, public institutions, safety nets, or innovating its constitution.
The result is that “inequality skyrockets, and an economy stagnates. The social contract itself fails, and becomes predatory, as a society bereft of public goods or institutions must pay an ever-greater share of its stagnant wages for the basic essentials of life.”
“Racism becomes a moral crime against its victims, but a punishment dealt out to its very oppressors. The hidden cost of racism was a lack of progress, opportunity, stability, security, and growth — a whole society growing impoverished. And in impoverished societies, like America, the result of growing despair and fury is usually to turn to shouting, furious, strongman, in whose arms, perhaps, safety can be found.”
A critical instrument of Mr. Haque’s solution is the raising of awareness. Calling out racism is critical public behavior. Taking on the racist is required, because only through this type of confrontation, can we be pulled together to work for the common-good.
(R)acism is the truest ignorance of all. It is a crime that, the more it goes unseen, the more victims it has. Oppressor and oppressed, individual and society, freedom and dignity, past and present — truth and possibility.
Universals Are Key to Ameliorating Racism
In a second article Mr. Haque developed his thesis. Prejudice, in general, destroys the ability of a society to develop “Universals”. The contrast he develops is between Europe and the U.S.A. He defines the universal benefits in Europe, that are not available in America.
These include, “Universal healthcare, like the NHS. Universal higher education, like Germany’s two track vocational-or-academic system – Universal pensions, as in France – Universal income guarantees -Universal media, like the BBC – Universal labour protections.”
Racism – A Wedge That Divides Us
America can never compete in this arena and is a declining society because prejudice, including racism, is a wedge that divides us. The narrative appears to be the racist will never work to better large segments of the American population simply because they are of different race, color, sex, or national origin. The ultimate irony is that this has backfired upon them, and whole segments of American society suffer from a lack of opportunity.
Mr. Haque’s narrative is undoubtedly compelling to many. It is a road map to establishing that an evil in the American character dooms it to decline. Mr. Haque expresses this is fair and just because the middle-American whites receive the punishment from their corrosive, racist social system.
Daily Mail – America One of The Least Racist
Given the daily newsfeed, is this reasonable? After terrorist events in European cities, I remember the commentary being that Europe has been ineffective at assimilating immigrants compared to the United States. Looking further on Google, I find an article from England’s Daily Mail from 2013, updated in 2016 about how tolerant various society may be.
The Daily Mail’s conclusion is that the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Britain, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Australia, New Zealand are the least racist countries by the survey taken.
European countries such as France are categorized as more racist. Even Germany is categorized as more racist than the United States.
Making It An Obsession Does Not Make It True
This one analysis, controversial to some, does not entirely make the case. It does establish a rationale, however, that the constant denouncements about how racist Americans are, should be considered closely and as objectively as possible. Making it an obsession does not necessarily make it true and may over time detract from real incursions of racist culture into the American national psyche.
As Mr. Hasque wrote about the irony that the wedge in American culture caused by racism has eroded access the development of “Universals” to the detriment of middle-Americans, the constant general denouncement of America and its President as racist establishes a narrative the is less powerful as time proceeds.
The Diminishing Efficacy of Staccato Anti-Racist Rhetoric
Shelby Steele in his Wall Street Journal commentary addresses the effectiveness of protest against racism. He assesses this in terms of the NFL protest and concludes that vigilance against racism is important, but the constant reversion to protests of this type may simply not be efficacious in raising the opportunities for Americans, including black Americans.
“What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.”
America Acting on The Opportunity of Freedom
The challenge becomes how to act on the opportunity of freedom for all Americans. The conclusion will undoubtedly include action and resilience. The key may well be to determine how to offer this for all Americans. My recommendations are based upon elements that unify rather than divide us. These are areas we need to think much more about, debate and develop policies and programs to implement.
♣ Focus on methods to resolve conflict, including complaints of discrimination. We need a stronger ombudsman function in our national culture. Folks should be able to air their complaints and be engaged with their complaints. If someone feels they have been discriminated against or abused, they must have a mechanism to achieve reconciliation or resolution.
♣ We must re-emphasize due process and open communication and listening as critical American cultural values. The current national milieu seems to emphasize agendas, ends rather than means. America’s brilliant safeguards have a process focus – with specific expectations, even guarantees for every American.
♣ An American national service must be developed that requires all American youth to serve their country. We need a national rite of passage. They should achieve this service in concert with other young Americans without consideration of wealth, race, religion, color, national or American regional origin. We need something that pulls us together and builds us at the same time. Most recently in life we have no institution that blends our efforts and develops common-ground upon which a unifying view of America can be developed.
♣ We must understand that in terms of wealth, there has been a tremendous concentration in America. I would suggest this is because of the currency of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and the ascendance of neoliberalism rather than racism per se. It is not OK to ignore this as a natural result of social Darwinism where the “best” will own and control nearly all of the nation’s wealth. The philosophy is profoundly flawed if we want opportunity for all Americans. A focus of our national dialogue should be to define institutions that at once disseminate wealth while maintaining American economic strength.