Racism won’t die

Last week wiped out any doubt– racism is alive and thriving in the United States

It didn’t help that the previous week the government had promised massive immigration raids in 10 major cities that it failed to pull off.

Or that Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Senate leaders decided to have a photo op showing them surveying cages of immigrants and then declared that the crisis was the result of the “overwhelming of the system”–a system which this administration had devised.

And it certainly didn’t help that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told members of Congress that separating migrant children from their parents is so rare that only 1,000 were forcibly taken in the last nine months.

And half the Republicans in the Idaho House–including Canyon County’s Tammy Nichols and Brent Crane–added their two bits by criticizing new Boise State University programs aimed at increasing diversity on campus.

But all that qualifies as “business as usual” during this administration.

Not so for President Donald Trump’s four-part tweet complaining that “‘Progressive” Democrat(ic) Congresswomen who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” are “now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Hundreds of people at a Trump rally in North Carolina got the message. While Trump was attacking Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the crowd chanted “send her back.”

Trump initially claimed to have tried to stop the chant, but videos proved otherwise–so he doubled down. The chanters were “true patriots” and It was terrible for a Congresswoman to “hate” the United States–and Israel.

A line was crossed.

Jewish leader Jonathan Greenblatt wrote, “The president is echoing the racist talking points of what nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on this remarks.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the chanting “hurtful, wrong, and completely unacceptable.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she “felt solidarity” with the women attacked.

American pundits were less reserved.

“The cruelty and the racism is the feature display for Trump’s base,” said one.

“What Republicans have learned over the last three years is what Trump knew all along: Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and plain old hate sell. And they’re all becoming his salesmen,” said another.

“So, yes, white-centered racism is now the mainstream ideology of the GOP. For every Republican in the country, there’s nothing you can do to blur this. You either leave the party, or you have endorsed it,” said another.

And it hurts to know that many Idahoans continue to support the President’s actions. Many could not hear a crying child without comforting him or her. Many would not think of saying a harsh word to a person of color.

Yet, they find this administration’s attack on four brown women–legal citizens who represent hundreds of thousands of voters– acceptable.

Trump says they “hate America” because they find fault with this country..

But that’s what politicians, including Trump, do. They point out problems and promote solutions.

These women see low wages, unaffordable health care, limited educational opportunities, powerful lobbyists, and, yes, people in cages, as problems. The solutions they support, though far left of Joe Biden’s, are in line with those of Bernie Sanders.

Yet, Trump saw branding the Democratic party as supporting outspoken brown women as a way to increase his power–and he took it.

How sad for our nation if he’s right.

Note this editorial by Judy Ferro published by Idaho Press – 2019

Trump – Who’s the puppet?

President Trump appeared to enjoy slamming the “girls” last week in Europe. If he hadn’t already spit venom at the male leaders of Mexico, Canada, and France, one might think he was sexist.

I don’t have enough knowledge of international relations to have formed opinions, but I’m spilling over with questions.

To start with, why did President Trump tell the NATO chief that Germany is a puppet of Russia? Apparently upset about a natural gas line under construction between the two countries, he said Russia supplies 50 percent of Germany’s energy today and would soon supply 60 to 70 percent.

Admittedly, the majority of people might believe those numbers, but Jens Stoltenberg undoubtedly knows better.

Germany reached its 2020 goal of getting over 35 percent of its energy from renewables three years early.  (The U.S. gets about 11 percent of its energy from renewables.)

The country is still far short, however, of its goal for cutting pollutants. The new pipeline will allow Germany to substitute imports of natural gas for those of higher polluting coal and oil (https://energytransition.org/2018/01/german-energy-consumption-2017/).  The overall percent supplied by Russia may not increase at all.

So why the “puppet of Russia” remark? Was President Trump misinformed?  Does he fear that Russia might interrupt natural gas supply lines easier than those for coal and oil?  Did he hope to push Germany to buy higher-priced liquid natural gas from the United States?

Or did the President want to divert attention from his own Russia problem, super-fueled recently by his insistence on meeting with Prime Minister Putin without another American present?

Questions certainly surround that meeting.  Will the two leaders be planning the sabotage of the 2018 elections–or simply the long-stalled Trump Hotel in Moscow?  Or, after the meeting with the North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, is Trump anxious that no others can question his claims of progress and victory?

Has a U.S. President ever met with a foreign head of state without someone there to take notes?

Trump’s attack on United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May was more personal and more apt to have consequences than that on Germany’s leader.

A trio of May’s cabinet recently resigned in protest of a proposed agreement defining the UK’s relationship with the European Union when it is no longer a member.  The three want to break all ties with the EU.

According to The Sun, Trump said, “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one people voted on…I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me…I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way.”

He added that, if the proposal goes into effect, the UK won’t get the favorable deal with the U.S. he has semi-promised.  And Boris Johnson, one of the departing trio, would make a great prime minister.

It was, as CNN said,  “an astonishing political knifing.” Most astonishing, actually, because May has been one of the few leaders openly amenable to Trump. Imagine if May suggested we replace Trump over his dealings with Canada and Mexico.

And it’s doubly disturbing because evidence indicates that the Russians interfered with the UK’s vote to leave the EU with the same tools it used in our 2016 presidential election.

The hot questions are: Was Trump’s attack on PM May done at Putin’s bidding?  Is Russia pushing Boris Johnson for prime minister?

And why does President Trump continually create new grounds for such questions?

Note this editorial by Judy Ferro published by Idaho Press – 2018