Letter from America: Can the US turn the clock back?
By Ken Mufuka
A SIKH driver was taking me to Heathrow Airport a few weeks ago. He disconnected his service line, so he could talk to me about life for people of colour under President Donald Trump.
But it is his discernment of the modern world which impressed me. He told me: “See, you cannot walk 10 yards in London without rubbing shoulders with people of a different culture from yours. If you cannot embrace that reality, you are a racist.” So, if we put this framework into US politics, Trump cannot pass the test. But, there is a caveat; Trump has maintained his support among one third of the US population.
As we speak, Trump is celebrating his greatest triumph, the passing of a Tax and Jobs Bill. The title is impressive. But one must go back to 2015; in Alabama, that state which Martin Luther King said was dripping with the blood of babes and innocents.
On November 15, 2015, Trump seems to have endorsed a return to the old Alabama, where civil rights protesters were whipped with horse whips in the march on Birmingham.
A Black Lives Matter activist protesting at the shooting of blacks by policemen was in the audience.
When he was spotted, Trumpkins (supporters) began hitting him and kicking him. Trump shouted: “Get him out of here, would you please? Get him out of here. Throw him out. Maybe he should have been roughed up because it is absolutely disgusting what he was doing?”
The brother was roughed up badly. Can Trump bring back this old America? I don’t think so, but he can do a lot of harm. His detractors say even his hairdo harps back to Elvis Presley, 50 years ago.
Interracial education has permeated every nook and cranny for so long that young adults can no longer recognise old Alabama.
But Trump is celebrating the passing of a major congressional initiative, Tax and Jobs Act, which is at the heart of remaking of America. Conservatives hold that progressives use taxes to dispense charity, a function properly left to religious organisations.
This belief is held passionately by Trumpkins of all classes.
My school board has assumed the role of providing breakfast and lunch to very student, black white, rich or poor. But wait for this.
If a kid informs the authorities that (it) (no gender allowed) “ may starve at the week-end because my mom doesn’t cook nothing,” (sic) a packed lunch will be provided.
Trumpkins see the state assuming duties which rightfully belong to families. Governments should provide for the defence of the state and regulate interstate commerce.
Trump’s tax plan will return $1 100 per family earning $75 000 per year. A family with less than $24 000 will no longer be taxed.
Trump haters say that Trump could bring home $35 million from his 500 companies. Therefore, the plan is fraudulent, designed for Trump’s rich friends to go and buy yachts. Trumpkin philosophy can be traced to St Thomas Aquinas.
“How can a man be charitable if he has nothing wherewith to be charitable with?” Poverty is not to be embraced.
Recently, Trumpkins have been saying to me: “If you had a nightmare, and there was Mugabe on one side and the US on the other, where would you run to?” Since the overthrow of Mugabe, Trumpkins have been reading up on their geography.
For Trump, the key issue is to lower corporate taxes by 10 points or more to 25 percent so that global companies do not need to seek tax havens in the Bahamas.
Yet Trump’s bitterest fight lies in education. According to Washington, DC Commissioner David Grasso, the greatest challenge is how to handle black kids who are seven times more likely to be suspended from school than their white or Latino counterparts.
Grasso is experimenting with partial suspension in a “restorative justice atmosphere”.
The assumption is that the bad kid craves for recognition and “respect”. The school system has expanded its counseling services.
Trumpkins and evangelicals say that this (started with President B Obama) is nonsensical. The issue here is bad parenting and single motherhood.
Trumpkins prefer that bad kids be not allowed to hold good kids hostage by demanding “restorative justice” for slave crimes which white kids know nothing about.
Trumpism is based on a fear that an ever growing minority presence in the electoral system will, in the long run, undermine white capitalist progress.
Attorney General Senator Jeff Sessions, who lost a judgeship nomination in 1984 because of his racist views, is at the forefront of the battle. Immigration from Third World countries is being “vetted with extreme care” and Mexican immigration has dropped by ninety percent.
Twenty thousand Haitians who were given refugee status from a hurricane 20 years ago have been asked to leave. Another two million Hispanics who came with their parents as children, the Dreamers, have been told to ship out.
Five thousand refugees have crossed the border into Canada in fear of Sessions’ closing net. An anecdote will explain Trumpkin fear.
As my nephew was graduating with a Master’s degree in Biology, of the 30 class mates, only two had regular American names.
The rest were Vietnamese, South Korean, Africans and Latinos. These graduates will be the super doctors in US hospitals. Aha! Now you can appreciate Trumpkin fear.