Donald Trump: The King of Dog-Whistle Politics

I am confident that you remember the repeated charge of being a divisive agent in the battle for racial tranquility that a wide swath of white conservatives and misguided Negroes hurled at President Barack Hussein Obama. If one listened to the hateful rhetoric emanating from these sources, two things are obvious: (a) a decade after Andrew Hacker made the assertion that America was Two Nations: Black and white, Separate, Hostile, Unequal it remains true as America remains divided nation along DuBois’ ‘color line’ and (b) there was a segment of America determined to disagree with everything Obama put forth. Please keep in mind that this is not an implicit attack on White America as the ranks of the latter included many members of Black America’s revolutionary class. Sensible Americans realized that such baseless assertions were aimed at retarding any effort at advancing Obama’s agenda.

In hindsight, it is evident that the most laudable hallmarks of the Obama administration were its inclusiveness and commitment to diversity. The Obama administration seemed to be motivated by former Texas Governor Ann Richards assertion that if we want new ideas, we must change who is sitting around the table. During Obama’s two-terms, everyone, including those who vehemently disagreed with him, was welcomed to the table by a gracious and accommodating host. Those days are gone.

If it can be reasonably argued that President Obama set the tone-and-tenor for what should have been a productive dialogue, it makes sense to cite Donald Trump and his administration for setting the tone-and-tenor for the rising climate of hatred emanating from the “Alt-Right” as they seek to “make America great again.”

We all realize that “dog-whistle politics” are nothing new for American Presidents. However, it’s hard to cite a single American President whose sub-discourse or “dog-whistle” has been discernible by so many people as Donald J. Trump. Trump’s decision to populate his cabinet with individuals who spew vitriolic hatred at those who oppose their white supremacist plans makes what I am certain he thought would be a subtle message to the raucous elements of his base visible to all. The figures mentioned above include “Alt-Right” and white supremacist values such as:

  • Steve Bannon
  • Milo Yiannopoulos
  • Alex Jones
  • Sebastian Gorka
  • Julie Kirchner

Although I do not blame Trump for the existence of White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism, and other repugnant verbal and physical expressions of racial bigotry. Truthfully, the seeds for such questionable viewpoints were sown centuries before Trump appeared on the scene during the attempt to settle Roanoke. Trump is at worst guilty of watering and tending to those poisonous weeds via rhetoric that was hurled into public spaces decades before his Presidential campaign.

No one can successfully argue against the fact that the Office of the President of the United States of America sets the stage for the terms and conditions of political engagement. There is even less room to assert that Trump’s political ascension encouraged white supremacists to emerge from the murky shadows they have always occupied and step under a bright center-stage spotlight. Trump has done very little to dissuade figures such as Bannon and Gorka of their foolhardy belief that their political priorities are a welcome addition to a vibrant American political scene with malleable boundaries that adversaries agreed on decades ago.

Trump’s failure to recognize that white supremacy is outside of the alluded to boundaries is a troubling sign. His inability to articulate such without the aid of a teleprompter is not only more troubling but also proves that a man devoid of an either a moral compass or common sense has no business heading this nation.

It is past time that American leaders on both sides of the aisle lay aside their bickering and take a serious look at Trump as the inherent risks associated with such ineptitude are unconscionable. When one considers the difficulty Trump had denouncing white supremacy and domestic terrorism, it should be frightening to think what could come from his dealing with foreign policy matters such as Russia, North Korea, China, and a host of other crucial issues that will permanently alter this nation going forward.

Boy do I miss Obama; hell, with the way things are going right now I miss George W. Bush’s leadership. And as you well know, that is a thought that I never in a million years thought that I would have. However, these are desperate times.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

 

 

 

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