Ramón Del Castillo, PhD
President Elect Joe Biden should prepare himself for prolonged engagement in the continued War on Racism in American society. In fact, it may increase as the Trumpian Army gathers and re-energizes its’ evil forces. If Biden’s administration tackles immigration as one of its’ first priorities, as he has vowed, you can expect the Klu Klux Klan and other White Supremacist organizations to stoke the fires of racism with even more determination.
The Trump Administration was calculated in how it kept racism on the radar screen, starting with Trump’s false accusations that Barack Obama was not a citizen of the United States. Referred to as the myth of birtherism, it was a hoax that offered a bigoted society an opportunity to slither in between the national racial character and the myth that we had entered a post racial society. As Lula Kessier, M.D. in “Birtherism and the Deployment of the Trumpian Mind-Set,” an essay published in the Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (2019) states, “While not expressing directly an outright racist slur, his (Trump’s) embrace of birtherism was a “dog-whistle,” an unmistakable call to delegitimize a Black American citizen as the Other because he aspired to the presidency of the nation.” Kessler makes reference to other terms used by the Trump Administration against Obama such as Monkey and African Witch Doctor—derogatory terms that fed white bigotry, reinforcing the stereotypes that were imprinted deep in America’s soul. In the final analysis, Trump created racist conspiracy theories and hurled xenophobic calumny throughout his presidency. The implantation of racism into the collective consciousness of América that many had suppressed for at least 40 years was awakened. Did Obama cave in during this racial attack by ordering his birth certificate to be shared with his foe? Some argue yes, providing legitimacy to the outlandish racists that needed energy. Others argue no; “when they go low, we go high,” a slogan developed by the Obama’s to demonstrate the humanness that is needed to defeat racist innuendo.
When dejure racism, for example segregation, is transformed into defacto racism—it still exists—it is still practiced—it doesn’t disappear. We should not deny it
.When dejure racism, for example segregation, is transformed into defacto racism—it still exists—it is still practiced—it doesn’t disappear. We should not deny it. Racists no longer had to hide their disdain towards People of Color, after all, the President of the United States of América, had given tacit permission to practice it in public. Racists no longer had to repress that negative energy; they began to shout racial invectives at People of Color on the same streets where a growing social movement referred to as Black Lives Matter had assembled to practice freedom of speech. Trump gave permission for racists to practice their craft.
What have Trump’s practices been against Latinx, Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano populations? His hatred, is like the pandemic, it has no boundaries. His War on Immigrants began soon after he took office. His most potent statements were flung at Mexican immigrants as they fled their countries—many seeking protection from drug wars and gangs, others requesting asylum. He racially criticized Mexicans, calling them “drug dealers, criminals, and rapists.” Trump threatened to build a wall between the United States of América and the Republic of México. He was braggadocios about the Mexican Government paying for this wall, even while the Mexican Government laughed at him. Incidentally, 400 miles of wall were constructed. He blatantly attempted several times to get rid of DACA, even while his own courts, voted to keep it intact several times. He also accused The Honorable Gonzalo P. Curiel, a Hispanic judge, of an inability to be impartial during the class action lawsuit against Trump University—one of his many underhanded deals.
Politically speaking, Biden’s failure to address immigration policy as a priority will be seen as another slap in the face to the Latino community — especially after feeling betrayed by former President Barack Obama who left the most powerless in the hands of the most powerful government in the world, only to be mistreated again. This was the group that had no civil rights, a group whose human rights were denied. Obama’s administration built cages to imprison our children and left them in the hands of a traitor who gladly filled them. Actively addressing progressive immigration policy will be a clarion call for racists to call out the troops.
Trump transformed sanctuary cities, created as safe havens for immigrants, into havens for ICE and border patrol agents to have a field day as the war on immigrants gained momentum. He threatened to hold back federal funds from cities that provided refuge for immigrants. The only defeat came at the hands of the Supreme Court who upheld Deferred Action for Late Arrivals (DACA), after they had suffered undue harm in public educational institutions. His anti-immigrant rhetoric is another “dog whistle” for racism and discrimination.
Biden’s has the power to use Executive Authority to undue many of the nefarious policies shoved down the throats of Americans, but there are others that require Congress to act upon. For example, he can immediately revert back to the original intent of DACA, that is, to protect students that have suffered undue harm. However, he may halt the continued building of the wall but won’t take down the extra 400 miles of wall that separates the two nations. Based on contract obligations, he probably won’t quash the privatization of detention centers that have Brown people imprisoned. However, he can write and push for true immigration reform.
What is the antidote to winning the Race War? The building of people power that put Biden in office, including Latinos who played a key role in his election, is a start. Although, Latinos have not yet received adequate thanks for their hard work, they are hanging onto the many promises made during the campaign. It is in Biden’s best interests to also appoint Latinos to his inner circle; something that seems to be lacking at this point in time. Failure to do this will be interpreted as betrayal.
Successful outcomes will depend on whether or not Biden can gain control of the Senate, based on the upcoming elections in Georgia and whether he is a President of his word. We have already dealt with one President that broke palabra.
The Race War has just begun!
Dr. Ramón Del Castillo is an Independent Journalist. © 12/1/2020 Ramón Del Castillo.
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