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Illustration from "The Middle Passage" by Tom Feelings

By David Mark Greaves

Every time you think President Trump has reached the bottom of his civility he opens a door and reveals several new levels of degradation and venality.  The latest, at least as of this writing, was his reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” at a ceremony honoring the Navajo “Code Talkers” of WWII under a portrait of Trump’s favorite former president, Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson.  Trump used these surviving heroes as little more than cigar-store Indians, placed there for his schtick. I would not be surprised if the setup was arranged by that creepy presidential aide, Stephen Miller, it had his acid sensibility about it.

But then this is a time for revealing evil sensibilities and we can see them in the many good churchgoing Republicans and Evangelicals of Alabama, see numerous accusations of pedophilia and sexual molestations as not disqualifiers for political office. Perhaps hypocrisy is embedded in the human character in ways big and small, but hypocrisy and rape are a special part of America, and ignoring pedophilia and rape is not new to white Christians.   The glorification of white womanhood, while raping Blacks with abandon was a trademark of the southern gentleman, his overseers, drovers, sons and friends.  It was this 400 years of raping that changed the color of jet-black Africans into the varied skin tones, like evidence of the crime, worn by African-Americans today.   These kinds of Christians we will always have with us, and politicians too if they have their way.

While dealing with the above, we also have to come to grips with several other realities that are hardening into place with each passing day.  By denying climate change and repealing environmental regulations, President Trump is ceding the solar energy future to China, the wind energy future to Germany, all the while making this nation fall in place behind these leaders, while its citizens grow sicker and poorer and disdain is shown for the world’s populations.

Then there is the judiciary where white supremacist think tanks have given the president a list of young ideological extremists; I hesitate to even call them conservatives to nominate to lifelong appointments on the federal bench.  They will be there for decades after Donald Trump is gone, manning the frontlines of the culture wars on the side of the racist, homophobic, misogynist and just plain mean parts of the America character.

Also, we see the Republican tax plan that independent reports say will funnel money up to the richest at the cost of the middle class and the poorest.  As a part of the plan, the Affordable Care Act will essentially be repealed leading to 13 million uninsured, teachers will lose tax credits for school supplies, local tax exemptions will be repealed and virtually everything having to do with health and welfare, including education, will be decimated.  Child Health Plus serving approximately 133,000 in New York City is in danger. Everything is to be cut except the military, and all of it leaving the nation as an empty suit of armor, ready to fall or be filled by a tyrant, not unlike the one we have now.

The good news, and there is always good news, is that as this year ends, we can give thanks for our family, our friends and our ability to continue the struggle and journey back to wholeness begun by ancestors when they were brought to these shores those many generations ago.

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