US President Donald Trump is increasingly getting isolated by the strong winds of change that are blowing in his country signalling the country’s desire to change the policies and culture of racial discrimination, mainly targeting black people.
Since taking office in 2016, President Trump has done his best to erase the gains made by his predecessor Barack Obama especially on social fronts including increasing access to healthcare for poor people. Many of his actions, including his anti-immigration policies, opponents say, were motivated by racism and hate.
But his actions had never attracted noticeable condemnation, rejection or triggered as much anger and protest as they have done in recent weeks. Sparked off by the brutal killing of George Floyd, a 46 year old black American by a white police officer Derek Chauvin, on May 25 in Minneapolis, protests burst out across the United States.
Many American news networks say that not only have recent protests been the largest since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, in 1968, they could be a turning point in the long battle against discrimination of blacks by their white counterparts.
As a sign of the changing times, white Americans have outnumbered blacks in many of the protests, but also become more outspoken.
And although a recent poll sponsored by CNN revealed that 84 percent of all sampled Americans said that the protests against the killing of George Floyd by the Police were justified, Trump has not done anything in support of the cause of the protesters. Instead Trump has vilified protesters and equated them to domestic terrorists.
Top generals denounce Trump
At the height of the protests in Washington DC, President Trump asked governors to deploy the military to quash largely peaceful protests, a role that is preserved for the Police.
The deployment of the military, and the apparent militarisation of the President’s response to a political problem, has however attracted severe backlash from some of America’s most decorated but now retired military generals. Of particular significance is the rebuke he received from his closest former allies Gen. James Mattis, his Former Secretary of Defense under and Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff.
Gen. Mattis accused Trump of dividing Americans. He said: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.”
And its not just Mattis and Kelly alone. A CNN report on “Prominent former military leaders who have criticized Trump’s actions over protests”, listed over a dozen retired top generals who criticized Trump’s handling of protests.
But true to his bigoted wicked ways, Trump has instead lashed out at the former generals characterising them as failures. He lambasted Mattis as the world’s most overrated general” in response to the general’s criticism.
Conflict with Twitter
As a sign of disapproval of the president’s stance, the social media company Twitter, which is Trump’s biggest mouthpiece, for the first time classified as violent, Trump’s Tweets urging the shooting of looters.
Stung by Twitter, Trump responded by signing an Executive Order that seeks to weaken Social Media Companies removing the broad legal protections against liability.
A different season?
In a powerful eulogy for George Floyd, renowned African-American preacher Rev. Al Shapton said that President Trump was stark in the past. Using the metaphor of the clock, Rev. Al Shapton hinted that opponents of calls for racial justice, were on the wrong time and in the wrong season.
“I’ve done speeches and eulogies at most funerals like this in the last couple of decades,” said Al Shapton, “But i am more hopeful today than ever.”
Quoting the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 , Rev. Al, as he is famously referred to, said: “There is a time and a season. And when i look at some of these marches and saw that young whites outnumbered the blacks, I knew we are in a different time and a different season.
“When I saw people in Germany marching for George Floyd, I know that it is a different time and a different season, I come to tell America that this is the time for building accountability in the justice system.
“Years ago I went to march, young white lady looked me in the face and told me, nigre go home. But when I was here last Thursday and I stopped over near a police station to speak to a reporter, a young white girl no older than 11, tagged my coat and said, No justice no peace.
“This is a different time and a different season. I come to tell those of you sitting in Washington, that when you talk about militarising this country, that time is out for not holding you accountable.”
Trump against sports world stance against racial prejudice
During the past couple of weeks, American society, from Sport for Hollywood and Politics, has been experiencing waves of change blowing in the direction of change and greater accommodation.
Leaders of sports federations like the National Football League (NFL) have for the first time apologised for ignoring calls to end police brutality and stopping players from joining Black Lives Matter protests.
The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, posted a video on social media saying they should have listened to players concerns about racism and police brutality, earlier.
Goodell said: “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.
“We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
Instead, Trump has spun Goodel’s gesture of politeness to mean disrespect to the constitution and the American flag.
Trump said: “Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2020.
So what if America is rebuking Trump?
The growing rejection of Trump’s radical divisive politics should be a source of hope not just for America but also for the rest of humanity. President Trump’s Make America great again isolationism has divided the world and made addressing common problems more difficult than ever before.
His most recent baseless attacks on the World health Organisation (WHO) in its handling of the COVID-19 global outbreak has once against made it more difficult to overcome such shared problems.
And perhaps more reassuring is that if the current momentum of opposition to his divisive politics can remove him from office in November, it could send a reminder to other leaders that respect for those who hold different views is a vote loser.