So far we’ve seen Donald Trump launch hate speech against Muslims, the disabled, women, Mexicans, peacemakers, workers and anyone standing up to his fascist agenda. But hey! he has to check out the Ku Klux Klan who endorsed him because, ummm, he’s not certain about their credentials. Is this guy thick or what? The KKK are notorious for their bigotry, racism and murderous activities so when Trump doesn’t condemn them out of hand – as President Reagan did when they endorsed him back in 1984 – he’s bottom trawling (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) the murky waters of racism, white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia. (But let’s not also forget the Reagan got the KKK stamp of approval because of his anti-union attitude, his welfare-bashing and similar dog-whistling on race.)
I’m Australian. I remember when John Howard, when Prime Minister of Australia, started dog-whistling on race and ethnic origin. First it was Aboriginal people who had – rightly and justifiably – talked about The Stolen Generations (black children taken from their families supposedly to better their lives but with the intent of wiping out Aboriginal existence and culture) and which Howard labelled “black armband approach to history”.
And then Howard called asylum seekers and refugees legitimately seeking refuge in Australia “illegals”, accused them falsely of throwing their children in the water from boats trying to reach Australia, and started the process of demonising desperate people who, of course, happened to be a different colour to the majority of Australian people. Could anyone seriously imagine that boats with white refugees from South Africa or Zimbabwe would be treated the same way? Howard’s incitement of racism and prejudice kicked off Federal and State attacks on any progress made by Aboriginal groups on land rights and human rights, and also kickstarted the process of incarcerating those seeking compassion and kindness from Australia in concentration camps on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru.
That’s why Donald Trump is dangerous, divisive and utterly contemptible. He is the love-child of all those Republic leaders who have denigrated the first black president of the United States since his first election, who have deliberately and wantonly sabotaged any decision by Obama and the Democrats in the past eight years or so and who have pursued a white supremacist, racist, misognynist, anti-worker, homophobic agenda.
Nor are the Democrats free of criticism given the way so many of them cravenly tried to distance themselves from the president instead of standing up to the racism, bullying and thuggery of Republican leaders at a Federal and State level.
That’s why Pastor Niemoeller’s words are as valid in the US as they were in Nazi Germany. Those of us who live outside the United States need to support the courageous people in the US standing up for decency, tolerance, peace, a just society, and against the Establishment forces trying to perpetuate their enrichment of the minority at the expense of the great majority.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.