Contributor: Marcia Avner
Americans are struggling with a trifecta of troubles: COVID-19, economic insecurity, and the struggle for racial justice. Trump’s obsession with his own hopes for re-election, his refusal to consider facts and advice from economists and scientists, and his insistence on dividing Americans based on race and class have exacerbated all challenges.
Trump even used the Fourth of July (The Great American Get-Together, second only to the MN State Fair) as an opportunity to divide. And even some of the Republicans who have stood with him have had enough.
The Washington Post reports “Trump’s push to amplify racism unnerves Republicans who have long enabled him.” And it should. TWP article goes on to note:
“…Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination, crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore, has unnerved Republicans who have long enabled him but now fear losing power and forever associating their party with his racial animus.”
Trump has condoned a supporter's chant for “white power” with a retweet (now deleted, but not denied). He has insisted that "Black Lives Matter" would be a symbol of hate if painted on the Fifth Avenue in New York. He has called COVID-19 the "Kung Flu." We have all heard the racist comments, from the “birther” attacks on Obama, to Charlottesville, now to Mt. Rushmore, and beyond.
That GOP leaders are turning away from this overt racism is long overdue. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich says of the GOP, “They coddled this guy the whole time and now its like some rats are jumping off the sinking ship. Its just a little late. It’s left this nation with a crescendo of hate not only between politicians but between citizens…”
Read the Post article and let us know what you think of this moment, and what is needed.
And if you need to see more, here is the reporting on the speeches on the 4th.
To be involved in the struggle for racial justice wherever you live, consider the organizations in your area that are leading the way to equity and justice.
Minnesota Compass has an exhaustive list of organizations that provide opportunities to support the changes you want. I have had great experiences here in MN working with Voices for Racial Justice, ACLU, Jewish Community Action, and TakeActionMN—all allies and sometimes leaders in the work of fighting for justice.
Vote, turn out your independent voter friends, too!