From JEFF COX
Kenwood, Sonoma County
I was listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates, the essayist for The Atlantic magazine, on NPR this morning and he had some interesting perspectives on current and historical race relations in this country.
Regarding the football players refusing to stand during the national anthem, he said that while some are claiming that the players don’t love their country, what the players are saying by their refusal to stand is that their country doesn’t love them.
He also spoke about South Carolina after the Civil War, during Reconstruction, when black folks were as much in charge of running the state and local governments there as whites, but after less than a decade, the blacks were tossed out of office and subjected to Jim Crow for the next 100 years because, as Coates put it, “the only thing South Carolina feared more than a dysfunctional government run by blacks was a fully functional government run by blacks;” that is, an efficient government run by blacks challenged the tenets of white supremacy.
Then he turned to the current administration in Washington, and pointed out that eight years of scandal-free government under Obama is now followed by an administration devoted to tearing down and disrupting everything the Obama administration accomplished during his two terms. “I didn’t agree with everything the Obama administration did, but the man was upstanding and honorable and his administration was scandal free,” Coates said.
He then likened Trump’s attempt to wipe out the Obama record to what happened in South Carolina after Reconstruction, and laid the blame at the same cause: white supremacy.
And it became crystal clear in my mind that Coates was again exactly right. Trump is not just a garden variety bigot, but a white supremacist who, with his henchman Steve Bannon, pursued the dismantling of Obama’s accomplishments with vigor and relish.