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Republicans are very frustrated because the media just keeps making it seem like both the party and their candidate are racist.
Twelve years ago, the GOP seemed on its way toward broadening its base, boasting 167 black delegates at its convention. That year, President George W. Bush drew 16 percent of the black vote here in Ohio, unusually high for a Republican, to help secure his reelection, as well as 11 percent nationally, and party leaders had hoped to increase minority engagement in 2016.
This year, the number of black delegates is 18. Out of 2,472. But that can’t be because of anything Trump has said! After all …
Trump has vowed that he would unify the races as president.
“I am not a racist,” he told The Washington Post in an interview earlier this year. “I’m the least racist person that you’ve ever interviewed.”
That’s right. Trump will unify the races around statements like this:
“I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”
The “laziness” statement came after Donald Trump started having financial difficulties at his casinos in Atlantic City. Trump’s response? He had black accountants. And he managed to squeeze two forms of racism into a single statement.
John O’Donnell, who was president of the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and later wrote a memoir about his experience, said Trump blamed financial difficulties partly on African American accountants.
“I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza — black guys counting my money!” O’Donnell’s book quoted Trump as saying. “I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else. . . . Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”
Of course, Trump hasn’t read O’Donnell’s book, because Donald Trump doesn’t read. But he did give an interview.
Trump told Playboy magazine that O’Donnell’s memoir was “probably true.”
For those who believe that racism isn’t inherent, but has to be taught. Trump apparently had plenty of opportunities to learn—going back at least to when he was working with his father in the 1970s.
When a black woman asked to rent an apartment in a Brooklyn complex managed by Donald Trump’s real estate company, she said she was told that nothing was available. A short time later, a white woman who made the same request was invited to choose between two available apartments. …
In October 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case that accused the Trump firm, whose complexes contained 14,000 apartments, of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The Trumps hired Roy Cohn—yes, that Roy Cohn—to defend them in the case, They did what the Trumps always do, countersued for $100 million and made claims that the government was trying to force them to “rent to people on welfare.” Cohn also helped them concoct a series of claims that the Justice Department was employing “Gestapo tactics.” Cohn’s antics were thrown out. The Trumps settled the case.
But Trump already had a plan to keep from having to deal with that sort of problem again.
At the time the suit was filed, Trump had been thinking about veering away from his father’s focus on providing housing for lower- and middle-income residents of Brooklyn and Queens, and envisioning his future as a developer of luxury buildings for the rich in Manhattan.
The rest is history.
But Donald Trump’s attitude about race? That’s still very much the present.
As the old man was walking along the railroad track one evening he heard noises coming from a stand of trees. Approaching the area he found a group of men around a large tree felled by storm. The tree had fallen across a well-worn path into the woods. Women and children were watching the men chop through the heavy trunk of the tree.
The old man joined them and when it came his turn with the ax he flailed away mightily but could not hit in the same place twice. He only dented the trunk; no chips flew. He kept thinking he would improve, but he did not. As his aim improved his arms began to tire; he made little progress.
Next in line behind him was a large Negro who took the ax and dislodged thick chips where the old man only scored the trunk. When his turn came once again, he took up the ax but only to occupy time while the other men rested. The sun had gone down when the job was finally finished. The women and children had gone home to prepare supper.
The men gathered up their hats, coats and tools and silently walked away towards the houses. Each half of the tree had been rolled aside, clearing the path into the woods. The old man sat exhausted on one end of the tree for the next hour. He did not know exactly where he was or which way to go. When he arose he was dizzy and lightheaded. He slowly got up and walked down the trail towards the lake.
Suddenly, brilliant memories flashed through his mind one after the other. They were bright, vivid memories of events…events that had happened to him in his childhood years ago. They were all racing through his mind in rapid succession. They were not connected events, but distinct, absolutely clear, vivid memories; pictures of past events that had taken place years ago. There might have been a dozen memories, all distinct and all different. Perhaps this spell lasted only 10 or 15 seconds. When the memories passed his mind was clear, but he could not remember a single one! He knew he had experienced these events and that they were true to his life, but he could not recall a single picture. He decided he had experienced a replay of pictures of past experiences of his life. Due to the physical exertion, something in his mind had short-circuited and these ancient memories were retrieved and flashed serially through his mind. They then completely departed; they were now totally gone. The old man did not know where he was–either in time or space.
He walked slowly down the path toward the lake, sat down on a rock and watched the stars come out. He might have dozed. When he opened his eyes, it was springtime, and he was sitting in tall grass with flowers, bees, birds and greening trees. Children were playing. He dozed. When he awoke again it was winter. Snow was knee-deep; trees were bare, icicles hanging from stark black branches. The sky was gray and featureless. It was quiet, everything was motionless. When he looked down from the sky he saw a lonely, snow-covered Prophet solemnly sitting opposite him on the log.
The old man nodded to him and asked, “Where are we?
“I don’t know.”
“How long have we been here?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why are we here?”
“We must be somewhere; so we are here. Perhaps we’ve been here forever. My dog has been here always.”
“What is it all about?”
“I don’t know. Why do you ask?”
“I am trying to find the secret of life. I thought you might know.”
“I know nothing. I am seeking just like you. Sometimes I think I have found the answer, but then it slips away, like a goldfish, from my hand. It is gone and my hand is empty.” The prophet arose, brushed the snow from his shoulders, and then sat down again.
“When did it all begin?”
“It began when fishes crawled up from the sea onto the sandy shore, and developed legs. They stood up and walked into the forest. They lived in the trees and were afraid. One day they came down, walked on the ground. Some planted corn; some lived in caves and under hedges. They were all afraid–afraid of lightning, winds, storms and fire.”
“How did they overcome their fear?”
“Wise men amongst them invented God’s who were the creatures made from the Bones of their Fears and the Flesh of their Ignorance. These gods could be called upon to protect them from their fears.”
“That doesn’t make any sense!”
“No, it does not.”
“What happened to these gods?”
“They were explained away. They were never really there.”
“What took their place?”
“Other gods…gods that have not yet been explained away.
“What good are they?”
“They are not good for anything, but are essential to man’s peace of mind because of his fears. Man loves to listen to stories…stories of gods, gods greater than himself. Gods who can answer all of his questions.”
“Are there such a gods?”
“Have these gods ever answered any questions”
“No! Man has answered some of his own questions but not many.”
“How many of these gods are there?”
“Many. The first one who did not arise from natural events such as lightning, thunder and fire was a tribal God. This God had a chosen group of people. His name was Jehovah. He told them to kill other tribes and take their land. He was a harsh, vengeful God. He saved Noah and the animals on the ark, but drowned everyone else on earth. He is still up there for his people. They are the Jews.
“From these stories a later God was developed by Prophet Jesus. He said he had a father named God in heaven, with a spirit god in between called the Holy Ghost. This group was like an egg with two yolks. God was one, Jesus was the other and the Holy Ghost was the transparent part of the egg.
“Sometime later another God named Allah was invented. He recognized the other gods but said he was superior to them. The gods are not all bad, but there are books written about them which are thought to be sacred. They inspire men to fight amongst themselves to prove whose god is the greatest.”
“Perhaps there should just be one god and not any books!” The Prophet’s dog got up and walked through the snow down towards the lake. The Prophet slowly got up, brushed the snow off his shoulders, and followed the dog.
The old man rolled over on his back, looked up at the sky and went to sleep.
Nobody can deny the fact that Christianity has played a huge role in our history. From the first Thanksgiving to the ideas of Jesus Christ that are embroidered in our culture today, Christianity and the Bible is responsible a big part of our heritage. However, many conservatives will take this fact way out of context. They’ll think that you have to be a Christian to be patriotic, which is simply not true. Following the more secular teachings of Jesus Christ (being charitable, loving one another, treating strangers with kindness) is what the men who founded this country were for.
I don’t want to waste my time listing all these obscurant far-right arguments, so instead I’ll list the facts straight from our forefathers:
“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” - George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia (1789)
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr (1787)
“In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and both by precept and example inculcated on mankind.” — Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists (1771)
“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.” — Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (1791)
“Congress has no power to make any religious establishments.” – Roger Sherman, Congress (1789)
“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” – Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people build a wall of separation between Church & State.” - Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury Baptists (1802)
“To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis No. V (1776) (Note: You can read Paine’s whole pamphlet, where he expresses his atheistic beliefs, here.)
“Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” - Thomas Jefferson, A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1779)
“Christian establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.” - James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr. (1774)
“There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” - George Washington, address to Congress (1790)
“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” - James Madison, General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia (1785)
The American author and poet Archibald MacLeish said, “Religion is at its best when it makes us ask hard questions of ourselves. It is at its worst when it deludes us into thinking we have all the answers for everybody else.”
It intrigues me that MacLeish focused on these aspects of religion. I believe religion is not only “at its best when it makes us ask hard questions of ourselves,” I believe religion compels us to spend intellectual and emotional energy to investigating what is worth believing, when it comes to faith and reason. Unfortunately, far too many people, from infancy onward, have swallowed hook, line and sinker every word from the pulpit as though it was uttered directly from God.
I have always been amazed by the number of preachers who swear by the King James Version of the Bible, who never had a day in a formal religion classroom; and who are unable to translate Shakespearean English. Both, incidentally, emanated from the same time period. William Shakespeare