Watching Hillary Clinton address supporters in Tampa a couple of days ago, I found myself back on familiar ground…feet firmly planted in the America I know and love. I saw myself among the smiling faces seated in back of her…all “mutts” who call these United States home, regardless of our pedigree.
STRONGER TOGETHER is the pledge Hillary is making, and one that all who believe in our democratic system can get behind. All of us together will move America forward as we have done since our country was founded.
On the competitor’s side, Trump supporter Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, one of the speakers at the RNC, appears representative of those aligned with their nominee. Thiel is against a democratic America; preferring instead an autocracy. In “The Education of a Libertarian,” dated April 13, 2009 Thiel wrote “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”
A match made in Republican heaven…Thiel’s billions funding Trump’s autocratic candidacy.
In his acceptance speech, Trump magnanimously promised to take care of all Americans and “make the country great again.” Somewhat reminiscent perhaps of another seemingly magnanimous figure who promised to return his country to the greatness it had known prior to WWI. And so another world war was waged in which millions of lives were sacrificed for the cause. In its aftermath, Germany was devastated and the Germans were branded the most hated people on the face of the earth.
The first graduate to address Welsley College as valedictorian on May 31, 1969, Hillary said “ ‘One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said she wouldn’t want to be me for anything in the world…She wouldn’t want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she’s afraid.” ‘
Hillary went on to tell her graduating class of 400 that “Fear is always with us but we just don’t have time for it. Not now.” Almost five decades later, the Democratic nominee for president is still fear-less.
There is no time for fear.
Never in America’s history have we stepped away from a challenge. Americans have always united against the common enemy, including Japanese citizens whose families were stripped of both pride and property and relocated to internment camps during WWII. And during the Civil War Blacks donned the Union’s blue uniform, even though EQUALITY for their people was never something they imagined.
Today our enemy masquerades in the form of Trump’s message to “make America great again.” It signals a return to an America where fear of people different from ourselves inspired vigilante activities that led to lynchings and mob retaliation.
As recent as March 21, 1981, 17-year-old Michael Donald, a black teenager was hung from a tree by members of Alabama’s Klu Klux Klan. Donald just happened to be…in the wrong place, at the wrong time. His life was taken because a black defendant was acquitted of killing a white policeman during a robbery. “Bennie-Jack-Hays, the second-highest-ranking official in the United Klans in Alabama, said: “If a black man can get away with killing a white man, we ought to be able to get away with killing a black man.” Hays’ 26-year-old son, Henry Hayes, one of four white men involved in the lynching was executed for the murder on June 6, 1997.
And let’s not forget the racist rhetoric of George Wallace who in 1963, as governor of Alabama, tried to prohibit blacks from enrolling as students at the University of Alabama. President Kennedy, backed by the power of the federal government, forced Wallace to stand aside. The following day, Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi.
As the fear messenger, Trump is inciting his supporters to take the country back to a more familiar world order. And some may already be answering that call.
Imagine if this was…
…your daughter…in the wrong place, at the wrong time???
…i already do.