“We are the United States of Amnesia; we learn nothing because we remember nothing” — Gore Vidal.
I profoundly empathize with Jimmy Fallon’s heart felt monologue regarding Trump’s Charlottesville statements: “This is not Okay. This is not who we are. This is not acceptable. I refuse to live in a country like this.” Wrong, Jimmy. This is who “we,” America, is. As Gore Vidal mentioned, we as an Empire of Conquest, just love to forget, and pretend to be something we are not. We are the “United States of Amnesia.”
Michael Moore’s response to the carnage of Charlottesville echoed many activist’s sentiments: “Anyone who enables. Anyone who votes for, or supports a racist, is a racist. You are culpable, White America.” Mr. Moore, is that true only if one voted for “45?” What about the other 44 Presidents who represent the same institutional racist values and history that these White Supremacist groups represent?
These groups are not “extremists” in the least. They are, indeed the backbone of the bloody history of America. We all “voted for them” throughout the entire history of the Empire. Except of course, those who were considered inferior by our great Founding Fathers and were not allowed to vote: Kidnapped Africans, Indigenous Natives, non-land owning Caucasian immigrants, and women. Even “White women” could not vote, According to our noble Fathers. The same group of whom 53% voted Trump into office this past November, according to Moore.
If Mr. Moore and Fallon’s analysis is correct, those of us who are decedents of the Northern Anglo-European elite that founded this nation may as well hop on the nearest boat back to the homeland. Trump’s Neo-Nazi America is nothing new or discordant with our history whatsoever; is the historic America for all people of color.
Representatives from the media’s razor- thin political spectrum of “Right,” “Left,” and “Moderate,” joined in criticizing Trump’s comparison of Robert E. Lee to the slave owners Washington and Jefferson. Heresy, they say! Because he had the audacity to tip over a Golden-Calf of the Empire’s Mythical history—“No, wait Trump! Those were the ‘good guys.’”
In a rare moment of clarity, Trump was 100% correct. “Founding Father” Presidents who held terrorized African human captives: Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant. George Washington himself held captive between 250 to 350 human beings, violently forcing them into slave labor for his (and our) countries economic gain.
Mr. Moore, are our fathers who “voted” for those historic racists also “culpable” and “racists?” How much more “racist” can you get than being a card-carrying “Slave (read ‘human being’) OWNER?” Are those White U.S. citizen descendants who economically benefitted from crops sown on stolen land and harvested with kidnap victim’s violently enforced farm labor “culpable” and “enablers?”
In this Empire, a peaceful organization founded by non-violent Black women protesting the state-sponsored murder of their children is deemed a “violent terrorist” organization, and is not granted protest permits by most municipalities. The Klu Klux Klan, White Supremacy Groups, and Neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville are. And, “surprise,” violence and murder breaks out. Yet, these latter groups are merely advocating that their historical ideology of White Supremacy be held onto. These are the same ideological structures which historically led to the economic strength and glories of America.
The shocked reaction of the political pundits to Trump’s words are indicative of their indoctrination into the mythological fantasy of America’s democracy “for all.” Who according to the Founding Fathers, are “all?” White Christian land-owning males.
Our actual history reveals that America’s policies of genocide upon the Indigenous People’s was systemic and nearly successful. An estimated 20 to 100 million victims of “Manifest Destiny.” This, according to Hitler, was his inspiration for the Holocaust of the undesirables of Europe. He says so himself in an address to his generals, and in “Mein Kampf.” Specifically, Hitler claimed he utilized the concrete methodologies America used to exterminate and terrorize the Indian Nations.
Jefferson’s policies towards Indians were no doubt inspirational to Hitler: “If ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi… in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy them all.” —Thomas Jefferson.
Hitler’s Nazi “racial purity” polices was inspired by the “great” President Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, of “Teddy Bear” fame. Hitler knew Roosevelt was no Teddy Bear: “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”
The Nazi’s genocidal polices were even inspired by the icon of American Freedom, Abraham Lincoln, who when discussing the “all men were created equal” phrase of the Constitution, made it clear he did not believe that one bit. In relation to the “ignorant savages” and “Mexicans” who made up 19th Century California, Lincoln said: “Why did Yankees almost instantly discover gold in California, which had been trodden upon and overlooked by Indians and Mexican greasers for centuries?” “Greasers?” Come on, Honest Abe!
The Nazi viewpoints on eugenics, race, and White Supremacy were stolen straight from the most influential Universities in America. Harvard being the most predominant, as recent scholar Adam Cohen documents. Harvard Professor’s L. Lothard Stoddard’s forthright 1921 bestseller, “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy” was a profoundly influential book on Presidents and Congressional policy makers, leading to stringent anti-immigration laws.
In Cohen’s book, “Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck,” he documents one of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell ruling made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land. The victim of an underage rape by foster family, a poor girl, Carrie Buck, was subjected to forced sterilization, as a result of her being labeled “inferior” due to her birth out of wedlock. The U.S. supreme court’s denial of appeal allowed another 70,000 legally forced sterilizations in America of other “undesirables.” Ironically, Buck’s rape, victim blaming, and subjection to the U.S. polices of eugenics and forced sterilization happened where? Charlottesville.
In doing research in Africa and Europe for a future book on the history and impact of White Supremacy, I have learned much about the roots of this ideology. I discovered the American eugenics movement was not the domain of isolated “wackos.” It was enshrined into immigration and interracial marriage laws. Eugenics study and propagation was funded by esteemed institutions, including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and numerous universities.
It was not until America was pulled into the European conflict of WWII that its policies of White Supremacy eugenics began to be less publicized, due to Hitler’s fanatic adherence to it. But by that time, the racist presuppositions that emanated from it were the law of this land.
Mr. Fallon and Mr. Moore, were the other 44 Presidents racist who allowed Slavery, Jim Crow laws, genocidal extermination of the Indigenous Americans, Mass lynching’s, Japanese Internment camps, Drone attacks on Brown Civilians “racist?” Do they get a pass, or is it just “45” that mars our bloody history?
Michael Moore said there is “redemption” for us as racist in America. Perhaps. But it will take more than impeaching a president, protests, or bringing down concrete statues. It will involve a serious dismantling of the systemic racism that economically “made this country great.” A national acknowledgement of guilt, going all the way back to those “good guys,” Washington and Jefferson is the minimum. Is Trump really a “new face” of fascism, or just old U.S. historical policy “Unplugged.”
Frank Blaney is Creative Director at Less is More Press LLC.
Mr. Blaney has a Master’s Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding.For 16 years Frank Blaney has focused his passion for social justice, scholarship, and community healing towards serving youth of color in Los Angeles. He is currently traveling the African continent and Europe doing research for an upcoming book on the history and global impact of White Supremacy. To learn more about Frank visit www.frankblaney.com