Donald Trump claims we need him to “make America great again”. Well, apparently nobody needs to “make America great again”, as we are already #1, numero uno, numéro un, Nummer Eins, رقم واحد, Nummer een, 一番, worldwide!
Top ten most racist countries in the world:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Granted, ranking such as this are tricky and there are several different sets of rankings, however I looked at several that I would expect to be relatively reliable, and 3 out of 4 ranked the U.S. as the #1 racist country in the world, followed by the U.K. and Australia.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation. The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. SPLC defines hate groups as those that “… have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” By this definition, SPLC has reported that there are 784 active hate groups operating within the United States. The groups included:
72 separate Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups
142 Neo-Nazi groups
115 White nationalist groups
119 Racist skinhead groups
113 Black separatist groups
37 Neo-Confederate groups
21 Christian Identity groups
165 “General hate” groups (subdivided into anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, Holocaust denial, racist music, radical traditionalist Catholic, anti-Muslim, and “other”)
It seems to me that is an awful lot of hate going on in our nation. Some of these groups are more lethal than others, some have never committed a racially motivated crime, but the fact that they exist is a sad enough statement about our country.
While one cannot blame the current crop of political candidates for the existence of 700+ hate groups, the fact is that the politicos and wanna-be’s are contributing to the environment of hate, and in some cases even encouraging it. In Louisville, Kentucky last month, Matthew Heimbach, a 25-year-old white nationalist, shoved a young, black college student multiple times, screaming at her to leave. In North Carolina, several protestors attending Trump’s rally were escorted from the premises. While they were being led away by authorities, a white attendee sucker-punched a black protestor. In Las Vegas, attendees can be heard screaming obscenities at a black protestor while he is being escorted from the premises. “Light the motherf***er on fire!”. These are but a few examples of racist incidents that have occurred at Trump rallies. Trump, rather than attempting to diffuse the hate, the racism, the violence, has encouraged it by telling his audience to “knock the crap out of ‘em” and offering to pay legal fees for anyone who does so.
It is not just Trump, either, although his racism and bigotry are more blatant than most. At a recent event in New York, where Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his endorsement of Clinton, she teased him about taking a long time in endorsing her, to which he replied “Sorry, I was running on CP (coloured people’s) time.” Two thumbs down to Mayor de Blasio, but two thumbs up to actor Leslie Odom Jr. for standing up and saying “That’s not [funny], I don’t like jokes like that, Bill.” Ted Cruz: “It’s every bit as true now as it was then,” Cruz said. “We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.” (Former Senator Jesse Helms was against civil rights law and tried to block MLK Day from becoming an official U.S. holiday). Again, these are mild compared to Trump’s acrimonious statements and the actions of his followers, but they bespeak of underlying bigotry, of intolerance based on nothing more than skin colour, or religion, or ethnicity.
Donald Trump claims that “The big problem this country has is being politically correct.” Ted Cruz and Ben Carson apparently agree with him. I have to wonder if this is not a part of his allure. With so many hate groups, so many in this nation apparently opposed to allowing people into this country who do not look, think, and speak like they do, does the racism of the political candidates hold appeal somehow? Political correctness is defined by Merriam Webster as “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.” The definition I think sums it up best is “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” In other words, quite simply put, a lack of rudeness. What, pray tell, is wrong with a bit of respect, a bit of decency toward our fellow human beings?
I do not understand bigotry of any sort. I am not proud that our nation holds the number one spot of all 196 countries in the world. It is not a record to be proud of, and I say “shame on you” to the public figures, candidates, and politicians who promote bigotry, either directly or indirectly. Those people have the capability that most of us do not have, the capability to speak out against hatred, against bigotry in all of its many forms. And many do, but the few who do not are to be rebuked, repudiated, for their failure to do their part in bringing cohesion to this nation.
A couple of links, in case you would like more information: