Trump is an autocrat, and here’s why you should care
When the now-viral video of police on horseback galloping into protesters at the White House while launching tear gas and pepper bombs released last week, a collective gasp could be heard around the world. U.S. President Donald Trump had presumably decided he was in need of a new character development and a sick plot twist. His latest role? America’s First Autocrat. After a phone call with Vladimir Putin following news of Trump hiding in the White House bunker as protesters marched their way to his doorstep, it’s obvious that Putin’s, ahem, understudy — after some coaching — was ready to take center stage.
What was the purpose of the mayhem caused by police in front of the White House? Simple: It was a photo-op of Trump with a Bible he clearly doesn’t read in front of a church he doesn’t attend. The once seemingly hyperbolic comparisons to Hitler became crystallized. Trump signaled, through a series of disturbing events last week, that he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to hold onto power, even if it means literally and figuratively trampling on the rights of Americans.
Images matter. Just as they did in the 1950s and 1960s when pictures of Emmett Till’s battered body, police dogs, and fire hoses captivated the nation and showcased the brutality of segregation, the same thing is taking place now. During these massive nationwide protests, it is not just Black bodies being brutalized in the streets by police. The message is becoming clear for those who have been able to avoid the long stick of the law because their complexion has been their protection. The police, enabled by a fascist leader, are the problem.
The sight of Trump holding a Bible after he had police forcefully remove protesters is an abomination in so many ways, and the nation’s leaders felt the same. Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory was among the outraged, saying, “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we might disagree.” Yet, Trump’s base hailed the stunt as “heroic” and claimed that it signaled that God hates racism and lawlessness.
The reality is that we can no longer turn the channel or a blind eye to what Trump and his White Evangelical base are setting up here, which to be clear, is a complete and total authoritarian takeover of America. Do you remember when Attorney General William Barr declared in a speech to the Federalist Society last November that he believed America was going to hell? And that Trump’s political opponents “engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.” Who can forget Barr’s infamous speech at Notre Dame when he said that “secularists” were creating “moral chaos.” So, it makes sense, then, that reports have come out and said it was Barr’s idea to clear the protesters from the White House. It was his desire to flex the muscles and show the “might” of the Trump White House. This was his opportunity to halt the “moral chaos” he has so openly talked about in order to create order.
The chaos that he speaks of, however, is being carried out at the hands of the police, not the “secularists” he rebukes. The problem of police brutality in this country is not a case of a few bad apples but rather that of a poisoned orchard, and the Minneapolis City Council at least has signaled that they now see the larger problem. In a stunning move over the weekend, they voted to disband the police with the president of the council, Lisa Bender, saying, “We are here because here in Minneapolis and in cities across the United States it is clear that our existing system of policing and public safety is not keeping our communities safe. … Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”
We can’t continue to look at the actions of police nationwide, this president, and his enablers in silos. It is all part of a greater plan to introduce a new world order in America that meshes the lines between church and state and obedience versus subjugation — with the sole purpose of dismantling our democracy.
This is what happens in countries before a collapse.
Former CIA officials also issued a stark warning last week. Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst who has tracked developments throughout Asia said to the Washington Post, “I’ve seen this type of violence. This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.” How could you not be unnerved when a leaked call to governors caught Defense Secretary Mark Esper telling them to “dominate the battlespace” and we watch as the joint chief of staff tours the streets of the nation’s capital in fatigues as if he were in a war zone. This is what strength looks like to Trump and his cultish members. It looks like every military movie you have ever watched come to life. It looks like unnamed White men in green shirts guarding the White House. It looks like video after video of police officers beating American citizens to the ground as they exercise their right to assemble and protest.
Imagine that in the midst of a global pandemic, Americans are being forced from the safety of quarantine to the streets so their fellow Black citizens can be treated as equal. We as Black people have always been forced to risk our lives to do what was right and to try with each generation to realize a more perfect union, but now this confluence of pandemics is at times too overwhelming. Black Americans have been saying that we can’t breathe for centuries at this point, and still this country provides no oxygen, no relief. Instead, our calls for liberation and justice are met with tear gas meant to choke us into the silence the same way Derek Chauvin’s knee did George Floyd.
Trump and his enablers don’t want to hear from us. They don’t want to see us. Their continued escalation shows us one thing — they are ready for war. They will do what is necessary to threaten us into submission before they lift a finger or a knee off the backs of Black Americans. Ask yourself why it was so easy to get the military deployed to American cities to stop people from protesting, but this same military wasn’t directed to produce personal protective equipment or build hospitals? Why was Trump so eager to phone governors from the safety of his bunker and tell them how to deal with their residents but hasn’t surveyed hospitals in their states crippled by the coronavirus? Simple: He does not care. Trump wants one thing and that is power, and he will do anything to get it. This president’s “do it for the ’gram” attitude is putting lives at risk.
The question we need to ask ourselves is what we are willing to risk in order to secure our democracy — what are we willing to give up in order to secure a liberated future for every Black child in America? Trump has drawn the battle lines, and courageous Americans are showing us each and every day with protests in all 50 states that they are ready to cross it — by any means necessary.
Source : Medium