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11.13.2016 ________________________________________

Racism, elitism are alive and well – and profitable – in America.

The road to Trump began Inauguration Eve 2009 when Congressional Republicans and others – government agents of privileged elites – led by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, over dinner swore that every initiative President Barack Obama considered or proposed would be opposed; their goal was to limit him to one term.

Those agents for unfettered “free market” interests joined forces with the hate-infused racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist alt-right and together – united in opposition to an enlightened, socially just, diverse, inclusive and outward-looking America – formed an alliance that eventually exploited and profited from the legitimate fears, resentments and cries for change from those Americans who are, as Michael Moore says, “every beaten down, forgotten, nameless stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class.”

This week we got Trump.

Let’s be clear: a white-identity-based alliance, especially engaging non-college educated voters, which exploited resentments and re-directed anger away from the true agents of the “beaten downs” dispossession – privileged elites, oligarchy, patriarchy – and redirected it toward the Other.

Trump triumphed by championing the interests of many resentful Americans who’ve been convinced they’ve been culturally, economically and politically dispossessed by peoples not like them. Foregoing dog-whistles, he empowered them to publicly express their fears and hatred, to publicly vent their vulgarities in clear speech alongside his.

Simultaneously exploiting fears and prejudices while making unrealistic, unfulfillable populist promises, this unholy alliance elected the most intellectually unprepared, temperamentally unfit, morally deficient American president ever.

On Nov. 8, those dispossessed voted, believing they were free-agents exercising their franchise for freedom from tyranny. They didn’t realize that they were being played, pawns in a Goldman Sachs-like “Great Game”; that the man to whom they were handing ballots was agent for the Grand Inquisitor.

This week we got Trump.

While it remains to be seen what will happen if this alliance fractures after Mexico refuses to pay for the wall, when factories and steel mills don’t return, coal mines don’t reopen, when banks expand predatory practices, when consumer and environmental protections disappear and when the rich get richer . . . there are many things we can foresee.

We can foresee that what many assume are inalienable rights may be rolled back – Christianist imperatives may trump constitutionally protected rights and America’s cultural practice of racism will persist.

We can foresee that if you’re a minority – as I am – if you’re a DREAMer, if someone doesn’t like whom you love, your looks, color, beliefs or family origins, there’s a likely chance you’ll be living with uncertainty, perhaps fear, in the future.

We can foresee that it’s going to take much longer for MLK’s “arc of the moral universe” to bend toward justice.

Today, there’s fear in the hearts of our poor, weak and vulnerable, among so many whom Trump deliberately and consciously chose to offend; women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, the handicapped and so many others.

Trump’s nativist campaign was supported not only by a large majority of American whites but by a majority of white Christians. Throughout the campaign, far too many communities of faith were slow to denounce Trump’s bigotry, misogyny, intolerance, and fear-mongering – too many Gospel-preaching believers endorsed a man who feels he’s entitled to grab women by the p—-.

I wonder what that means for us. While I truly believe that this election was white America’s last stand I know that in the meantime, till justice prevails, we must resist the rebirth of a new Jim Crow; endure and resist the entrenched hatred of some Americans for others.

I’ll never forget where I was on Sept. 11, 2001. And today I know I’ll never forget where I, a Muslim, was on Nov. 8, 2016, when America’s white citizens’ councils elected Donald Trump president.

Today, as a Muslim Arab American whose co-religionists Trump has proposed banning from this nation, I wonder what kind of America he envisions.

I wonder whether Trump’s capable of echoing the generosity of Benjamin Franklin inviting the Mufti of Constantinople to Philadelphia or the reverence of Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicating of the National Mosque in Washington? Can he reflect Thomas Jefferson’s and George W. Bush’s Ramadan hospitality, both of whom hosted Muslims at the White House he himself is about to occupy?

I wonder if he will step forward today and condemn the post-election virulent rise of racist attacks being made in his name upon the Other?

As the hope and promise of America’s first black president has yielded to Trump’s corporately sponsored, hate-based election, we must be careful whom to blame.

Blame not just the alt-right, Nazi sympathizers and Civil War revisionists – we know who they are, but that’s not enough. Blame not just rural white Americans, although racism still runs deep in some communities where the soil remains stained with blood and memories of slavery, lynchings and Jim Crow.

That’s not enough.

No, blame also these new virulent strains of racism and sexism at the feet of those most hateful; blame also those who stood silent during the Obama years; silent when Trump elevated himself birther in chief in 2011, silent when Trump attempted to bully and delegitimize our commander in chief, silent when he descended the escalator on the backs of Mexicans and Muslims.

Blame also those who told those “forgotten, nameless stiffs” and Trump’s “poorly educated” that they should hate Obama and Clinton more than they should love America.

Blame also those who were silent during this campaign, who profited from lobbyists and speaking fees and party appointments, who today, giddy from victory, are planning to profit.

Blame those who silently approved: Make America white again.

Last week I wrote, “Trump is what we get when facts are ignored, when women, people of color and LGBTQIA peoples are marginalized. Trump is what we get when people ignore American values and cleave to tribal instincts.”

This week we got Trump.

In the end, I fear that Trump’s first victims will be “every beaten down, forgotten, nameless stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class.”

Their value realized, they’ll be beaten down again, ignored and discarded by the very same plutocrats, oligarchs and patriarchs that mobilized them.

They’ll witness no change.

In 1961 James Baldwin wrote, “(Martin Luther) King is entirely right when he said that segregation is dead. The real question that faces the Republic is just how long, how violent and how expensive the funeral is going to be.”

The funeral has taken far too long and the costs are still rising.

This week we got Trump.

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