Wednesday, November 09, 2016

President Trump: A terrifying development

JFK and the contemptible Curtis Lemay
Associated Press

The only time I was as frightened by a historical event as I am by the election of President Trump was during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. It is now clear that only President Kennedy's steadfast resistance to the military's pressure to attack Cuba prevented a catastrophic escalation of that crisis. There's nothing in his history to allow us to think that a President Trump has that kind of character.

Then there was the assassination of President Kennedy a year after the Cuban missile crisis, a month before my 21st birthday. The world---and my country---was revealed as a dark and scary place, a revelation that has never really left my consciousness. 

Growing up in the Bay Area in the 1940s and 1950s, I knew little about this country's awful history of racism, though my parents were decent people from whom I never heard the word "nigger." Racial issues were simply not discussed, though I thought it odd that all the black people in Marin County lived in Marin City. 

As I remember the history textbooks of the time, the Civil War was discussed, but Reconstruction was portrayed as a failure because black people weren't ready for freedom. There was little or no discussion of post-Civil War Jim Crow or the violence against black people that continues to this day.

In 1963 reading James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time put the country's history of racism in perspective for me.

A year after the assassination of JFK President Johnson's escalation of the war in Vietnam began, by which time I was already a draft resister in federal prison.

Donald Trump and his right-wing enablers in the Republican Party represent a unique threat to the country beyond the inevitable tax cuts for the rich, voter suppression, denying people medical care, a right-wing Supreme Court forever, etc. As President Obama pointed out, a man who can't even handle his Twitter account sensibly now has the nuclear codes within reach.

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At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Racial issues were simply not discussed, though I thought it odd that all the black people in Marin County lived in Marin City. "

Just for the record, there were/are racist people living in marvelous marin.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Obviously, but as a child I didn't know anything about racism.


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