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Trump Needs to Unify, Not Polarize

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President Trump boards Air Force One for Dallas to host a roundtable with faith leaders and small business owners. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
President Trump boards Air Force One for Dallas to host a roundtable with faith leaders and small business owners. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Ever since the George Floyd killing, which was potentially more about police brutality than racism, our nation has seen a breakdown of its civil order. This present cultural civil war in America can be best understood as an anarchist uprising emerging from across the socio-political spectrum to undo democracy.

Under the pretext of fighting for justice, anarchists—whether Antifa or Black Lives Matter— aided by online communication and the support by despondent politicians and possibly so-called philanthropists like George Soros, have created a political polarization by characterizing America as an institutionalist racist country, thereby compelling ubiquitous hatred for equity and economic stability.

This has materialized in looting and other acts of violence that so far have resulted in more than a dozen deaths, hundreds of millions of dollars in theft and property damage, and the desecration of monuments and religious symbols:

  • Last Friday in San Francisco’s Golden State Park, a statue of former President Ulysses S. Grant—the Union general who, in fighting to end slavery, led the North’s army to victory against the Confederate States during the Civil War—was toppled as hundreds celebrated Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States. (No matter that Grant, as a general and later president, was a tireless worker for equal rights for blacks in America.)
  • In like manner, statues of Junipers Serra, an 18th-century missionary who was declared a saint in the Catholic Church, and Francis Scott Key, the author of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” were also brought down. (Just in case anyone still thought it was just about Confederate statues.)
  • Next was the desecration of a memorial dedicated to two survivors of the Holocaust in Santa Rosa, California. The memorial was created in honor of the late Lillian Judd and her husband Emil, beloved figures in the local Jewish community who survived Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

What tends to be even more disturbing in this socio-cultural war is the reaction of whites, Asians and Hispanics, who, in their support of Black Lives Matter, are now bending their knees before the mobs asking for forgiveness for crimes they have not committed.

This spectacle has been highlighted by Democrat politicians, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators Chuck Schumer and Tim Kaine, who, bedecked in African-themed scarves, kneeled on the ground as if they were hostages.

Such actions do not communicate a will to restore harmony to America, but rather put a guilt trip on those who do not follow suit and who are now classified as bigots.

These capitulations to the politically correct mob of anarchists have even gone beyond taking the knee:

  • In Webster, Massachusetts, Police Chief Michael Shaw lay face-down on the ground for eight minutes (the length of time police officer Derek Chavin pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck).
  • In Cary, North Carolina, a group of whites washed the feet of black organizers to “ask for forgiveness.”
  • Shaun King, a black pastor and activist, has now called for all murals, stained glass windows and statues of white Jesus to be torn down arguing that they are symbols of white supremacy.

When did this begin?

The present phenomenon in our country may have erupted under President Donald Trump, but it did not begin with him, as many are saying. The roots, as per Stephen F. Knott’s The Lost Soul of the American Presidency, were planted under the Nixon administration.

Richard Nixon, notwithstanding the healing rhetoric of his campaign and his inaugural address, never sought to reconcile his opponents, especially the anti-Vietnam protesters.

Instead, he solely reached out to his so-called “silent majority,” just as Trump did in his Tulsa rally last Saturday. Simultaneously, Nixon chose to exacerbate the tensions so that he could pose as the knight in shining armor for his political base.

He even welcomed “hard hats” to the White House who had beaten up anti-Vietnam war protesters in New York City on the steps of Federal Hall in 1970.

Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, further escalated the rhetorical war arguing that a divided nation was something positive.

“If in challenging, we polarize the American people, I say it is time for positive polarization,” Agnew opined.

The end results were further divisions in the country and hatred towards a president who was ultimately forced to resign for his part in the Watergate scandal.

The United States of America has had dark moments in its history, slavery being one of them (including the ownership of slaves by African-Americans themselves in the antebellum period). Yet, even though racism does still exist, America is not an institutionally racist country, as the anarchists are trying to tell us.

We as a nation need to rise above pettiness and understand that racism can only be conquered by more productive means. It would be wishful thinking that this will happen overnight, but that does not mean Trump cannot plant the seeds to achieve this.

 

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Mario Alexis Portella

Portella holds an MA in Medieval History from Fordham University in New York and a double doctorate in Canon Law and Civil Law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. Portella is an American priest at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy and Chancellor of its archdiocese. He is the author of Islam: Religion of Peace? - The Violation of Natural Rights and Western-Cover-Up.

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