Trump and the Resurgence of Everyday White Aggression

Since the election of Donald Trump much has been given to the topic of racism, and especially white supremacy, and its malfeasance in the public’s eye, or shall I say, the media’s eye. And while undoubtedly there has been an uptick in such occurrences what is being misconveyed is the important fact, historically as well as present day, that white aggression in the United States has been far more than a few bad apples. For many non-whites, especially so-called African-Americans. white aggression was as ubiquitous as it was vernacular, meaning that white hostilities directed towards blacks was not simply a privilege some white elites enjoyed inflicting on blacks but in fact, its apparently one of the few joys poor whites could enjoy. It would appear that the 2016 election has breathed new life into this phenomena and re-authorized that contingency of white America to again openly and unapologetically flex its muscles. Yesterday, at 1:00pm, I had my own personal encounter with it. Continue reading “Trump and the Resurgence of Everyday White Aggression”

#MiddleGroundPodcast: Islam, Blackamerica: Between Morality and White Supremacy

In this episode, I  foster an important conversation about the future of Islam in America, particularly as it relates to Blackamerica, with Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, assistant professor of Islamic law and Prophetic Tradition at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, and Malik Shaw, author of The Green School: A Natural Approach To Educating Children and the co-Founder and executive director of Midtown Mosque, in Memphis.

From Malik Shaw’s book, The Green School:

“As Jill Rigby states in her book Raising Disrespectful Children in a Disrespectful World, ‘As a result of this emphasis on self-esteem, twenty-somethings are returning home rather than facing the world on their own. College kids are flunking out because they don’t know how to manage their schedules. Kids are growing up without problem-solving skills because their parents think love means solving all their problems for them. Many adolescents have no respect for authority because their parents didn‘t command their respect. Instead, their parents gave too much and exposed them to too little. In our attempt to build self-esteem in children, we have reared a generation of young people who are failing at life, haven’t a clue who they are, and are struggling to find a reason for living. Their kids fall for the latest craze, healthy or unhealthy. It doesn’t matter, as long as they are in the middle of it. They would rather die than give up their cell phones. And they feel that others have an obligation to serve them’.”

How Our Freedoms Come At The Cost Of Others

Why do some folks “hate us for our freedom”? As ridiculous as the statement is, it’s even doubly ridiculous in that “why” is never posed to this question. While I’m reserved in giving simple explanations to complex issues, I do feel we, as Americans, are often negligent in recognizing that many of our so—called “freedoms” come at the expense of others. White supremacist-, “MAGA”-, alt-Right Trump supporters often espouse their hate for immigrants, particularly of the brown and poor varieties, but they too lack the courage and the honesty to ask, “why are so many coming here to work?” or, “Why have their economies failed?”. Many will offer an even simpler and more dehumanizing rebuttle that they — poor and brown-skinnedimmigrants — ought to go back to their respective countries and fight or sacrifice to make them great, as supposedly Americans did (or allegedly stiil do) in the country’s infancy. But these racist and historically inaccurate summaries simply don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Rob Dunn, in his new book, “Never Out Of Season”, reminds us why so many people, from locations such as Central America, are coming here to work: because we sabotaged their economies. Dun relates,

“Elected in 1950, Jacobo Arbenz was Guatemala’s second democratically elected leader. He proposed to redistribute abandoned banana land to poor farmers in the country and paid United Fruit Company twice what it had paid for the land. Arbenz believed that this would be the first step in creating a better country for his people, a democratic country. The United Fruit Company had other plans. Its leaders persuaded the US government to authorize the CIA to overthrow Arbenz as part of Operation PBSUCCESS. The director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, and the secretary of state, his brother, John Foster Dulles, were both friends of executives of the United Fruit Company. They had even done legal work for the company earlier in their careers. The Dulles brothers helped to convince president Dwight D. Eisenhower of the need to overthrow Arbenz. It was a secret and, from the perspective of the United States, successful coup. As a result, Guatemala’s democracy slid into decades of military dictatorship and a brutal civil war. That war would cost the lives of more than two hundred thousand Guatemalans, many of them at the hands of government security forces. The coup also set back democracy in other countries in which the United Fruit Company wielded power. However one attributes blame for these horrors, they, too, are part of the story of the Gros Michel banana.”

Perhaps the resentment that America earns is not quite so irrational as we’ve been led to believe. Dunn’s work makes you look at the breakfast fruit we all so innocently enjoy every morning in a diffent light.

Notes

Dunn, Rob. Never Out Of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future. New York. Little, Brown and Company. 2017.

“You’re Not Here To Help Us” – Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muslim Women In Their Own Words

One of things that’s most striking about so-called Muslim reformers is how they always position themselves as knowing better than those they claim to want to help. Ironically they also are the same type to be hostile towards religion and especially revelation because “God only speaks to certain elect humans”. And yet, they seem to be receiving some other form of divine insight.

“Because there is nothing quite as satisfying to a coloniser than a subject who becomes a salesperson for their ideology