The shit-head in the White House and his enablers.

This is a long diary with many threads to it, buckle up.

I’m a first-generation immigrant. So, who and what Donald Trump is came as no surprise. I knew he was a racist hate-monger when I first learned about his role in the Central Park Five case. We knew he was a shitty human when we learned he’d used his baby nephew’s healthcare as a bargaining chip over an inheritance. We’ve known he was a white nationalist from the moment he gave his campaign’s first speech and chose to denigrate my brown-skinned immigrant brothers rapists and criminals. We had it confirmed when he denigrated Khizr Khan and when the White House instituted its Muslim ban. We all knew. Because we’ve all encountered people who see us as dirty interlopers from shit-hole countries. Donald Trump is the ugly American most immigrants know too well.

And you know what, perhaps we’re the shitty country. We are the richest nation in the world, and yet we have school-children trading sexual favors for food. Purely because we have so many shit-heads like Trump among us.

It is also important to say this. Trump is not the source of the problem. His party, and his White House are littered with extremist white nationalist. The names are familiar to us by now. Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, John Kelly within the west wing. And there are people like Steve Bannon and the Nazi-sympathizer Sebastian Gorka who were removed from it. Within the broader Republican party, the white nationalist faction is represented by rising stars like Tom Cotton, and old bigots like Steve King and Joe Arpaio.

But let’s set aside the terrible politics and racism of the GOP for a minute. We  still have to contend with the fact that the US, regardless of which party is in power, has been a force of ill when it comes to foreign policy, especially if you’re a small, poor, non-white nation. We’ve overthrown democratically elected governments, foisted corporate plunderers, outright colonized and stripped several countries for resources (including kidnapping humans to steal their bodies and labor and enslavement). Trump and much of the GOP have always been a part of this dynamic. Recall, Trump said “we should take their oil”. That was shocking, but not as shocking as the fact that Bush and Cheney actually did it. We have a long history of rapaciousness towards smaller countries and weaker peoples. Nothing exemplifies this terror better than Haiti. Haitians are still, in many ways, paying the price for overthrowing their French slave-masters and becoming the first country in the western hemisphere to emancipate its indigenous and enslaved population. If you don’t know much about this, here’s a good thread:

And another one.

I’m deeply disappointed in several first and second-generation immigrants who have chosen to be part of this shitty administration and enable its hateful agenda.

I’m going to pick on the Indian-Americans, because, well they’re my people and it’s the deepest cut. Though of course it is expected. Lots of immigrants are racist. I’ve heard terrible anti-black, racist and even xenophobic (go figure!) comments from immigrants. Some of it stopped after Obama ran and won, to many the Obamas became the face of black America and changed a few minds.

Where does this all this hate and fear of the other come from? Well, right-wing, nationalist shit-heads exist everywhere. The Indian government is run by an extremist Hindu-nationalist, right-wing party that routinely stokes ethnic and religious strife. Not surprisingly, Trump and Modi have a warm relationship based on their anti-Muslim policies and ethno-nationalist politics.

So we should not be surprised that several Indian-Americans would ally with a jingoist, racist, extremist party in the US. But it is still annoying, so I’m going to call these shit-heads out and encourage you to as well.

So all these shit-heads who are only here because the LBJ administration was able to overcome hundreds of years of violent exploitation and white nationalism to pass Civil Rights bills, are now working for and furthering the agenda of a nakedly white nationalist administration. Dumb and self-destructive does not begin to describe these fools.

Now, I want to end with something positive. So first, there is positive news. Indian-Americans are also helping combat Trump’s policies. Lawyers like Neal Katyal, who has been helping argue against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban and Preet Bharara. Politicians like Pramila Jayapal, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Kamala Harris (her mom’s Indian).

I also want to highlight immigrant-activist and Trinidadian-American (of partly Indian heritage) Ravi Ragbir, who has been detained by ICE. Incidentally, call ICE and tell them to release Ravi:

There are mass protests to secure his release:

And don’t let the NYPD get away with choking protesters:

Finally, I want to end on a note about how we get ourselves and this country out of this mess. And for that, I’m going to turn it over to Ben Jealous to put all this in historical context, and tell you what framing we should consider using.

Americans might look at the starting point of race in America through the prism of Roots or 12 Years a Slave, Jealous says, but he goes back to a 1663 revolt in the Virginia Tidewater community of Gloucester. What made the Gloucester County rebellion unique was that it was not a slave rebellion in a traditional sense—it was an alliance of enslaved Africans and Irish and English indentured servants. The casus belli was an edict that stipulated that their current status (that is, as enslaved or indentured) “shall convey to your children.”

“As Americans from the very beginning, so long as we could hope that our children could be better off than us, we were willing to endure a lot—but the moment that it became clear that we were locked out from the American Dream, we would rebel together,” [Ben] Jealous said.

“And this is one of those moments.”  —…

— @subirgrewal