Donald Trump has put the nation on notice that a civil war might erupt if he is removed from office. To many African Americans, the idea of a civil war conjures up images of slavery, forced servitude, a nation’s shame, white supremacy, and mob mentality. Donald Trump said in a tweet that if he is removed from office, a "civil war" might erupt in the United States… it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal…"
As a people, African Americans find it difficult to even begin to comprehend the magnitude of Trump’s obliviousness to certain groups of people and his narcissistic state of mind. He has left the good of the country behind and has taken this nation on a whirlwind rollercoaster ride that is in jeopardy of falling off the rails.
The Spoken Word
During his presidency, Trump has engaged in a campaign of constant persuasion. Taking his audiences closer and closer to his vision of America. The Constitution bears no credence with him and those unfortunate enough to be in his cabinet are disposable collateral. With the swipe of his finger, he dismisses them with a tweet and loyalty is synonymous with obeying. Having no independent thoughts, those around him must embrace his movement or risk public embarrassment.
Words are powerful, and they can invoke people to various states of unrest. Trump is notorious for verbal repetition. His chants over the past few years are attempts to persuade as well as summon his listener to action. In The Power of the Law of Repetition, Dr. J. B. Jones reminds us that repeating over and over and over again and again and again a certain concept or a certain idea, makes a track in the subconscious. “And it has been proved that when we go through this process, through repeating and repeating and repeating over and over again, a concept… will become established…, as a condition from which we will react… and then that is known as a part of us and as Solomon said, "As a man thinketh so is he."
Donald Trump has persuaded himself that he is America, and so goes Trump so goes the nation. His delusional concept of self has put him in the genre of The Emperor’s New Clothes. His constant repetition of various chants to his audiences translates into hate rhetoric. He targets like-minded people whom he affectionately brands as his followers while filling their conscious mind with the idea of white privilege and giving them his stamp of approval to result in violence. The following statement at one of his rallies is a testament to his savagery:
“Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell ... I promise you I will pay for the legal fees! I promise! I promise”!
Turning Up the Rhetoric
One Civil War has been fought on American soil. And since we understand that history repeats itself, a brief review of some Civil War facts might give one a glimpse into Trump’s Civil War.
America's First Civil War
All wars must have casualties and a close review of the combat and casualty records generated in a recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000 in wars where America was engaged. Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson writes that:
"The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won the election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. The incoming Lincoln administration and most of the Northern people refused to recognize the legitimacy of secession. They feared that it would discredit democracy and create a fatal precedent that would eventually fragment the no-longer United States into several small, squabbling countries."
For emphasis, this writer is duty-bound to rewrite the latter part of McPherson’s summation, with a few modifications: “… [Trump has] discredited democracy and created a fatal precedent that [has] fragmented…the United States into several small, squabbling [factions].”
During the Civil War, typically, soldiers were buried where they fell. Others were buried near the hospitals where they died. At most battlefields the dead were exhumed and moved to National or Confederate cemeteries, but because there were so many bodies, and because of the time and effort it took to unveil them, there are undeniably tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers in unknown battlefield graves.
Reactions to Trump's Dog Whistle
"I have visited nations ravaged by civil war," Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted and I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant." Kinzinger is a veteran and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He is one of the only Republicans to publicly criticize Mr. Trump's call with the Ukraine leader.
New York Times’ writer Charlie Warzel (nytimes.com/2019/09/30/opinion/trump-civil-war.html) states that:
“As outlandish and extreme as it is, warning of a looming civil war is a familiar talking point across the pro-Trump media. It’s part of a growing tradition of right-wing fearmongering. Though Mr. Trump in the past has openly toyed with illiberal notions (ignoring term limits, not accepting election results should he lose), his casual suggestion that his ouster might lead to bloodshed [feels] like uncharted territory….For liberals, it is a warning: Don’t push churchgoing, gun-loving conservatives too far, or there’ll be dangerous consequences”.
Obama's administration former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem exclaims that the President’s tweet, added to an already unsound political environment, his words “serves as the inspiration for random acts of politically motivated violence, such as mass shootings.”
Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) is a reporter in TPM’s New York office covering corruption, extremism, and other beats and he contributes the following: A supporter of the President who claimed to be a member of the broader “III%” movement (named because members assert that three percent of Americans served in Revolutionary War militias) put it uncompromisingly succinct in a video he posted to Twitter. While looking directly in the camera, said Trump supporter made known that:
“At the end of the day, Mr. President, just know that if they try some illegal move to remove you from presidency, if there is an uprising of radical Islamic terrorists in this country, the three percenters are at your disposal,” …. “All you have to do is come out on Twitter or national media and call us to arms, and we will show the world once again that America has the largest free-standing army with weapons and firepower that they can’t even begin to fathom. You will have an army at your side at a moment’s notice, Mr. President. All you have to do is say the word.”
The tweet has been removed.
What Does It Mean for Minorities?
It goes without saying how African Americans and other minorities might fare in Trump’s Civil War. Considering the fact that our schools are more segregated than ever, that unemployment for blacks is high; that white cops feel empowered enough to parade a black man down the main street in Galveston, Texas with a rope tied around his neck as they ride on horseback; that a Dallas cop can kill a black man in his own home while sitting on his couch eating ice cream, and that Trump pondered about how he could add an alligator or snake-filled moat along the border and shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down, as cited in 'Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration' by New York Times Washington correspondent Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis.
Whether Trump’s Civil War is a figment of his imagination or a ready to execute strategy if impeached, Rep. Maxine Waters warns us that Trump is
"…dog-whistling to the white supremacists, the KKK, and the dangerous people. We have stories about many of those white supremacists who do nothing but practice how they are going to be involved in a civil war and fight against this government. And this president is irresponsible in so many ways, aside from making us a target of these white supremacists and those who would kill us in a civil war. Some of us would be the first to be killed...”
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.