Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Trump is a cowardly Fascist.

After the events of the weekend in Charlottesville, where a far right demonstration in support of a Civil War Statue ended up with many injuries and one death amongst counter demonstrators, there was a reasonable expectation that the President of the United States of America would condemn this violent attack on democracy and equality.

Instead, Donald Trump has exposed himself for what he really is - a fascist and a cowardly one at that..

Up until now we knew that his father was arrested (but then released uncharged) taking part in a Ku Klux Klan demonstration in New York.

Both Trump and his father made their money developing apartments, especially in New York. Both father and son were prosecuted by the city for failing to let a sufficient proportion of their apartments to people from ethnic minorities.

But didn't Trump make a statement condemning the far right?

No, he read a statement from the autocue like an automaton.

The next day he repeated his off the cuff statements blaming anti- racist demonstrators as much as the right.

This was no accident - no President or Presidential candidate can afford to endorse racism. But Trump can give a nod and a wink to the Grand Wizards of the KKK, the shouty writers of Breitbart and the embittered and isolated people who describe themselves as 'Alt-Right'.

Even in America (where racism and fascism are protected under the constitution as some kind of 'Free Speech') very few people want to come out as openly racist.

The number of people in the Southern States who want to celebrate the supporters of slavery in the civil war is very small. Most people want the statues gone, the roads and parks renamed.

But the supporters of the Klan and the right in the South represent a feudal establishment which is still very powerful.

The number of white people who are prepared to go along with these landowners, their political apologists and their murderous underlings is much larger; white people can be scared, frightened of making a stand.

So when a President equates a racist lynch mob with the people who came out to demonstrate against them this moves the line of acceptability in the direction of the right. By a nod and a wink he is saying "I'm with you.....really I am but my hands are tied".

And that's good enough to move the centre of fear in favour of the right.

It says it's alright to invent obstacles that prevent black people from registering to vote.

It means it's alright to open far too few voting centres in black areas so that it takes people there hours longer to vote. It's quite OK that the vote shuts down too early for working people to have a chance to vote after work.

Southern states now know it's OK to force people to pay for expensive photo I/D which they wouldn't normally have.

All the lessons we learnt over the last forty years of antifascism are that fascism needs to be stopped in its tracks. It's demonstrations need to be countered, it's ideology needs to be challenged.

We need to move the line of fear away from our people, we need to put the right back into the position where it is too frightened to make a stand.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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