The insidious grip of white nationalism on our nation’s highest office was made all too clear this morning when President Donald Trump sent out a disturbing tweet for National Agriculture Day.
Our Nation was founded by farmers. Our independence was won by farmers. And our continent was tamed by farmers. Our farmers always lead the way — we are PROUD of them, and we are DELIVERING for them! #NationalAgricultureDay
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2018
While appearing innocuous at first glance, it only takes a second to realize that this is not the work of Donald Trump but his extremist advisor Steve Miller, the racist Rasputin to an atherosclerotic would-be despot, the sallow shadow-man who reshapes Trump’s primitive, incoherent populism into white supremacist dog whistles.
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Our nation was not “founded” by farmers who innocently settled in an uninhabited wilderness. Our nation was “founded” by white slave-owners who ran plantations and committed genocide in order to seize the land for those plantations and the fortunes they would build off of the suffering and abuse of African slaves.
The west was not “tamed” by farmers; it was purged of its original inhabitants by the bullets of the United States Army and the devastating biological weapons of European pathogens, the survivors being forcibly driven away from the lands they called home before ultimate consignment to internment on reservations.
Upon the ashes of the Native American society, the white “farmers” constructed a new nation based on strict racial hierarchy and animated by unrepentant white supremacy, a rot which remains inextricably woven into the foundations of modern America.
This shameless attempt to whitewash and sanitize our nation’s bloody and unjust history reinforces the far-right wing’s appeal to an atavistic narrative of how America has been and therefore always should be an inherently a white, Christian nation.
That myth is then used to justify the bigotry and discrimination of Trumpian conservatism; a foundation from which to build excuses for the imprisonment of undocumented migrants in concentration camps and forcing them to labor for slave wages, the passage of travel bans, the mass deportations, the interminable slaughter of minorities by law enforcement officers, the systematic socioeconomic disenfranchisement of black Americans, and all the myriad ways that white supremacy looms large over American society, from Wall Street to Hollywood Boulevard.
When it comes to the cultural wars between the oppressive right and the liberating left, know that our enemies will not pass up any excuse to parrot their pernicious propaganda. Don’t participate in the normalization of this kind of talk.