By Frederick H. Lowe
When President Trump told four congresswomen to go back to where they came from because they didn’t love America, his supporters immediately jumped to his defense.
They loudly chanted ‘Send her back,’ during a Trump campaign appearance in South Carolina. The crowd called out U.S. Rep. IIana Omar (D., Minnesota), who moved with her family from Somalia to the United States, where she became a naturalized citizen at 17.
The other three women — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., New York), Ayanna Pressley (D., Massachusetts), and Rashida Tlaub (D., Michigan) —were born in the United States.
Trump’s backers argued that his tweets weren’t racist.
Which makes me want to ask them what would they consider racist?
Would men and women dressed in white sheets with pointed white hats wearing Nazi armbands, standing in a circle around a burning cross, shouting “kill all niggers” be considered racist?
Or would they rationalize that by saying they are boys and girls having fun?
Would their clothing, actions, and verbal venom qualify as racist?
Maybe not. Vernon Jordan, presidential adviser to Bill Clinton, said several years ago he worried about the racists who wore suits, dresses, and high heels to work every day.
That also would include Air Force officers.
I just read an article about Ed Dwight, Jr., the first black trainee who was on the road to becoming an astronaut. It’s 50th anniversary of Neal Armstrong’s walk on the Moon, and many believed Dwight should have been part of that historic crew.
Chuck Yeager, who headed the astronaut program, attempted to block the advancement of Dwight in the astronaut corps, ordering the other trainees to ostracize him so he would quit.
Although Dwight was an Air Force test pilot who had earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Yeager called Captain Dwight “boy.”
Dwight continued to advance, but after President John Kennedy, Dwight’s prime backer, was assassinated, Dwight was pushed out of the astronaut program.
Yeager wrote, “Isn’t it great that Ed Dwight found his true calling and became an accomplished sculptor.”
I am sure Yeager, who has been heralded in the book “The Right Stuff,” didn’t think he was racist. He believed he was just acting normally. He believed Dwight wasn’t qualified to be an astronaut.
Either was Yeager who only had a high school education.
When I walk down the street, black, white, Asian and Hispanic women clutch their purses because they are certain I am waiting for just the right moment to snatch their purses and run away.
That also happens when I walk into a store like Whole Foods, which is across the street from where I own a home.
Black, white and Hispanic security guards follow me around, certain that I am there to steal even when I am walking out of the store, having just paid for my purchases.
One security guard photographed me without my permission, which I’m fairly certain, is illegal. Are they going to charge me with trespassing for buying groceries?
They don’t think their actions are racist if they can think at all. They are engaged in racially divisive behavior like Trump, and they don’t care.