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Trump is an Existential Threat to People Like You and Me - By Dr. Bbuye Lya Mukanga

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Trump is an Existential Threat to People Like You and Me - By Dr. Bbuye Lya Mukanga

There is one thing that has surprised, and may be appalled me, more than the election of Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the USA. I have been surprised and appalled by the great number of Ugandans, especially those in the Diaspora, who are beside themselves and are wildly and enthusiastically cheering the victory of Donald Trump.


They remind me of the hundreds of thousands of their compatriots who, in 1971, cheered and celebrated the violent overthrow and takeover of the Government of Uganda by the then Army Commander, General Idi Amin Dada. Admittedly, Obote, who was overthrown, was not that good or that liked as a leader. But little did the celebrants of Idi Amin’s coup d’etat know that, following upon that violent event, some 45 years hence, the country would still be moaning and groaning like a hen that sat on and tried to hatch a nest of sterile eggs. (As they would say in Kigungu, Entebbe: Bakaaba omulumaamiro nga enkoko eyatuula ku masumba.)


I do not contest Donald Trump’s election to be President of the United States, and I do not think that anyone else should. Donald Trump won, legitimately, and he took in many states that were thought to be safely Democratic. The pundits and the polls were wrong. And that is a story for another day. The thing is that on Wednesday morning, I was so glad when I heard Hillary Clinton give her very gracious concession speech. She opened the window and allowed in a whiff of hope and a touch of reassurance in an otherwise awkward, loaded and sweaty situation. Hillary’s concession speech was, in many ways, a celebration of the character of many Americans that I know.


It was a salute to the spirit of democracy as it is generally accepted and practiced around the world. It was an acknowledgement of people’s desire for stability. And that stability, as many of us from Africa know well, depends on the peaceful transition of power. President Barack Obama had campaigned fiercely against Donald Trump. But after the results came in, Barrack Obama was as magnanimous as Hillary Clinton in accepting that Donald Trump was the President-elect, the person chosen to succeed him. Obama spoke with the incredible dignity and grace with which he has led America and the world for eight years. I share Hillary and Obama’s sentiments, and I do believe that America and the world need to give Trump a chance, for the good of America and the world.


Who knows? May be Trump will surprise us all. May be he will build bridges and not walls. May be Trump will say some respectful things about our daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers and grandmothers. May be he will reassure my cousins, nephews and nieces and my friends of different faiths in the US that they can participate equally in and partake of the American Dream. May be he will even pay his share of the tax burden.


BUT, and this is a big BUT, having said all that, I am also entitled to say that, there is no way that I or others, especially those that have been at the receiving end Trump’s abuse, mockery, threats and bullying, can or should just suddenly forget, look the other way, or forgive what he said during the campaign and beyond the campaign. To do that would not only be foolish, it would be irresponsible. After all this a man who more than once even suggested that his competitor for the post of President would be fair game for violent elimination. Being a black African, Trump’s election causes me to recall a time in 1976 when Julian Bond (then a Georgia State Senator) and David Duke [then Grand Wizard of the KK] were interviewed on one of the early morning TV shows in the US. Julian Bond insisted that he had to sit in a place where he had a full view of David Duke all the time. Asked why he wanted to have a full view of Duke all the time, Julian Bond replied, “This is a man who has sworn to kill black people. It would be foolish for me to knowingly put my back to him!” Equally, it would be foolish for any black person, Mexican, Jew, LBSG person, person with disabilities, and many others who have been trashed, threatened and bullied to put their backs to Donald Trump.


Here is a man who exploited ugly, racist stereotypes, describing African-American communities as “war zones” and “hell.” Here is a man who re-circulated racist and anti-Semitic tweets. Here is a man who could not disavow the endorsement of David Duke, a neo-Nazi and probably the most well-known white supremacist in America – a man who wishes all non-white people to be dead (Have a peek at David Duke.) Here is a man who named as his campaign chairman and then Chief Strategist one Stephen Bannon a man who runs a website, Breitbart News, that caters to the alt-right, a rebranded white nationalist movement (Have a peek, and another peek). Trump is a man who went on Alex Jones‘ radio show and told the far-right radio host that his “reputation is amazing.” Jones is, in fact, a fabulist, a con artist known for propagating wild conspiracy theories. Jones has gone as far as his claiming that the 9/11 attacks and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting were the work of the government. (Have a peek at Jones.)


For me, and for many others, the last few days can be summarised in the words: AMERICA ELECTED A BIGOT! Donal Trump is not just a racist or, at best, a best-friend and enabler of racists. Donald Trump is a bigot! Donald Trump is a demagogue! Donald Trump is a sexist, misogynist, chauvinist pig who brags about sexually assaulting women! Donald Trump is a bully who makes fun of the disabled! Donald Trump is a pathological liar! Donald Trump is a nativist. Donald Trump is a billionaire whose businesses have on more than one occasion gone bankrupt. He boasts about stiffing contractors (USA TODAY exclusive). Donald Trump outsources the making of many of his products. He brags about not paying federal income taxes. Donald Trump is a cheat! Donald Trump is a person who savors a lust for vengeance. Donald Trump is a person who says he has never needed to seek forgiveness, not even from God. (Listen to him in his own words.)


Let us face the truth. The truth is that Donald Trump is a president-elect who has been wallowing in the cesspool of hate and extremism. The White supremacists who backed his candidacy are jumping for joy. (See for yourself.) They think they now have their man in the White House. Andrew Anglin is proprietor of the Daily Stormer, a sickening website that is popular among neo-Nazis. Anglin declared at Trump’s election, “Our Glorious Leader has ascended to God Emperor. Make no mistake about it: we did this.”(Read more.) David Duke was equally exultant. He tweeted that “our people played a HUGE role in electing Trump!” Kevin MacDonald is an outspoken anti-Semite and former professor. MacDonald wrote upon Trump’s election, “This is an amazing victory. Fundamentally, it is a victory of White people over the oligarchic, hostile elites.” (Read.)


Trump’s Transition Team includes people like Kris Kobach. Kobach is the Kansas Secretary of State who birthed the viciously discriminatory, unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws that were enacted by Arizona, Alabama and other states some time back. (See the damage) Another member of the Transition Team is Ken Blackwell. Blackwell is a former Ohio secretary of state. He is now a senior fellow at the rabidly anti-LGBT Family Research Council (FRC). The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power”. I reality its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. (More about the FRC)


In January 2017, Donald Trump will become America’s country’s 45th president. This is a truly shocking fact; it is a bitter pill to swallow. I have no doubt that this is one of the worst possible people who could be elected President of the USA. I remain convinced that Trump has a fundamentally flawed character and that he is and will be literally injurious to the general welfare, well-being and harmony of Americans, he will diminish America’s standing in the world, and he will contribute to a dangerous and less stable world.


This means that instead of blindly cheering Donald Trump, instead of waiting under the table as, as many do back home, for the crumps and droplets that land on the floor from the feast above, people like you should join forces with those who will be working to make Donald Trump more socially and communally malleable, empathic, compassionate, and accountable and compliant and subservient to the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.


As is customary, Trump has pledged to be a president “for all Americans.” If he truly means it, he must, for a start, boot the extremists out of his tent. Let him tell them in no uncertain terms that they will have no voice or place in his administration. Let him tell people like Stephen Bannon, Kris Kobach and Ken Blackwell that he does not want to ever see them on his property or in his sight again. Let him unequivocally disavow David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan and what they stand for. If he can make that start, perhaps he can miraculously become a part of the healing of the open wounds that his craving to be President of America has gashed into his country and the world. I believe in miracles.

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