Racist Thought in America

Copyright 2016, John Manimas Medeiros


What Donald Trump has done in the United States in 2016 is exactly what Adolf Hitler did in Germany in 1932:  appeal to racist fears and feelings to blame the country's problems on ethnic minorities; promise to make the country great again; discredit political and philosophical opposition with emotional attacks.  The risk of authoritarian power and the loss of civil rights is deemed to apply only to those who are not "pure" Americans.  The truth about "racial purity" is that it would not make people greater -- it would make them mentally retarded.   


In order to understand the racist thought that is an important part of American history, you need to read The Hemingses of Monticello (Annette Gordon-Reed) and The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson).  These two excellent books reveal the truth about America's old and ongoing struggle with the belief that humans are divided into different races and some races are inferior to others in some significant way.  There is actually no scientific evidence to support racist thought.  It arises from the human trait and habit of social conformity and a fear of any people who have different customs or minor but different physical traits.  Different language and different forms of dance and religious rituals also makes people act like those differences require complete rejection and separation.  Americans, a people who often say that they are exceptional, have outlawed religious rituals different from their own (Native Americans).  Most Americans do not know that the first African slaves were brought to the European colonies in America in 1620.  They were brought to perform harsh physical labor on the new plantations.  Their physical labor was needed, but none of the Europeans thought of them as people who would become citizens.  They were imported labor and by today's standards they could have been designated as "guest workers" but the "guests" had no legal rights.  For reasons beyond understanding, they were regarded as private property that did not have the legal status of a human being or person.  The extreme and "peculiar" oppression of slavery in America was more cruel and more violent than anywhere else or any time in human history.  In much of the world where "slavery" existed, slaves were usually treated as employees bound in the obligation to work for their "owner," but the slave had a legal status that included human rights, protection, and reasonable benefits for the work they performed.  In most societies that allowed slavery, the slave could be trained and educated and could rise in both responsibility and social status, all the way to free and equal citizen.  The extremely cruel treatment of African slaves in America was unique and unknown in other parts of the world.  That means that the American people have been more cruel and more violent toward people living in their society than any other people.  That is a hard truth to swallow, but it is true.


Those who claim to be pure Americans and "exceptional" and who need to protect themselves from the morally inferior brown-skinned minorities almost invariably claim to be Christian and lovers of the teachings of Jesus Christ.  That incongruity is astounding.  Jesus taught and practiced extreme equality and extreme democracy.  (See:  The Primacy of Stewardship).  He said that the truth shall make us free.  You will not be free until you learn and accept the truth about the racist thought that has poisoned the United States of America.  If we do not die from the chemical poisons we put into our physical environment, we could die from the spiritual poisons that we put into our minds.              


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