By Oscar Valdes 4/26/19
One of the issues at the core of Mr Trump’s turbulent presidency has been and remains his unwillingness to take the lead in confronting the resurgence of white supremacy in our nation. His inability to do so defines him as a man who is not integrated, a person that although intelligent and energetic, appears unable to confront his fears. Therein lies the great paradox of his presidency, that the leader of the free world is not a free man himself.
Free men will have prejudices – it comes with being human – but truly free men are willing to question themselves and struggle to resolve such prejudices. More than two years into his presidency we have yet to see evidence that Mr Trump has such ability.
Racism is a false belief, born out of a desire to prematurely close the inquiry into what makes each of us human. At the root of such desire is fear – fear of knowing the other – and when such fear is unexamined it leads to their devaluing and opens the door to their mistreatment.
Members of the white race have done wonderful things for humanity. Their accomplishments have been there to be enjoyed by all. The great men and women of science, industry and the arts, who happened to be white, never did think that what they had accomplished had anything to do with the color of their skin. Rather, they were well aware that their contribution to their fellow human beings rested solidly on the capacity to conceive and imagine the fullness of ideas, and then to muster the tenacity to carry them out.
Members of the white race have also done horrible things to humanity; the Holocaust, the torture and enslavement of Black Americans, the cruelty to Native Americans. And yet, through it all, the majority of the white race strives on, willing to examine themselves, determined to reach the higher ground that comes from greater self knowledge.
But where is Mr Trump? Where is the leader of the Free World? Where is the leader of the evolving consciousness that lies at the heart of what means to be free?
The great performer, the entertainer, the great seeker of attention, is sadly silent on the issue.
Not willing to confront his own fears he is thus unwilling to take on white supremacists, and so ends up encouraging them.
Mr Trump seems to believe that sitting in the White House absolves him of his flaws. Alas, it has magnified them. What his followers fail to see, so far – for eventually they will – is that our president is a distraction leading us away from the path to greater achievement, which comes from our full development as human beings and is only possible when we accept our flaws as a necessary first step to understanding them.
The hatred of others is incompatible with the path to self realization. And it is so because ‘the other’ lies within us – deep in our breast – ingrained in our soul, ceaselessly yearning to be embraced. Each one of us is all of humanity, containing at least a sample of nature’s plenitude, at least a grain of the misshapen, the ugly, the restricted, the divine, the beautiful and the gifted. And so with colors, for whiteness, a beautiful color indeed as all colors are, is but a variety in the garden of nature and not a reflection of supremacy.
To hate the other is to hate ourselves. The self aware struggles with such hate, day in and day out, for it is the price of calling ourselves free.
Mr Trump has been unable to grasp this essence and so he is not a free man. He cannot or will not perceive the larger picture. He cannot or will not say to his base, ‘let us join hands and overcome our fears and we shall seek real freedom, the freedom that comes from the quest to find our truth and which will lead us to genuine achievement’.
That more than 2 years into his presidency Mr Trump has been unable to do so, is a grave flaw of character and a blatant shirking of responsibility, the responsibility that comes from being the leader of the most powerful free nation in the world – a country that remains a beacon to the hopes of mankind – and a fountain of ideas to remedy some of the most difficult problems humanity is facing.
America – all included – the white, the black, the brown and the yellow; the blue, the red and shades in between; the fully developed and the developing, the clear headed and the confused, the open hearted and the presently bigoted, all deserve a better president.