Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Against a Deracinated Discourse

December 30, 2016
Trump supporters at a campaign even in Fort Dodge, Iowa, November 12, 2015. (Photo credit: Scott Olson / Getty)

By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya

At a post-election event in Boston, Senator Bernie Sanders uttered the following: “It’s not good enough for someone to say, ‘I’m a woman! Vote for me!’” No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”

Since the victory of Trump over Clinton, comments like those have echoed across the political spectrum, including from several Democrats (or those claiming to be). Those who hail from the political left fear that the Democratic party has lost its way with the “working class” — which is a problematic frame that I’ll explain later — or that Democrats are more invested in diversity than in dismantling class oppression. These are both valid points. However, those of us who are underrepresented and politically insecure — especially those of us who are people of color — have reason to worry: this framing portrays us and our issues as mere distractions from the “real” concerns of American people. Evidently, the soul of the Democrat Party is a site of struggle. I hope to push back against the forces that would marginalize racial justice on the Left, and which would leave POC like ourselves stranded and more powerless than before.

There are valid critiques of “identity politics,” including some raised by other folks of color. We might, for example, confuse a person’s background for  their politics. When we elect Bobby Jindal or Nikki Haley, some of us can make the mistake of believing that they’ll stand up for us, or that their wins should be celebrated. Similar sentiments might also apply to Margaret Thatcher or other so-called “change” candidates, even when these figures are revealed to only serve the interests of the wealthy elite. However, the argument turns bitter and dangerous when the person advocating against “identity” politics invokes a sort of “neoliberal” agenda to divide and rule the people while neglecting working class politics.

The critiques of “identity politics” are problematic in three ways. First, it marginalizes the experiences of African Americans and other groups of color who are part of the working class. Second, it distorts the image of who is the typical reactionary voter. Most importantly, it consistently negates the power of race and racism in the U.S., both past and present.

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Elaine Chao Joins Trump’s Cabinet as Secretary of Transportation

November 29, 2016
Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, who is the only member of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet to serve the full eight years of his two terms in office, has been selected by President-Elect Donald Trump to head the Department of Transportation in his upcoming administration.

Chao, who was the first Asian American woman to sit on a presidential Cabinet, previously served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Peace Corps under President George H.W. Bush.

Chao’s tenure as Labor Secretary was marked by her decidedly pro-business stance, leaving her frequently at odds with labour unions and workers’ rights groups. The Government Accountability Office reported in 2008 that the Labor Department inadequately investigated tens of thousands of complaints filed by workers alleging labour violations. In addition, the Department of Labor under Chao was repeatedly criticized for failing to conduct proper safety inspections to protect worker health, while redirecting resources towards stricter scrutiny of labour unions’ financial records. Nonetheless, Chao has remained a powerful player within the national Republican party even after leaving the position of Secretary of Labor, particularly as a close strategist and advisor to her husband of over twenty years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Asian Americans Must Join the Fight to #StopSessions (and #StopBannon)

November 18, 2016
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Senator Jeff Sessions

Earlier this morning, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he has chosen Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to fill the role of US Attorney General under the upcoming Trump administration.

This selection is tantamount to a declaration of war against people of colour and immigrants, including against Asians and Asian Americans. The Asian American community must rally to stop the confirmation of Senator Sessions as our next head the Department of Justice.

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Trump Supporter Cites Japanese American Incarceration to Justify Planned Muslim Registry

November 17, 2016
Trump supporter Carl Higbie in a Fox News appearance with Megyn Kelly on November 16, 2016. (Photo credit: Fox / Mediate)
Trump supporter Carl Higbie in a Fox News appearance with Megyn Kelly on November 16, 2016. (Photo credit: Fox / Mediate)

We all knew it would come to this, didn’t we?

Last night, Trump supporter Carl Higbie, a former spokesperson for the Great America PAC, appeared on Fox News’ The Kelly File to defend the Trump administration’s plans to create a national registry of Muslims. When challenged about the unconstitutionality of such a plan, Higbie declared that the proposed registry had legal precedent, highlighting Japanese American incarceration as an example (video after the jump).

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Trauma Nation in the Era of Trump: Abandoned, but not Alone

November 16, 2016
(Photo credit: Sudip Bhattacharya)
An anti-Trump protest in New York City that occurred after Election Day 2016. (Photo credit: Sudip Bhattacharya)

By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya

“They sold us out,” a friend texted me on election night, after an avowed racist, misogynist, and capitalist , was declared the 45th President of the United States of America.

As the days wore on, others too have expressed similar sentiments, whether while crying over the phone or messaging me at 1 A.M.

All of us, as POC, recognize what has happened, and understand who “they” really are: the white neighbors we thought we could trust, the white friend we assumed knew better, the white co-worker we believed was joking when they claimed that the orange-colored man was what America needed after eight years of Obama. We now see them for who they truly are: liars and frauds.

If you claim to be a white ally and are uncomfortable in reading this, then you are part of the problem. You have allowed the racism in your family and among your peers to permeate the political discourse, and to ultimately, take it over and in the process, risk the lives of millions of POC.

For the rest of you, who I’m hoping are in fact black and brown people searching for answers over what to do next, it is incumbent upon me to admit the hard truth:

We’re fucked.

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