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Donald Trump: Nip the evil in the bud

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Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, unfortunately, evokes terrible memories of Adolf Hitler, a man whose hatred for Jews knew no bound, to the extent that he was on the verge of exterminating them. First the Jews were segregated and forced to live in ghettoes in horrible conditions in the 1930s and 40s. They were also required to wear an identifying mark under the threat of death.

Millions of Jews were allegedly killed in concentration camps set up on Hitler’s orders through most painful means like gassing them to death in groups. Horrible medical experiments were conducted on them as though they were lab rats.

The terrible part of this saga is that Hitler had clearly expounded on his hatred for Jews in his book ‘Mein Kampf’ in 1925, years before he implemented his appalling plans. Yet the international community did nothing about the man who would be responsible for so much death and destruction after being ‘elected’ to power by the Germans.

Here are some excerpts from Mein Kampf:

“And so he [the Jew] advances on his fatal road until another force comes forth to oppose him, and in a mighty struggle hurls the heaven-stormer back to Lucifer. Germany is today the next great war aim of Bolshevism. It requires all the force of a young missionary idea to raise our people up again, to free them from the snares of this international serpent…”

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: ‘By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

Republican front-runner Donald Trump set the cat among pigeons when he suggested that there should be a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States until the country’s representatives could figure out, “what the hell is going on.”

Trump does not even try to hide his tremendous dislike for Muslims and minces no words in elucidating how to deal with ‘radical Islam’; the most worrying aspect is that with each of his controversial statement his poll numbers seem to be going north.

America does have issues, but the solutions offered by Trump to those problems are too radical and extreme in nature. For instance, he wants to build a ‘big wall’ on the US-Mexico border in a bid to prevent illegal immigration from their neighbor.

“We’re going to do a wall; we’re going to have a big, fat beautiful door on the wall; we’re going to have people come in, but they’re going to come in legally,” Trump vowed. 

Trump seeks surveillance of mosques and a national database to register all Muslims living in the US to protect the country against terrorism. He also wants a ban on entry of Muslim refugees fleeing violence and destruction in Syria because “we do not know who they are.”

What others call xenophobia, racism, bigotry and white supremacism, Trump considers ‘common sense’.

And when he’s confronted on his outrageous ideas, he brings people’s attention on huge, cheering crowds at “my rallies who gave me a standing ovation when I read out my statement.”

He has been excoriated by his own Republican colleagues, but their concerns roll off Trump like water of a duck’s back.

“I am not bothered because I believe I am doing the right thing. I have common sense,” he told a CNN anchor.

Islamaphobia has been there in the United States for a long time, especially after the 9/11 attacks it grew at a rapid pace among the citizens. Trump is apparently just speaking what’s there on many of the American minds; his growing popularity is a testament to this fact.

But Hitler was also ‘popular’ among Germans. In fact, he was democratically elected by his fellow countrymen despite being aware of his radical views and plans. They should have known who they were voting for, so should the Americans now. For what happens in the US will have ramifications for the whole world.

“One has to wonder what Donald Trump will say next as he ramps up his anti-Muslim bigotry,” Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations was quoted as saying by The Washington Post, adding that “Where is there left for him to go? Are we talking internment camps? Are we talking the final solution to the Muslim question? I feel like I’m back in the 1930s.”

The world cannot afford another Hitler, especially not in America. This evil should be nipped in the bud.

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Brown: The colour of toil but non-acceptance across the West?

"This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied."

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Police Chief David Brown. Image Source: Twitter
  • Kamal Al Solaylee’s book Brown highlights the problems of ‘brown’ people in Trump’s rule
  • Donald Trump is often accused of malingering the image of brown people
  • this book cites many examples of discrimination which brown people go through

Title: Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone); Author: Kamal Al Solaylee

All our social development and our technological advancements don’t seem enough to eradicate our long-persisting atavistic sense of difference based on appearance, which though long-suppressed is now emerging free from its restraints — as proved by the recent intemperate comments by US President Donald Trump on immigrants from a certain set of countries.

Trump’s thinking, as seen in his off-the-cuff remarks, underscore that the questionable classification of race, expressed by the obviously evident and inescapable feature of a person’s skin, is well alive — and extends beyond the white-black binary. What about the yellow, or rather, the (as necessary for the global economy but far more exploited) brown?

Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Trump is only one leading manifestation of the malaise facing brown people — which include West Asians, Latin Americans, North Africans, and South and Southeast Asians — and far beyond the West too or from the “Whites”, says Yemeni-origin, Egypt-bred, Canadian journalist-turned-academician Al Solaylee in this book.

Trump’s victory “largely (but not exclusively)” rode on demonising Mexicans, galvanising sentiment against Muslims and championing white nationalism, the vote for Brexit was mostly pioneered by those with a restrictive view of Englishness, the record of Canada under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — all these are obscure racial conflicts brewing in the US and Europe for decades now.

Also Read: Mexico can learn about dealing with diaspora from India: Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas

“Examine these tensions closely and you’ll find a strong anti-brown sentiment at the core,” says Al Solaylee as he traces the response to, as well as the experiences of, the residents of Global South, who are forced to migrate to — and much needed in — the Developed North for various reasons, not least of which is the latter’s colonial record.

“Brown as the colour of cheap labour continues on a global scale… brown bodies undertake the work that white and older immigrant Americans refuse to do (and those black slaves were forced to do in previous centuries).

These are low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in unforgiving climates,” he says, but also that these are not limited to the Western nations but also in the more affluent parts of Asia itself too.

“This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied; our presence as Muslims or religious minorities is offered as an example of the tolerant, diverse societies in which we live, but we continue to be feared,” says Al Solaylee.

And there is no difference whether this is deliberate or mistaken as he goes to cite the cases of the racist slurs on Sikh volunteers feeding the homeless in Manchester in the wake of the May 2017 terror attack, or the fatal shooting of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US in February 2017 by an American who thought he and his friend were Iranians and screaming at them to “get out of his country”.

Al Solaylee contends we think of brown as a “continuum, a grouping — a metaphor, even — for the millions of darker-skinned people who, in broad historical terms, have missed out on the economic and political gains of the post-mobility, equality and freedom”. They are now living, he says, among former colonial masters where they are “transforming themselves from nameless individuals with swarthy skins into neighbours, co-workers and friends”.

You may also like: List of 50 People who have affected Hinduism in a Negative Manner 

And it is their story he tells — both in their homes from the Philippines to Sri Lanka and workplaces from Hong Kong to the Gulf as well as Western Europe and North America.

Al Solaylee, however, starts with first recounting his own childhood experience on learning he is brown after seeing an English movie featuring a white child and coming to terms with “brownness” in his journeys around the world and interactions with other browns (fairness creams figure largely as well as the concern that he settle down) as well as Brown’s significance in nature and culture.

He then takes up the human obsession with race, despite the concept being debunked, except in politics before his exploration of the experiences and consequences of being brown around the world.

A stirring travelogue, incisive social and political comment and a passionate cry to rise above unavoidable consequences of geography and genes, this invaluable work rises in importance beyond its subject to be a seminal guide to the world today — and what it will soon be — particularly the US. IANS