DONALD TRUMP, OMAROSA AND WHITE VENGEANCE: WHAT DOES HISTORY TELL US?
By Legrand H. Clegg II
“That dog,” “Crazed, crying lowlife,” “The dumbest man on television,” “Low I.Q.” This is just a small sample of the negative comments that President Donald J. Trump has made about prominent African Americans. During the week of August 12, 2018, the President used the first two statements to describe his former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, whose new tell-all book about Trump’s administration has triggered a national firestorm. Weeks earlier he called CNN anchor, Don Lemon, “[T]he dumbest man on television,” questioned the intelligence of basketball star LeBron James and repeatedly stated that Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California has a “low I.Q.”
While the President has also singled out a number of White people for malicious criticism, his attacks on Black people have contributed to longstanding stereotypes of African Americans and reinforce the racism of his base. Why would the most powerful man in the world use his bully pulpit to target Black people the way he has? By now it should be clear to everyone that the President, just as most other White people, harbors a deeply ingrained sense of racism toward Black people and, unlike most other White leaders, has chosen not to mask it.
We are entering an age of resurgent racism, especially as manifested by widespread police abuse of African Americans and the blatant bigotry of the alt-right, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist organizations. In our response to this growing peril we, as Black people, should pause, gather our wits about us and calmly evaluate the true nature of White racism toward us.
From such analysis, we will find that today, as in the past, we are not just facing racial prejudice and intolerance but, rather, a deep-seated, visceral, robotic loathing of Black people by Whites on a global scale that appears to defy all logic, has persisted over the centuries and is gaining renewed momentum during the Age of Trump.
In modern, symbolic parlance, racism appears to be “in the White man’s DNA”. In our historical bewilderment over this behavior, we have appealed to the White collective with demonstrations, protests, petitions, prayer vigils, etc.; none of which has led to a genuine cessation of racism on the part of the White establishment or masses.
I believe that a pivotal cause of racism is a sense of vengeance against Black people. This behavior has deep historical roots that were clear to Europeans and their descendants five hundred years ago. However, today this sentiment has morphed into a subconscious reflex that has been refined, reinforced and perpetuated by every social institution in the Western World (especially the American media in its manipulation of the minds of the White masses) over the past half of a millennium; to the point where the collective White opinion of Blacks is on “auto pilot” – with few people currently concerned about or aware of the true origin and meaning of this mass hypnosis.
To understand White racism, which I call vengeance, toward Black people we must step outside of our modern context into the broad sweep of history and study an ancient and medieval world that was largely dominated by Black Africans – the parents of the human family.
For at least three thousand years Black Pharaohs and generals raided, invaded, conquered, dominated, colonized, oppressed, civilized and enslaved various European populations.
The story of the Moors i.e. , Black Africans and Negroid Arabs of the Islamic faith, who conquered and ruled most of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) between 711 A.D. and 1492 A.D., is the most recent, longstanding and notable of the recorded periods of African domination of White populations.
In the words of historian Edward Scobie, the Moors provided for “not only Portugal and Spain, but the rest of emerging Europe a powerful economic, scientific, artistic, [and] political impulse; an impulse which led to European domination of the world.” Nevertheless, during Black rule the indigenous Spanish launched several wars of liberation against the Moors that finally resulted in King Ferdinand’s and Queen Isabella’s ascension to the throne in 1492. (Some Black scholars contend that the Spanish bull fight and bull run are symbolic reenactments of the medieval Spanish / Moorish wars and the ultimate expulsion of the Black conquerors from the Iberian peninsula.)
The Spanish were so resentful of Moorish occupation, domination and influence that, after they regained power, they wiped out much of Moorish culture. “At the beginning of the Colombian Era, [ 1492]” wrote historian Jan Carew, “thousands of books that the Moors had collected over centuries – priceless masterpieces that their geographers, scientists, poets, historians and philosophers had written, and tomes their scholars had translated- were committed to bonfires by Priests of the Holy Inquisition.”
The Spanish and Portuguese also expelled over three million Moors (killing fifty thousand in one day in 1570), and sought to expunge their memory. The latter continues today as White historians write volumes about the Middle Ages with only scant reference to Europe’s indebtedness to its Moorish benefactors.
After their banishment from Spain and Portugal, the Moors spread over Europe incurring the wrath of many of their White host countries. For example, writing in old English in 1596, Queen Elizabeth called for the “diverse blackamoors to be sent forth from the land [England].” The Moors were also stereotyped and demeaned as black devils in medieval European literature. Furthermore, Black pirates, who had dominated the Mediterranean for centuries and sold millions of Whites into slavery in North Africa, were driven from power.
After the defeat of the Moors by the Spanish and Portuguese, these Europeans gradually began trading with West Africans – first in commodities and then in slaves and prisoners of war. This eventually devolved into the now notorious, centuries-long slave-trade involving the transport of Africans across the Atlantic to the New World and their enslavement in the Americas.
When the tables were turned and the Portuguese and Spanish began enslaving Africans, whom they called Moors, the longstanding European hatred and resentment toward their Black adversaries – dating back at least three thousand years and culminating with the European exploits of General Hannibal of Carthage and later the Moors – transformed into a form of racism that Carew states “was adopted by all of the European colonies who came in the wake of the Spanish, and would endure throughout the Columbus era,” and still persists today.
I theorize that the deep-seated, visceral racism that White people in the United States (including President Trump in his attacks against Omarosa and other African Americans) and elsewhere (e.g., Europe, Latin America, Australia, etc.) manifest toward Black people today is rooted in a subconscious drive toward vengeance against their former Black conquerors and slave-masters. This deeply internalized White antipathy has proven itself to be virtually impervious to change in the face of Black appeals and agitation. Therefore, I humbly suggest that we, African Americans, cease appealing to the collective White conscience for change and, instead, utilize our vast consumer power to withhold our financial patronage (boycott) in wise and strategic ways; just as our revered leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., did with the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the 1950’s that led to the end of segregation in public transportation and the ultimate success of the Civil Rights Movement.
Legrand H. Clegg II is the city attorney emeritus for Compton, California, president of the Western Region of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, and producer of the documentary “When Black Men Ruled the World.” He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at his Long Beach, CA, law office at 562-624-2857 or at his new website at www.thesiriuspeople.com
Published with Permission by Legrand H. Clegg II