Edgar J. Ridley © 2017
On the day of Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration as President of the United States, a select group of Republicans conspired on how they would deny any legislation proposed by the President. (Draper, 2012). Fast forward to the 2016 election of Donald Trump whose very platform was built on delegitimizing President Obama by questioning Obama’s American citizenship. Indeed, the global community has already ascertained that Trump’s politics are particularly centered around opposing anything authorized by President Obama, absent any dialogue or debate (Sheth 2017). Although Trump has his own particular brand of racism, complete with witless idiocy, his behavior is only a continuation of the historical treatment of African people, not only in America but globally. President Trump is following the racist and vicious behavior of academicians and pundits who have always been bent on erasing any achievements made by Africans on this earth.
Lest we develop amnesia about the falsification of world history, the practice of erasure began with a distortion of historical content and the total destruction of achievements that would become a legacy for Black people on this earth. Although it is inarguable that African people were the first humans, as well as the first people to create civilization, academia from Oxford to Cambridge to Harvard has persisted in distorting and/or denying the achievements of African people globally. The objective, to erase historical memory, paves the way for the notion that nothing was achieved until whites came into the picture. President Trump is following that historical trend by erasing any achievement of the Obama administration so that his legacy will be erased from human memory.
This continuation of the destruction of Black existence has persisted since people who classify themselves as white came into the picture. President Trump’s lies have become America’s norm, even though there have been tempered cries of indignation among some whites. One of the most appalling acts is Trump’s leadership over the voter suppression nationwide, which has caused little comment upon the so-called white liberal establishment. The refusal to condemn white supremacy following the Charlottesville tragedy is only the latest example.
White America produced a monster in Donald Trump. His behavior has become the norm in American culture regardless of the outcries of indignation by some. Several decades ago, black psychiatrists recommended that the American Psychiatric Association label racism as a mental illness during the revision of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V). The APA declined, stating that racism cannot be a mental illness because it is a norm of American society. (Poussaint, 2002). Any review of history will justify the creation of a Donald Trump, which in turn justifies the racist behavior of the American people. The behavior of white nationalists is part and parcel of this pattern. As I chronicle in my books, if we disregard these symptoms, this will surely lead to the destruction of America.
Robert Draper, Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the House of Representatives, Free Press, 2012.
Alvin F. Poussaint, “Is Extreme Racism a Mental Illness?”, Western Journal of Medicine, 2002, 176:1.
Sonam Sheth, “European diplomats consider Trump a ‘laughing stock’ who is ‘obsessed with Obama’,” Business Insider, 8/9/17.
EDGAR J. RIDLEY is Chairman of a global management consulting firm, Edgar J. Ridley and Associates, based in New York. He has published four books, An African Answer: The Key to Global Productivity, Symbolism Revisited – Notes on the Symptomatic Thought Process; The Golden Apple: Changing the Structure of Civilization – Volume I, and Volume 2 – Evidence of Symptomatic Behavior. His research interest focuses on cognitive semiotics and the effect of symbol systems on human neurological processes as well as the damage that symbol systems have caused to human behavior throughout civilization.