Donald Trump has just about filled his cabinet. And, Henry Giroux writes, it's clear that White Nationalism will be firmly ensconced in the White House. Consider two prominent Trump picks -- Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon:
Sessions has a long history of racist rhetoric, insults and practices, including opposing the Voting Rights Act and addressing a Black lawyer as "boy." He was denied a federal judgeship in the 1980s because his colleagues claimed that he made racist remarks on a number of occasions. Sessions has also called organizations, such as the ACLU, NAACP and the National Council of Churches "un-American" because of their emphasis on civil rights, which he has portrayed as being shoved down the throats of the American public. He was also accused of falsely prosecuting Black political activists in Alabama for voting fraud.
Sessions' racism often merges with his religious fundamentalism. As Miranda Blue observes, he has "dismissed immigration reform as 'ethnic politics' and warned that allowing too many immigrants would create 'cultural problems' in the country. Earlier this year, he cherry-picked a couple of Bible verses to claim that the position of his opponents on the immigration issue is 'not biblical.'"
Steve Bannon has championed some scary folks and ideas:
Bannon is an incendiary figure whom critics as politically diverse as Glenn Beck and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont have accused of being a racist, sexist, anti-Semite. While the head of Breitbart News, Bannon courted white nationalists, neo-Nazi groups and other far-right extremists. In doing so, Amy Goodman points out, he helped to rebrand "white supremacy [and] white nationalism, for the digital age" under the euphemistic brand of the "alt-right."
Bannon is on record stating that only property owners should vote; stating to his ex-wife that he did not want his twin daughters "to go to school with Jews;" calling conservative commentator Bill Kristol a "Republican spoiler, renegade Jew;" and publishing incendiary headlines on Breitbart's website, such as "Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?" and "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy."
One of the founders of the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer, was quoted as saying that Trump's victory has resulted in a "reboot of the White Nationalist movement." The same article also quoted Richard B. Spencer, another prominent figure in the so-called "alt-right" movement, who without apology argues that his organization, the National Policy Institute, is dedicated to "the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent" and that "Race is real, race matters. Race is the foundation of identity." This is simply neo-Nazi dribble dressed up in the discourse of difference. There can be little doubt that these antidemocratic and racist tendencies will play a major role in shaping Trump's presidency.
Then there is Rick Perry, the new head of the Department of Energy, who is on record as favouring the department's abolition. And, of course, there is climate change denier Scott Pruitt at the EPA. It's clear that the United States is about to receive a major dose of repression:
The call for regime change, a term used by the White House to designate overthrowing a foreign government, seems certain to intensify under Trump's administration. This means a more militant foreign policy under Trump. But it also signals a domestic form of regime change as well, since this authoritarian neoliberal government will deregulate, militarize and privatize everything it can. With this regime change will come the suppression of civil liberties and dissent at home through the expansion of a punishing state that will criminalize a wider range of everyday behaviors, expand mass incarceration, and all the while enrich the coffers of the ultra-rich and corporate predators. The hate-filled discourses of intolerance, chauvinism and social abandonment are already creeping further into the ever-widening spheres of society bent on blending a militarized war culture with a totalizing embrace of corporate capitalism.
And today the Electoral College will make it official.
Image: Self Archeology