by Ramin Mazaheri
I feel sorry for Americans – they have such lousy leaders they feel compelled to defend.
I don’t mean Trump or Obama or Clinton or even JFK – I mean George Washington.
It’s really gotta be a blow to the national pride when Americans have to admit, if only to themselves: “Trump makes a fair point: the father of our country, George Washington, was a slave-owning bastard, just like Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.”
LOL, Trump deserves some sort of leftist medal: “Unwitting Service to the Advance of Leftism Despite Overwhelming Idiocy,” or something, because his recent statement has done more to push a truly leftist analysis of American history than anyone could have hoped.
Racist, imperialist, bourgeois, repressive, anti-worker, pre-modern…this describes all of the US leaders Trump mentioned . A true leftist must be a wall of stone on this point, so…kudos to Trump, no?
It’s just that Washington, Lee, Jackson and Thomas Jefferson have previously only been lumped together by modern leftist leaders like Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Khomeini, etc.
So what’s America to do? They can’t admit the truth: “It’s not George’s fault he had slaves!” And Trump – he can’t be right even if he finds a cure for cancer.
Like I said – I feel sorry for Americans: they know their emperor has no clothes…that weren’t made by slaves.
How much can an American truly identify with slave-owning George Washington? “No taxation without representation” still holds up, but what about his demand that a slave overseer be “vigilant” because, “I expect to reap the benefit of the labour myself.”
LOL, and we all know there’s much, much worse out there from dear, honest George! But it’s “bad form” to say such things out loud.
Contrarily, it’s going to be a very, very long time before Mao’s “Serve The People” slogan is outdated.
And the flustered response of the US media is just too, too priceless!
But Trump has broached the unresolved issues in American culture which Obama’s speechwriters worked with every breath to sidestep. When it was claimed that Obama’s election meant that the US was now a post-racial society, all us leftists just laughed. But how many Baby Boomers actually agreed, and patted themselves on the back for what a great job they’ve done?
The victory of Hillary would have certainly just continued Obama’s whitewashing: She would have never, ever called George Washington out as a racist, and certainly not with the blunt, irrefutable logic of Trump.
So Trump has, as predicted, has not only undermined the presidency but he has undermined all presidents, as well as the American elite’s revision of their own history.
Trump admitted you can’t explain away the reality of American Gangsterism
The reality is that only when America admits that their 18th century Founding Fathers are bourgeois, racist, anti-99%, false idols – only then can they advance to true leftism.
There’s no way around that, but there are many in the way. “American Salafists”, as I call them: People who think the US Constitution is perfect and that all we need to do is to return to living exactly as those living centuries ago originally intended.
Before I get to the hilarious way the media is trying to spin this issue, the impact goes even deeper than just media spin: How can American parents explain to their kids that Trump is totally, completely wrong?
They can’t, is the answer.
I was reminded that this very same issue was superbly handled by the greatest American dramatic TV series of all-time: The Sopranos. The scene goes like this:
It’s Columbus Day, which is mainly a day for Italian-American pride.
Tony Soprano’s weak, Millennial teenage son (named A.J.) is at the kitchen table and reading from the indispensable “A People’s History of the United States” by the leftist Howard Zinn.
A.J. doesn’t know what to make of Columbus’ written admiration of the Native Americans’ potential to…make good slaves.
A.J. – “That doesn’t sound like a slave-trader to you?”
Carmela (the Mom) – “George Washington had slaves – the father of our country.
A.J. – “What’s your point?”
Tony (the Dad) – “So you finally read a book…and it’s bulls—t!”
(LOL at Tony, he’s hilarious, and I hate gangster movies. But it’s not surprising that this sociopathic capitalist gangster waxes sympathetic for the slave-trader…)
Tony – “Look, you had to walk in Columbus’ shoes to see what he went through: They thought the world was flat, for cryin’ out loud. And he lived on an island with a bunch of naked savages and – that took a lot of guts. You remember when we went to Florida – the heat!? And those bugs?!”
A.J. – “Like it took guts to murder people and put them in chains!”
Carmela – “He was a victim of his time.”
A.J. – “Who cares? It’s what he did!”
Tony: “He discovered America, is what he did!!! He was a brave Italian explorer and, in this house, he’s a hero! End of story!!!!!”
Today, at kitchen tables across America, the always-idealistic younger generation certainly sees the truth of Trump’s comparison.
And this TV scene is exactly how the US media has responded to Trump’s statement: “George Washington was a hero and Stonewall Jackson was the real racist! End of story!!!!!”
It might help you to imagine CNN anchor, journalism industry joke and African-American Don Lemon as “Tony Soprano”. Don is trying to stifle the justified teenage outrage of “Deplorable/99%-er” A.J. And you can maybe picture MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as Carmela, with her misplaced moral relativism and idiotic jingoism.
The media can try to completely use the whole incident as a way to discredit Trump – just as Tony can bully A.J. into silence – but the damage is already done.
Capitalist, private media can only spin in circles – it’s not socialist, state media, after all…
George Washington’s slaveholding is not an “irony” of history, nor a “paradox”, nor any other of the endless moral backflips American media is doing. I’d say they are blinded by bloodlust to discredit Trump with every teleprompted word, but it goes deeper than that.
Ever notice that you never hear the phrase “anti-imperialist” from the mouth of a mainstream American journalist?
But…isn’t that the big difference between Washington/Jefferson and Jackson/Lee?
That’s all that really divides them: Both had slaves, both upheld the system of slavery – but the former fought against British imperialism while the latter sought to divide America.
But because the US media establishment is terrified of, and probably even unequipped to properly discuss, the issue of imperialism, all they can do is hysterically act like Trump has single-handedly invented White Nationalism in 7 months.
Racism is indeed a key part of the foundation of America, but any leftist knows – and maybe even young A.J. now sees as well – that imperialist capitalism is the truest bedrock. America used racism to serve capitalist interests, not the other way around.
But the US media never wants to delve honesty into such realities. They don’t even want to acknowledge that imperialism exists, and they work tirelessly to fool the 99% into believing it. Just look at the very opening paragraph from a New York Times op-ed on Venezuela the day after Trump made his comparison: “No one should be worried about American military action anywhere in Latin America. The notion is risible.”
What’s laughable would be the idea that nearly ALL of Latin America doesn’t have reason to be worried about American military action, and not just Venezuela!
But…c’mon, let’s be content that Trump has unwittingly forced the US to deal with their racist idols and whitewashed history – let’s not ask for the moon and have him call into question American imperialism.
Thanks to Donald, Confederate statues are coming down!
You know that so many Blacks are DYING to say: “Trump is right! Washington was a racist bastard!”
But how many are foolishly holding their tongue in order to score points against Trump, who is already getting beaten so badly they should invoke the slaughter rule?
However, I wouldn’t recommend that an African-American back up Trump out loud in the lunchroom…if they want to keep their job. “Silent but dignified” – same old survival tactic….
For talking heads like Don Lemon, the cognitive dissonance resulting from lauding Washington and denigrating of Robert E. Lee results only in a pathetic knee-jerk nationalism. Don said that anyone supporting Trump’s words is “complicit in racism”.
Whatever Don…you’re so far behind you actually think you’re in the lead. Go cash your paycheck – you’re doing a great job for the 1%!
The only way out for everyone – not just Blacks – is true leftism: total denunciation of both Washington and Jackson, and demanding socialism’s ethnic solidarity, which capitalism has never provided. It also can never provide it, despite the propaganda efforts of people like Lemon.
For true leftists – I don’t see how Trump’s comments can’t be seen as a major positive! The idea that Trump is fomenting White Nationalism in America is like being worried about rain falling in the ocean.
And hey, a lot of Confederate statues are being hauled down! You can actually close your eyes in 2017 America and imagine its 1917 Russia! Isn’t that amazing?! This type of unreflective ancestor worship is exactly what Mao and Chinese communists fought against!
So enjoy yourself! Maybe even get a backpack together and pretend a Long March is around the corner!
But this incident proves in a serious way that the true leftists who were not browbeaten into supporting Hillary were right: Do you think one fascist statute would have fallen under Clinton II?Of course not.
Trump will always represent an advance by a retreat, which only the most rabid Pentagon warmonger could fail to understand.
But this incident proves the predictably positive leftist effect of Trumpism: Americans are increasingly forced to openly question the system, to create grassroots movements, to take an open political and moral stand, and to deal with the horrible aspects of American society that would have certainly been swept under the rug with a Hillary victory.
I’m still waiting for my predicted “Mexican Power” movement to happen, but it’s early, after all.
It’s seven steps back, one step forward with the Donald..but Hillary would have just turned on her pumps and walked away from the very start.
And Trump’s comments did another thing many people thought was impossible: it got the media off Russophobia for a few days.
Enjoy the silence and the falling statutes!
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.