Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and has authored several military and history-related books. In addition, he is a non-credit lecturer at Norwalk Community College as an adjunct professor and lectures around the state on a variety of historical topics and current events.
Albertson is speaking at 3 p.m. Monday in the Darien Library, offering the second of a four-talk set, “Stalin’s Revolution.” He is speaking at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Norwalk Senior Center, on the topic “Saudi-Turkish Pivot to Moscow.”
Recent comments “allegedly” made by the current occupant of the Oval Office, construed as being of a racial nature, has seen fit to generate a flurry of condemnation from critics, both inside and outside the Beltway. While such comments are to be expected from a personality with such a loquacious track record, his remarks are endemic of, what must be construed as actual American policy towards peoples once depicted as Third Worlders. Haiti, for instance, has been a football for imperialists for centuries. For instance, in 1915, U.S. Marines landed on the island, leading to American control until 1930.
Yet that racial hygienist from Queens is hardly the first American of note to champion the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon over the “lesser breeds.” In his 1885 book, Our Country, Congregational Minister, Josiah Strong, observed, “It follows, then, that the Anglo-Saxon . . . is divinely commissioned to be, in a peculiar sense, his brother’s keeper.” It seems the United States was divinely chosen, according to this Bible-wielding bigot, to move . . . “down upon Mexico, down upon Central and South America, out upon the islands of the sea, over and above Africa and beyond.”
References such as “shithole” emanating from the chief executive to describe people, who in many cases, have suffered years and even centuries of colonial oppression, shows not only disregard for this sorry narrative, but a blatant disrespect for the rich and captivating histories, cultures and societies of the nations in question. And while Trump will take some heat for references which should have been expected in the first place, these are merely expressions of the stark reality that has come to mark official Washington’s actual agenda. Such as oil in Iraq. Which Trump at one point blatantly stated this nation should have taken the oil to foot the cost of invasion. An accurate assessment, by the way, with regards to the Neocon agenda as seen with the earlier Bush-Cheney Oil Junta. In fact, Neocon Paul Wolfowitz alluded to Iraqi oil being used to defray the cost of invasion. Not so surprising when in 2000, Saddam took Iraq’s oil transactions off the Dollar and put them on the Euro. Not long after the American invasion of Iraq, Washington took Baghdad’s oil transactions off the Euro and put them back on the Buck. But such actions by the Shining City on the Hill must be couched in language benign enough to assuage a guilty conscience; while at the same time sedate the average voter under the standard political ether, in the form of such terminology as, “Bringing Democracy to the indigenous;” or, “weapons of mass destruction;” or, “collusion between Saddam and bin Laden for 9/11.”
And let us not forget our own backyard, Central America being a case in point. American participation in turning these countries into shitholes has cost upwards of a quarter of a million lives, in efforts to insure the privileged position for American business at the expense of the indigenous peoples living there; while at the same time, insuring American primacy versus the Cold War competition with the Soviet Union. Of course American corporate hegemony was in place prior to the rise of the Soviet Union. United Fruit coming to mind here, very early in the 20th century. Again the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua. . . have born the brunt of Yankee policy of turning these sovereign nations into colonial satraps. And since this is the case, many of the people in these captive nations have sought to escape the horrific conditions of oppression in which they find themselves thrust by coming here, stark residue as they are of American imperialist policy.
Too, Trump’s common approach to rhetoric, at times of the most gutter-variety, appeal, in particular, to a certain portion of his base. The term “deplorables,” as used to describe Trump voters by the 2016 Democratic hopeful, was a broad-brush connotation which certainly did not typify all those who backed the candidate who would eventually send her down to defeat. At the same time, base references by the winner of the presidential sweepstakes most certainly reflects that portion of a voting block ready, willing and able to settle for the bottom of the scale. Willing to accept as gospel the perverted precepts of an unsophisticated rustic named Donald “Jim Crow” Trump; who like the terrorists he claims to want to protect us from, lusts for publicity, whether good or bad, by calling attention to himself, not too unlike that poor excuse for must-see TV known as “The Apprentice.” This lunatic fringe of ultra-nationalists, white supremacists and those of questionable religious character, are willing to accept the burgeoning normality of inequity, ignorance and indifference. This desired normality, as evidenced by the assault on Net Neutrality, fails to appreciate those aforementioned histories, cultures and societies of so-called inferior peoples who for years endured the travesties of Western arrogance, usurpation, colonial bondage and racism.
Martin Luther King seemed to understand one of the major reasons for the continued perpetuation of racism in this Nation, when he observed, “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action;’ who as a paternalistic-ally believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.'” Just like the so-called second coming, that convenient season has not arrived . . . yet an law and order candidate of the authoritarian variety has. So much for respect for the Rule of Law.