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Trump’s Last Stand for Apartheid America

Summary:
The long history of America’s state-sponsored racism will draw to an end in the coming generation. Yet the damage that Trump’s brand of white nationalism could still cause to the US and the world if he wins a second term makes the election easily the most important in modern American history. NEW YORK – The ferocity of the 2020 presidential election in the United States is not about Donald Trump per se, but about what he represents: the racist structures of power that have persisted in America for centuries, though sometimes in mutated form. The long history of America’s state-sponsored racism will draw to an end in the coming generation, which is why Trump is so strikingly reactionary in his attempts to prolong it.

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The long history of America’s state-sponsored racism will draw to an end in the coming generation. Yet the damage that Trump’s brand of white nationalism could still cause to the US and the world if he wins a second term makes the election easily the most important in modern American history.

NEW YORK – The ferocity of the 2020 presidential election in the United States is not about Donald Trump per se, but about what he represents: the racist structures of power that have persisted in America for centuries, though sometimes in mutated form. The long history of America’s state-sponsored racism will draw to an end in the coming generation, which is why Trump is so strikingly reactionary in his attempts to prolong it. Yet the damage that Trump’s brand of white nationalism could still cause to the US and the world if he wins a second term makes the election easily the most important in modern American history.

Racism was hard-wired into the US from the founding of the American colonies, with their economies built on the enslavement of Africans and the slaughter and dispossession of Native Americans. Slavery became so deeply enmeshed in American society that only a bloody civil war ended it, in contrast to most other countries, where the African slave trade and slave holding ended peacefully.

When the US Civil War ended, a brief period of African-American emancipation during the Reconstruction era (1865-76) gave way to a renewed system of racist repression so encompassing and systematic that it was, in effect, an American apartheid system. The legal racism of Jim Crow in the US South is well known, but the repression and segregation in the North and West, including segregated housing, flagrant job discrimination, poor or no schooling, and systemic failures of justice, were similarly noxious.

In his brilliant and eloquent...

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