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Trump, Vicar of Fear and Violence

2 151 2140
01.09.2020

The use of white fear and white victimhood as potent political weapons is as old as the country itself. Donald Trump is just the latest practitioner of this trade.

As Robert G. Parkinson wrote in “The Common Cause,” his book about patriot leaders during the American Revolution, politicians used fears of insurrectionist enslaved people, Indian “massacres” and foreign mercenaries to unite the disparate colonies in a common fight.

Does this sound similar to Trump’s rhetoric on Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, Black Lives Matter and supposed anarchists?

Even the founding fathers used white fear of the “other” for political benefit. And when they didn’t have the facts, they were not above fabrication.

In 1782, before the peace treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War had been negotiated, Benjamin Franklin, fearing some form of reconciliation between Britain and the colonies, sought to inflame passions of the colonists and embarrass the British by concocting a report of packages including “8 large ones containing SCALPS of our unhappy Country-folks, taken in the three last Years by the Senneka Indians from the Inhabitants of the Frontiers of New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia,” purportedly sent to the governor of Canada for him to transmit to England.

Among the scalps were supposedly 88 women’s scalps, 193 boys’ scalps, 211 girls’ scalps and “29 little infants’ scalps of various........

© The New York Times


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