USA POLITICS: America is a nation convulsed by the reality of waning white power – Opinion

  By MOHAMED HAMALUDIN

Have you ever wondered why there are African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Native-Americans and Caribbean-Americans but no  Anglo-Americans? In f act, there are and they are known as “whites,” signifying power, and there is no reason for a hyphenated label.

“White” is meant also to reflect the conceit that the country is homogenous and all others are add-ons. That is the erroneous belief handed down from even before the founding of the republic. A homogenous society is one like China or India or Japan, where cultural sameness binds citizens together and very strict immigration policies severely limit the influx of foreigners.     

The United States was indeed homogenous — when its population comprised only Indigenous Peoples, the First Nations, who numbered between 60 million and 100 million before the Europeans came in 1492, starting with the Spanish, followed by the English who settled in Virginia and built Jamestown in 1607.

The First Nations had no immigration policy so, despite their initial welcome for the Europeans, they became a conquered people, almost wiped out by new diseases and genocidal policies driven by a thirst for land backed by the full force of the state. The survivors, herded onto “reservations” to lament their genuine “lost cause,” now number around five million.

The importation of captive Africans, starting on Aug. 20, 1619, who numbered around 600,000 at one point, inevitably influenced the dominant culture of the European settlers. With the end of slavery, the Africans were theoretically granted the rights of citizenship under the Constitution which formed the basis of the nation created out of the war between the settlers and England, the colonial power. They now number around 37 million.

The coming of migrants in large numbers further diffused the culture to the point where, today, the nation is fully a melting pot. Besides the estimated 45 million resident immigrants and naturalized citizens born overseas, another 11 million are undocumented and shut out of the mainstream but still contributing to the culture.

It is this heterogeneity which is at the root of the problems dividing the nation and continues to raise the question, even now, as to whether the United States should indeed be a melting pot. It seems silly for such a dispute to exist at a time when the number of whites is already declining and, according to the Brookings Institution, will comprise49.7 percent of the population in 2024, instead of the current 60 percent and 89 percent in 1950. This is what the Republican Party realized years ago as the expanding “minority” of hyphenated people gravitated to the Democratic Party.

The Republicans traditionally resorted to voter suppression to staunch the outflow of power but the party leadership studied the problem and produced, in 2013, a blueprint for the future, committing to spend $10 million to challenge the Democrats’ big-tent appeal. But then came Donald Trump and the Republicans abandoned their diversity plan in favor of his Make America Great (MAGA) ideology harkening back to a time of even greater white power.

If Trump had won re-election, his policies would have further eroded the melting pot culture and that prospect is the main reason for the assault on the Capitol to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president. Whatever else they are, his supporters unashamedly endorse the proposition that America is for Anglo-Americans. Their fear that it will not happen is well-founded, especially because the hyphenated people will not readily live under a government which refuses to treat all citizens as equals. The First Nations people suffered from the abuse of white power, as did the enslaved Africans and their descendants. Many of the immigrants fled their home countries to escape brutal persecution.

Biden, who owes his presidency to a coalition of the hyphenated and has Kamala Devi Harris, a triple-hyphenated Jamaican-Indian-American, as his vice president, is fulfilling his promise to “have your back” for the African descendants, the First Nations and the foreign-born. He has nominated for his Cabinet a rainbow of men and women unlike any other. He picked Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo First Nations member from New Mexico, for the key Interior Secretary post, where her responsibilities will include Indian Affairs. He is tackling racial equality head-on.

Biden rid the Oval Office of the busts of Andrew Jackson, the president who championed genocide against the First Nations, and of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who stated in 1937, “I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place. “Biden has installed, instead, the busts of civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks and labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Hence the angst among white power advocates. The internationally linked Sovereign American Project created in West Palm Beach last August insists that whites are genetically superior in “civilization building” and “should always have the majority of power and influence in the nations founded and built by our European ancestors,” the Sun Sentinel reported.

Really?

Mohamed Hamaludin is a Guyana-born journalist who worked for several years at The Guyana Chronicle in the 1970s and on publications in the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands before emigrating in 1984 to the United States, where he worked at The Miami Times, the Miami Herald and the South Florida Times.  Though now retired, he writes a commentary every week or two for The South Florida Times (sfltimes.com) in which the above column first appeared. He may be reached at hamal1942@gmail.com.

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Comments

  • Damyantee Devi Dabydeen  On 01/29/2021 at 2:20 pm

    Excellent write up. Learnt some USA history! When compared with India and its Caste system, I wonder which is worse.

  • Ron Saywack  On 01/30/2021 at 11:15 am

    Well-researched article:

    The author writes: “Have you ever wondered why there are African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Native-Americans, and Caribbean-Americans but no Anglo-Americans?”

    Yes, as a matter of fact, I have.

    I have asked the question numerous times and firmly think that hyphenation is inherently insulting. In our native Guyana, we still label ourselves as Afro-Guyanese, or Indo-Guyanese, or whatever-Guyanese.

    When we have ascended the plateau of enlightenment, if at all possible, then perhaps we may be able to see ourselves for what we are and say, instead, that we are Guyanese. Having said that, under certain circumstances, referentially, it is acceptable to state wherefrom our ancestors originated. But that should be the exception, not the rule.

    The Trump slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is a euphemism for making America a White, Anglo-Saxon, Christian nation again. I have often pointed it out, but not many caught on to something so sinisterly and overtly obvious.

    The Republican Party is home to millions of disaffected Whites who want to vainly cling on to a vanishing past, to a time when they dominated and unjustly ruled a pilfered land with impunity, just as King Canute sat on his royal chair in vain hoping to stop the waves.

    In the near future, Anglo-Saxons in America will have become a statistical minority. That is an inevitability no white supremacist (including Trump) can stop. This realization instils a sense of uneasy and loss.

    When you pensively consider the long, storied history of our wandering species, in terms of our original ancestral homeland in Africa and where we are today, a number of intriguing questions arise:

    1) what if our forbears had never left Africa? Then, we’ll all be dark-complected;

    2) what would be the colour of our skin if Europe was tropical year-round? We’d still be sporting the same dark skin tone.

    These are the simple truths that easily elude the unenlightened, the unimaginative, the uninformed, as well as the haters.

    The first Africans arrived on American shores in 1526 in South Carolina from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic but escaped to be with the Natives. Another batch arrived in Florida in 1545 but they too escaped to be with the natives.

    Then on August 20, 1619, the White Lion (a small pirate ship) arrived at Jamestown, Virginia with about 29 slaves. A few weeks later, its sister ship, the Treasurer, arrived with an equal number of slaves. But only 3 slaves made it off to shore before the captain hurriedly escaped east to Bermuda where the rest of the slaves were sold.

    Why did the Treasurer escape, you ask? The British government had issued a warrant for the arrest of its captain for violation of British maritime laws.

    Earlier, in April 1619, the Portuguese slave ship, the San Juan Bautista, had departed the port of Luanda, in present-day Angola, with 350 slaves headed to Vera Cruz, Mexico, then known as New Spain. But before it could reach its destination in the Bay of Campeche, it was attacked by the two aforesaid pirate ships and 60 slaves were stolen.

    America does not belong to Anglo-Saxons. It rightfully belongs to the Indigenous peoples whose homeland was brutally stolen from them and who were subjected to some of the most heinous acts of genocide ever committed.

    This act of criminality began with the Indian Removal Act of 1830 under President Andrew Jackson. The Act murderously forced Natives off their lands and onto reservations for the convenience of Whites.

    The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, under Franklyn Delanor Rosevelt, placed Indians on permanent reservations where they could self-govern. That remains the case to this day.

    Ron Saywack.

  • Robert Mayer  On 01/30/2021 at 4:34 pm

    The symbolic replacement of portrait of Andrew Jackson from the Oval Office, the President.responsible for Cherokee Indian Nation’s forcible removal from ancestral lands (Trail of Tears), with images of FDR, MLK, Rosa Parks, is more than symbolic. President Biden through executive orders shows he means business about reversing Trump’s policies of discrimination and hatred. Trump may be considered the second Confederate President. His intransigence over removal of Confederate monuments
    and his opposition to renaming military bases named after Confederate generals is just one example of his fealty towards White Power structure in America.

  • Brother Man  On 02/01/2021 at 9:02 am

    America was built on the backs of the enslaved and its foundation is deeply rooted in criminally, inhumanity and injustice. The blood stains of our unfortunate brothers and sisters are littered all over the landscape.

    No amount of apology or reparation can compensate for or erase that sorry chapter in history.

    Brother Man

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