Barack Obama did not “divide” the country when he was president, his policies were meant to benefit all people, whether some chose to understand that or not; he was only a “divider: to those wanted to be divided, those who reacted to him viscerally for–let’s be honest—their own private racial animus. On the other hand, Donald Trump has gone out of his way to divide people, playing on this racial animus for support. In Alabama, the epicenter of racial bigotry then and now (sorry, but Neil Young was right about you), Trump still had the gall to claim that he has “strongly condemned” white supremacists, but we should take white supremacists and neo-Nazis like David Duke and Richard Spencer at their word: Trump’s actions in support of white nationalism and racism speaks far louder than his tepid acknowledgement of said groups.
And now Trump, after threatening to “destroy” North Korea—proving himself no “bigger” a man than that country’s dangerous buffoon of a dictator—is making ridiculous noises about NFL players who have not stood during the National Anthem, in protest of real or perceived slights by society. Black athletes are not sufficiently appreciative of the privilege of being paid millions to play football, and should be “fired.” Modern day gladiators who put their bodies and brains on the line for the amusement of the masses for a relatively few years have no right to make political or social statements, according to Trump. They should take even more beatings on the field; there’s too much legislation against “hard hits” that is “killing” the game, says Trump—and this from a man who is the poster child for being thin-skinned. Trump said all this before that crowd of white Alabamans, and they all cheered lustily. They don’t believe black athletes who make more money than they do are “real Americans,” but they don’t like to be called racists either, even if they are.
This is, if course, just the latest in Trump--and Republican's in general--giving a racist minority in this country a far larger and more powerful voice than they either warrant or deserve. Their racial animus informs their attitudes on a number of issues, like taxes, healthcare, law enforcement, immigration and equal opportunity. It is already disgusting that the person driving this is a white man born with a silver spoon thrust firmly down his throat who makes his current living preying on the worst impulses in human nature, but this is also a man who is after all at once a supreme narcissist and a man wallowing in self-pity. All the slings and arrows he has received are well-deserved, because his “ideology” is based on nothing but personal whim and supreme ignorance of the world outside Trump Tower. Civil rights laws have attempted to box-in the worst of human nature which he embodies, and it is his stupidity that has re-opened that Pandora’s Box that laws were supposed to "throw away" the key for. But Trump has shown no respect for laws (only for more abusive law "enforcers"), and he has unleashed all the evil within that box, and it is unclear if this country will have the moral fortitude to re-box that evil again.