Dark Times: Trump, Racism, Sovereign Violence, and the Banality of Evil

THE ELECTION OF Don­ald Trump to the pres­i­den­cy of the Unit­ed States is noth­ing less than ter­ri­fy­ing. In the few days after the elec­tions, he made it clear that the rhetoric of hate and vio­lence that had char­ac­ter­ized his cam­paign was not sim­ply an expe­di­ent to get votes, but that had a real con­tent and rest­ed on a very pre­cise, fright­en­ing ide­ol­o­gy. This is the ide­ol­o­gy of white suprema­cy, which brings togeth­er the most ret­ro­grade and polit­i­cal­ly vio­lent groups in the US, from the Ku Klux Klan to the Chris­t­ian fun­da­men­tal­ists, from Neo-Nazis to skin­heads. The names Trump has been con­sid­er­ing for key posi­tions in his admin­is­tra­tion all share his deter­mi­na­tion for estab­lish­ing a soci­ety of law and order and a more or less open, explic­it dis­dain for all peo­ple, all sin­gu­lar­i­ties that still go under the name of minori­ties. From Stephen Ban­non to Jeff Ses­sions and for­mer New York City may­or Rudolph Giu­liani, to name just a few, all have a his­to­ry of racist abuse and con­tempt for whomev­er they con­sid­er to be the oth­er, who must be kept under sur­veil­lance and con­trol, sub­ject­ed to odi­ous police prac­tices such as Stop-and-Frisk in New York –a prac­tice ini­ti­at­ed by Giu­liani, lat­er found to be uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, but one that dur­ing his cam­paign Trump promised he would extend nation­wide. As jour­nal­ist Jere­my Scahill said on Democ­ra­cy Now!, Trump’s cab­i­net will be made of neo­cons, war crim­i­nals, and white nation­al­ists (Democ­ra­cy Now!, 11/21/2016: https://​www​.democ​ra​cynow​.org/​2​0​1​6​/​1​1​/​2​1​/​n​e​o​c​o​n​s​_​w​a​r​_​c​r​i​m​i​n​a​l​s​_​w​h​i​t​e​_​n​a​t​i​o​n​a​l​i​s​t​s​_​j​e​r​emy 

This post orig­i­nal­ly appeared on Bruno Gulli’s blog on Decem­ber 6th, 2016.

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Bruno Gulli

Posted by Bruno Gulli

I was born in Calabria, Italy, and now live in Brooklyn, N.Y. I teach philosophy at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY. I am currently working on the third volume of a political ontology of labor. The volume is provisionally titled, "Time of Neglect and Care: Work and Life in Contemporary Capitalism".

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