The outrageous thuggery in the nation’s capital that the world witnessed on Wednesday was alarming, however to these paying shut consideration to President Donald Trump’s harmful rhetoric and lies over the previous 4 years, it was hardly stunning. I noticed it coming — didn’t everybody?
Unstable governments and reputed “banana republics” don’t simply occur — they’re created.
Trump, the chief of the mob of thugs, has been stoking violence and manipulating his followers with misinformation and racism for decades and launched his presidential marketing campaign in 2015 by slanderously calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers. In campaign rallies and from his highly effective pulpit in the White House, the forty fifth president has been feeding delusions of supremacy to white nationalists and inspiring them to violence, if vital, to remain in energy. And this week, in the midst of the bloody chaos, moderately than rebuking the savagery, Trump sent his hooligan followers a video message, subsequently faraway from Twitter, telling them that “we love you, you’re very special,” whereas insisting on the lie that the election was stolen from him. This is seditious conduct at its worst and white-collar thuggery at its best.
As a citizen born in Puerto Rico, America’s oldest colony, the place half a million colonial subjects showed the world how to elegantly protest without violence in the summer of 2019 to take away a misogynist and homophobic governor, what was disturbing to me was not solely the vulgar undemocratic violence on show, however the deceitful narrative created by pundits, politicians and journalists in the wake of that violence. They centered the U.S. as the beacon of democracy in the world, with booms that “this sort of thing doesn’t happen in America” — but that it does in distant lands inhabited by Black, brown and Indigenous peoples.
“We are witnessing absolute banana republic crap in the U.S. Capitol right now,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican of Wisconsin, tweeted to his followers, in a single of many examples. CNN anchor Jake Tapper informed viewers that he felt “like I’m talking to a correspondent reporting from, you know, Bogota.”
This speak is disingenuous, racist and simply plain ignorant. This “banana republic crap” is a duplicitous narrative used to distract from the grotesque mess colonialism, imperialism and capitalism sows in international locations the place U.S. corporations have abused staff, displaced tens of millions from their lands and pilfered sources for achieve — the actual banana republic exercise.
The historic document shows that the U.S. authorities has instantly interfered with democracy, supporting coups in international locations round the world, destabilizing fragile governments, manipulating elections and, in the case of a number of Central and South American nations, sanctioned and assisted in the killing of democratically elected leaders when it was inconvenient to U.S. industrial pursuits.
I’m considering of Chile, where in 1973, the democratically elected socialist president, Salvador Allende, was assassinated with the assist of the CIA and changed by the right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet, who went on to kill and torment tens of millions of harmless residents for twenty years.
I’m considering of Cuba and the many failed CIA attempts to kill the island’s president, Fidel Castro, as a result of Castro’s approach of working his nation was in direct battle with the U.S. The inconvenient fact is that this nation, the alleged beacon of freedom, has soiled fingers in the case of democracy — subverting it overseas whereas relatively championing it at residence. Since the nation’s founding there’s a lengthy historical past of voter suppression in Black and brown communities that sadly continues to plague the nation. Abroad, it’s simply as brazen.
I’m considering of Honduras, Panama, Ecuador and Guatemala, the place the United Fruit Company, now rebranded Chiquita, with the assist of the U.S. authorities, displaced natives from their lands and imposed monocropping, a type of industrial farming that destroys the environment, amongst different evils. The checklist of “banana republic” conduct perpetrated and paid for by the U.S. taxpayers is lengthy, not simply in Latin America, however round the globe.
It was a fictionalization of Honduras that the criminal and quick story author William Sydney Porter utilized in conceiving the time period in the early 1900s. This white, male American financial institution embezzler who glided by the pen title O. Henry escaped to Honduras fleeing a federal indictment. While working from the regulation, he wrote a guide in 1904 known as “Cabbages and Kings,” wherein he describes Anchuria, aka Honduras, as a “banana republic.” The time period caught.
Banana republics over the years have come to represent in the white supremacist creativeness all the exploited smaller Black and brown nations of the world and their bandidos that stand up. What is clearly lacking is the complete story — they rise towards imperial states like the U.S. that get their approach, by subversion of democracy when a folks’s chosen chief is just not handy to American company pursuits. Indeed, unstable governments and reputed “banana republics” don’t simply occur — they’re created. The bigger story is that the U.S. has, to the detriment of democracy round the world, refined the artwork of intervention in different nations’ affairs.
It is time we retire the use of the racist time period “banana republic” to explain what occurs in locations the place the U.S. has labored to disclaim residents democracy.
In what turned referred to as the “Banana Wars,” historical past buffs will recall that Honduras was invaded by the U.S. seven times in the early 1900s, adopted by invasions of Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Haiti, to call a few. In 1898, the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico after acquiring it illegally from Spain at the finish of the Spanish-American War. The U.S. military occupation continues today.
In reality, the historic document shows that America is the authentic banana republic, and for the final 4 years particularly, beneath a reckless president, it has profited from the cultivation of one crop: racism. It is time we retire the use of the racist time period “banana republic” to explain what occurs in locations the place the U.S. has labored to disclaim residents democracy and the place folks rise as much as defend it. Instead, let’s use it to explain Trump’s America of 2021, the place hundreds of Republican Party bandits, led by a Republican bandit president, need to finish democracy.