Today, Donald Trump finally gave a speech where he condemned what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. What took the Bully-in-Chief so long to call out White Supremacists in response to the recent horrific incident where a motorist killed counter-protestor Heather Heyer who was protesting against white nationalists?
In a review I wrote on Eric Larson's In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (Crown; 2012), one can see clear parallels to what is going on today in America. Trump is a master of deception, deceit, denial, DIVERSION, and manipulation, who when backed into a corner will do anything to hang on to his power. Mueller and the congressional committees are closing in and he knows it.
Although Trump finally issued a condemnation, how are we to believe that he is sincere when we already know that almost everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie? Instead of further placating his diminishing number of supporters, what he should be doing is using the full force of law to punish the hate crimes.
There is no doubt that Trump sees the world through white privilege. His own father was arrested after attending a KKK rally in 1927. It is interesting how Fred Trump, like his son, sought out those who use fear as a weapon. This is why Trump deserves the title Bully-in-Chief; he instils fear in those around him in order to hold onto his immorally obtained power at any cost.
There are many who spotted this dangerous attitude months ago. My mother, who served in the Dutch underground during World War II fighting the actual Nazis, shared her warnings about the cost of unchecked Fascism in this column, “An End-of-Year, Near End-of-Life, Message From My Mother.”
To combat the use of hate, what is required now is a full-on assault against bullying, especially in the workplace. Without psychologically safe cultures in which to work, there is no chance that bystanders will stand up to the injustices which bullies like Trump use to dominate others with no sense of fair play.
Because the highest office in the land is doing everything it can to unravel the republic, question the Constitution, and bring the country to its knees, organizational leaders must take the initiative to actively embrace the Ethic of Reciprocity. Executives have the power to change attitudes, so this begins with them. They should take a moment to put themselves in the shoes of the oppressed. To combat the growth of fascism, everyone must do their part. As Edmund Burke observed, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Andrew Faas is the author of From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire.
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