Posted By: June 15, 2020


Letters to Editor
Irish Times
May 6, 2020

Dear Editor,
Sadly, your Washington correspondent has got it exactly right:“ that much of the success of Donald Trump was based on racism.” ( Suzanne Lynch,” Donald Trump’s political success is based on racism.” June 6).

Americans have been slow to actually come to terms with that. Even leading media people, who are critical of Trump, have been loath to actually and outrightly state it: fudging it with words like “ We don’t/can’t understand why he says/does that…” —making this Fermanagh man shout back at the TV :” because he’s a damn racist, that’s why he’s doing it.”

A Catholic from Northern Ireland can quickly spot racism/sectarianism (the twin evils of the world).Ms. Lynch rightly says slavery was the original sin of the United States. Racism (anti-Irish) and sectarianism (anti-Catholicism) were the original sin of England’s 1920 creation of Northern Ireland

There was a time not so long ago that White racists in America were proud to boast that they were anti-Black; and extreme Unionist/Loyalist/Protestants were likewise proud to demonstrate their anti-Catholicism. Now both groups will deny that they are bigoted. Indeed, it has now reached a ridiculous point that if one dares to criticize state-sponsored sectarianism in The North—the real serious issue, not individual bigotry, which may always be with us —one can be accused of being sectarian! But nothing can deny the enduring pathology, in significant sections, in both the United States and Northern Ireland.

One cannot watch the TV scenes of American police battering peaceful protesters off the streets and not immediately be reminded of the RUC. [Royal Ulster Constabulary, name of the former police force]. And one cannot hear about “collusion” (a word, I think, was first made popular in The North) and not think of The North when Trump keeps saying “ no collusion, no collusion”—knowing that that was England’s constant response, deny, deny.

And, I cannot watch Attorney General Bill Barr ( whom I call Lord Widgery) without thinking of cover-up, corruption, and lies.[The late Lord Widgery covered-up the State-massacre by the British Army of 13 innocent Catholics in Derry city, January 30, 1972.The British Army opened fire on thousands of peaceful Civil Rights protesters].

When I first came here in 1972, I , of course, knew that this great country still had problems. But it never occurred to me to be worried about the future of the United States—what new immigrant does?

But now, after almost 50 years, I am deeply concerned about the future of the United States, especially if Trump is re-elected for another four years. He has already hollowed out the main institutions: The State Department, the Justice Department, the FBI, the Separation of Powers (White House, US. Congress, Supreme Court), and he wants to use the U.S. military as his own Pretorian Guard or “B Specials.”

Historians warn us that great powers collapse from the inside, not the outside. This appalling occupant of The White House is a present and clear danger to the United States; he is the cancer on the presidency; he is a bully, a coward, and a narcissist beyond imagination, without a shred of empathy. He either does not know objective truth or he does not care about truth. He lies about everything, and according to the facts checkers of the Washington Post he has told about 20,000 lies since becoming president—and yet the Religious Right and many Catholics still support him, while he uses religion to divide and conquer.

Mother of God, how did this happen to this great country that I and every Irish immigrant love?