No surprise that Black judges are targets of the MAGA movement

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It is hardly surprising that Black judges and prosecutors are being targeted by Donald Trump and his MAGA supporters.

Earlier this month, Abigail Jo Shry, a Donald Trump supporter, was held without bond on federal charges of threatening to kill U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is presiding over the case against Trump for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election. Prosecutors said Shiry, who is white, contacted Chutkan’s office and made death threats and racist remarks.

“If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you,” Shry said to Chutkan, who is Black, according to an affidavit from a DHS officer. “So, tread lightly, b—- … You will be targeted personally, publicly, your family, all of it.”

Shiry told Department of Homeland Security officials she didn’t really intend to murder the judge, but because of her sinister behavior, she’s facing a federal charge that carries up to a five-year sentence.

It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to conclude that Shiry is a mentally-unhinged person who has been seduced, brainwashed, and manipulated by Donald Trump and his gang of right-wing partners in crime. Trump and friends have been phenomenally successful in psychologically manipulating his angry, largely misguided cult of diehard followers that he is their savior, and that he is unjustly under relentless siege by a well-educated, elitist media apparatus hellbent on destroying him and the larger American culture that they envision.

These are the men and women who wish to:

· Make it harder for Black people to vote.

· Encourage people to be weary and resentful of non-white immigrants.

· Convince everyone that transgender people are freaks of nature.

· Persuade homophobic people that granting LGBTQIA people equal rights somehow takes away their own rights.

· Redefine and whitewash the evils of slavery.

· Label rhetoric touting any religion other than Christianity as un-American.

In essence, this sums up the current Republican platform.

Sadly, this is nothing new. Paranoia and populist rage has been part of American history since the inception of this nation. This type of hostility and resistance toward change – and a romantic attachment toward anti-intellectualism – was rampant during the early to mid-19th century in Jacksonian America.

We saw it with the political left (and some segments of the right) during the New Deal of the 1930s. Several decades later, the religious right managed to promote a populist spirit that derided gays, feminists, minorities and other non-White, non-Christian folk during the late 1970s and 1980s to the present day. Such rage is often politically and cyclically based, usually when their perceived opponents acquire political, social or economic gains.

Jingoistic populism, fear, resentment, xenophobia and other vices aside, the major factor in the overwhelming, irrational hatred of change is deeply rooted in racial and cultural resentment. This is particularly the case for MAGA supporters, sons of the Confederacy and other citizens who are either sympathetic to or associated with similar groups.

Additionally, continuing demographic changes are creating even more anxiety among this crowd. Being a numerical minority is a very disturbing prospect for those who long for an earlier era. Obviously, it would be wise for these individuals to accept the fact that racial diversity and pluralism are now permanent factors in American society. The days of a racial homogeneous, pre-1960, Norman Rockwell, “Leave it to Beaver” America is no longer a reality and, quite frankly, never existed.

It’s long past time for these MAGA folks to move into the 21st century, get with the program and deal with reality.

Copyright 2023 Elwood Watson, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate

Elwood Watson is a professor of history, Black studies, and gender and sexuality studies at East Tennessee State University. He is also an author and public speaker.