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Reader's View: Trump a symbol of racism

Symbols. What do symbols mean to different people?

Take for instance the Confederate flag. White supremacists insist it's a symbol of states' rights and defiance against our government. But when you look at a Confederate flag, you really should see the lacerated back of a defenseless slave being tortured with a bullwhip. (Read "Bullwhip Days" by James Mellon.) You should see women being raped and children sold from their families. There's nothing honorable in this. "Gone with the Wind" was fiction. Indolent men and languid ladies living in their fancy houses were able to do so because of the blood shed by their slaves. Wearing cowardly white hoods to kill people: there's nothing honorable in that.

Consider also the Nazi swastika. Racists say it's an ancient symbol. So what? When you see a swastika being proudly displayed you should see an emaciated face of a concentration-camp victim. At least 12 million people were killed under that symbol. There's nothing honorable in parading the swastika today. What would World War II soldiers think of this symbol being revered? They fought and died to erase it. And yet some Republicans defend its use.

President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans seem happy to get the support of white supremacists, Nazi supporters, and Ku Klux Klan members. Trump should be applauding the protesters who came out last fall and bravely confronted these wannabe killers and thugs. Instead he tried to defend the supremacists.

Republican Trump is a visible symbol of racism. His white-supremacist supporters are largely Republican, and they have found a comfortable home in the Republican Party. Why is that? I really believe the Republican Party welcomes bigotry and racism and shows absolutely no evidence of following Jesus who they so loudly acclaim is on their side.

Marge Kaptonak