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Here’s what Trump’s pardon of anti-government ranchers means about whiteness in America

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Donald Trump’s blink-and-you-miss-it pardons the cattle ranchers who inspired the Bundy militia serves as a reminder that he is “America’s first white president” — and of the lie that leads him and his supporters into believing they have dominion over America.

In a column for Rewire News, writer Jonathan Russell argued that when Trump pardoned Dwight and Steve Hammond for their 2012 arson convictions, he signaled that he believes white people have claim to American lands.

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As Russell wrote, the Hammond pardons are far from the first time this president has furthered what anti-racist scholar George Lipistz calls “the racialization of space and the spatialization of race.”

According to the author, two major low points for Trump’s presidency — his so-called “internment” of migrants who cross without documents into America’s borders and his wink-and-nudge response to the violence in Charlottesville — provide examples of his belief in the white “spatial imaginary.”

“The border internment camps and the ideology of ‘the wall’ marks precisely the reinforcement of White dominion of border lands,” Russell wrote, positing that both his proposed wall and the detainment of undocumented migrants serves as a sort of ritualistic “reenactment” of white control over the land.

“This tight kinship was also on display in White supremacist rally chants of “blood and soil” in Charlottesville and the myriad filmed assault videos of Whites trouncing about patrolling public spaces and harassing non-Whites,” he continued, referencing the recent onslaught of viral incidents showing white people calling the police on people of color doing everyday things or harassing them as police look on.

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As the writer sees it, “Trump’s full pardon of the Hammonds has doubtlessly shored up justification for such ritualized activities, further reiterating the toxicity of his presidency and the close link between Whiteness and land domination together with its near-ceremonial expression through otherwise illegal means.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Wall Street Journal drops a truth-bomb on Trump over his market-destroying trade war: ‘Everyone loses’

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In yet another blast from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors looked back at Friday's stock market free fall and pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump and his "trade-war general" Peter Navarro for being the main culprits.

After Friday's disastrous stock market session that took a major downturn due to the escalation of the trade war -- with China and Trump ordering billions of dollars in new tariffs -- the Journal pointed out that there will be no winners.

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G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

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With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

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A likely recession could doom Trump

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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