Donald Trump dubbed a ‘gangster’
A RADICAL Christian philosopher has called President Donald Trump a "gangster" during ABC's Q&A; tonight.
Panellist Dr Cornel West, who is on a national debating tour, made the comment after an audience member asked if Australia was in danger of being "infected" after referring to President Trump as a symptom rather than the cause of the current situation in the United States.
"I think Donald Trump is a gangster. I was a gangster before I met Jesus and I'm redeemed," Dr West said.
"Meaning that there's gangster inside of all of us. That's why I call him a 'gangster'."
"I'm seeing the gangster inside of me and I have to wrestle with this. When he grabs a woman's private parts or makes jokes about it, he's going to get oil in another country, that's gangster. Calling Mexicans rapists. Dishonour and demonise precious Muslims. That's gangster."
He said gangster activity is real and "if we're honest with ourselves we know when we're gangsters too."
What does that mean? he asked. "It means you have this fascism in the making of spirit, mind, structure and institution."
"Big money ruling, big military ruling. And more and more hatred, more and more contempt. More and more demonisation."
According to Dr West, "To call somebody a gangster is not a subjective expression, it's an objective description of somebody who does not believe that there are constraints, does not believe there are boundaries, believes that they can use arbitrary power."
It's not the first time Dr West has referred to Mr Trump as a gangster.
In a recent interview with CNN when responding to the President's attack on African American basketball star LeBron James, the Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard said: "I know there is gangster in me, you and Trump, but the challenge is how do we get control of those gangster elements so we live a life of some decency and a life of integrity … but it's all about accountability."
Rather than citing President Trump as the problem, Dr West calls him a "sign of our spiritual bankruptcy."
When Q&A host Tony Jones shifted the question to controversial free speech warrior Lindsay Shepherd, she didn't have anything controversial to say at all, but rather expressed her annoyance over why he is always brought up in conversation.
"You're not that far away from the US in Canada and I'm wondering the question whether that Trump infection or the infection of these ideas he identifies coming from Trump would infect Australia. What about Canada?" Jones asked Ms Shepherd.
"I think if we're talking about infection it's kind of interesting how Trump has to come into every conversation," she said.
"I try to actively avoid talking about it because I feel it's overexhausted sometimes.
"I don't have a lot to add about it. Part of my act of avoidance."
"So don't talk about him and he might not exist?" Jones asked.
"To be honest I kind of like him. I think sometimes you have to shake things up a bit. It makes you realise things you didn't see before."
Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz, who was also on the panel, jumped in to defend Trump's actions.
"With great respect, I think we have a very negative view of the US. Your black brothers are in fact getting jobs and, they might not be earning as much as you would like, but given that they've got jobs, they're better off than they were without a job," Mr Abetz said, directing his response to Dr West, "And surely you have to give a tick to that."
Mr Abetz said that everybody will say it was all Obama doing, "it just seems to be a matter of coincidence that there's a change of presidency and all of a sudden the economy is going a lot better in the US.
"While there are certain activities of Mr Trump in his private life to which you eluded to which are completely unsavoury, I somehow didn't hear about Mr Clinton and …"
"I say the same thing about Bill Clinton. I'm not defending anybody acting gangster-like," Dr West interrupts, "Hitler and Mussolini had low unemployment rates. They made the train run on time. We're talking about moral and spiritual issues. Not just the numbers."
Dr West was quick to explain his "Hitler" example when Mr Abetz put it back on him saying; "It is a matter of regret that you would put Trump in with a hideous regime of Hitler."
"I'm saying if we only do what you're highlighting, you're going to miss what was going on with Hitler and Mussolini. (Trump) is still in the making. I want to make it clear on Australian television, I didn't make that equivalency. My dear brother corrected me if you thought I said that."
#QandA Gangster Trump, sums it up really well. Dr Cornel West— Dylan Storer (@DylanStorer1) August 13, 2018
Proof gangster activity is real? How he said that was so gangsta #qanda— AD2018 (@neoenviro) August 13, 2018