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‘Come back, Little Sheba’: The myth of lost opportunity in Trump’s America

The horrific violence visited on Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani – two Indian immigrant engineers whose death and assault respectively are now being investigated as a hate crime – places the American workforce and immigration, particularly the notion of the immigrant as demonized other, at the intersection of crisis in the America of President Donald J. Trump.

To recap, the two engineers – who worked for Garmin, a GPS navigation and communications device company – were enjoying a workday-ending whiskey at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kan., as was their wont, when Adam W. Purinton began hurling ethnic slurs at them. After patrons complained, he was thrown out but returned in a rage and shot the two, killing Kuchibhotla and wounding Madasani and Ian Grillot, who intervened. Purinton, formerly with the U.S. Navy and Federal Aviation Administration, fled to Missouri but has since been extradited to Kansas, charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder as the FBI investigates the crimes as a violation of the victims’ civil rights. (Ya think?) ...

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Trump, rape and the demonization of ‘the other’

In the Another-Country-Heard-From Department, Sweden was upset by President Donald J. Trump’s remarks at a campaign rally that implied the country had suffered an attack recently related to a refugee/immigration problem. (Gee, Australia, Mexico, Sweden – three countries down and only 193 left to go.)

"We've got to keep our country safe," he said. "You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden.”

Despite the president’s problems with tenses, he was actually referring to a Fox News report Feb. 17 on an Ami Horowitz documentary that links refugees in Sweden to an increase in violent crimes – a correlation that has been debunked. ...

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Trump as metaphor

When I interviewed historian David Starkey about his new documentary and book “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” in 2001, I asked him about the downfall of the most bewitching of the wives, Anne Boleyn (No. 2) How did such a smart Rules Girl lose her head?

Starkey’s response was a shrewd one: What’s attractive in a mistress is often annoying in a wife.

I thought of that as I watched President Donald J. Trump back on the stump as if it were 2020. (God, if only it were.) Not that Trump is any Anne Boleyn. If anything, his outsize ego, multiple wives and sybaritic cruelty are much more reminiscent of Henry. But The Donald is an Anne in this regard: They have proved better at the  pursuit than the prize. ...

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