STOP CALLING Donald Trump un-American.
Like baseball and apple pie, he is synonymous with our country. To say otherwise is downright dishonest.
But despite that ugly truth, the Boston Globe, with a satirical front page mocking Trump's policies, is the latest media outlet to say Trump's vision for the country is "profoundly un-American."
In my view, the only thing that's profound is our continued willingness to delude ourselves into believing that the millions of people following Trump are somehow outside the mainstream. In reality, Trump's followers - people who have voted for him in record numbers - are Americans. And they support the very policies the Boston Globe disparaged on its fake front page.
Trump has proposed discriminatory policies that would stop Muslims from coming to our shores, ban refugees from certain countries, deport millions of undocumented immigrants, and somehow get Mexico to fund a border wall that would cost billions of dollars. As if that weren't enough, he has advocated torture and called for the military to kill the families of terrorists.
His is an America many don't want to see. But it is America just the same.
The irony of all this is that Trump isn't proposing anything America hasn't done before. He is simply rekindling a past many Americans long for.
Targeting immigrants and religious groups? Been there done that, when the Nativist riots of 1844 resulted in attacks on Irish immigrants and Catholic churches right here in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. Back then, just as now, the xenophobia was all about political gain.
Kicking Mexicans out of the country? Did that one, too. In 1954, President Eisenhower approved Operation Wetback - a sweep by U.S. Border Patrol agents that took Mexican laborers in targeted raids. The illegal immigrants were bused to detention centers near the border and eventually sent deep into Mexico on cargo boats and planes.
But the history behind Trump's policies doesn't stop there. We've done all of it before.
Just as Trump wants to target refugees from the Middle East, America has targeted specific ethnic groups before. Only the people we targeted were Americans. We placed Japanese-Americans and German-Americans in detention centers during World War II. But in a stunning display of hypocrisy, America allowed German prisoners of war to ride in the front of trains and buses, while relegating black soldiers to the back.
Trump's call for torture is American, as well, as evidenced by the thousands of African-Americans who were dismembered, beaten and lynched during slavery and Jim Crow.
Trump's followers are longing for the days when immigrants were targets, religion was a weapon, and American identity was enforced by a code of violence.
History says their viewpoint is unmistakably American, even if it's an America we don't want to see.
I've long believed Trump simply is voicing the sentiments many Americans harbor in their hearts. And while I don't agree with their views, I respect that they at least have the fortitude to be honest.
If Trump's ideas are to be relegated to the past from whence they came, then the rest of us have to be honest, too.
We have to come to terms with the fact that Trump's ideas, while ugly, and bigoted, and repulsive, are unmistakably American.
Once we face that reality, Americans can stop pretending they harbor no racial or religious animus just because they don't say so out loud.
If we really want to set about the work of making America great, we can start by getting serious about who we are.
Stop with the fake editorial pages that mock Donald Trump. Dispense with the comedy routines that make fun of his followers. And let's have a real conversation about where we've been, what we've done, and what we'd like to do going forward.
Donald Trump has started that conversation by bringing America face-to-face with itself.
So stop calling Trump un-American.
Solomon Jones is the author of 10 books. Listen to him mornings from 7 to 10 on WURD (900-AM).