Trump's Version of Planet of the Apes

Indulge me for a moment as I take you back to Tim Burton's 2001 installment of Planet of the Apes, the sixth film in the movie's franchise starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clark Duncan, Paul Giametti, and Estella Warren. For purposes of this blog, the focus is on Roth's General Thade and Bonham Carter's Ari.

For the uninformed, the movie tells the story of astronaut Leo Davidson crash-landing in the year 5021 on a planet inhabited by intelligent apes. The apes treat humans as slaves, but with the help of the attractive ape, Ari, Davidson starts an uprising against Thade and his armies.

Roth's Thade was portrayed as an ambitious but brutal leader, who passionately hated all things human and wanted them eliminated. He ruled with cruelty and lived by a Machiavellian outlook on life, according to one Internet description. Any means justified the ends to him. He was a schemer, willing to tell those on whom he depended for power and backing, including Ari's powerful political father, anything that they wanted to hear to get his way. Thade also pursued Ari romantically, but failed due to her hatred for his barbaric, vile nature toward humans; that she felt he was only pursuing her because of her father; and her affinity to the humans on the planet.

Later in the movie, Thade vowed to his dying father (a cameo by Charleton Heston) to wipe out humans, even if they were once in charge before the rise of apes. Thade determined to wipe out any remaining human resistance. Key is that on his march upon the humans, Thade met up with Ari in his tent and branded her with a branding iron with the mark of human slaves on her palm after he found she was befriending them.

Fast-forward to the end of the movie where a final battle ensues between the remaining humans and Thade's forces at the location where the space station Oberon Davidson was a part had crash-landed eons ago. Thade chases Wahlberg's character into the interior of the craft, but he (Thade) was eventually locked into the control room of the station via some sort of see-through glass enclosure. At this point, Thade sees Ari in the interior of the craft, and asks, in gentle and soothing tones, for her assistance to escape. Her response was priceless---she put up the palm of her hand that Thade had branded, and "said" with it, bye-bye.

Let's return to the year 2016.

Donald Trump in his run for the presidency has labeled Mexicans rapists and drug-runners; wanting to deport 11 million immigrants; judges of Mexican heritage incapable of ruling fairly and impartially; wanting to also build a wall across our southern border; pointing out in one of his crowds an African American as "my" [African American]; and failing to attend the recent NAACP meeting or any gathering on the campaign trail of African Americans. He has also been labeled a racist ("Here are 13 Examples of Donald Trump Being a Racist" (; a bigot; and in his real estate days in the 1970s was sued for discrimination by the federal government for not renting to African Americans based on race and color. He was also sued again for racial discrimination in relation to his casino operations.

Last week at three campaign stops in overwhelmingly White communities (West Bend, Wis., Dimondale, Michigan, and Fredricksburg, Va.), Trump asked for the African American population to vote for him, as if he is their "messiah". As he said In Dimondale in reaching out to all Blacks, "What the hell do you have to lose?" Over the weekend, he also convened his National Hispanic Advisory Council in Manhattan in the hopes of courting the Hispanic vote. Even this morning, his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said her boss wants to deal with immigration in a "humane" way.

So what should American voters of color and minorities think given Trump's months and years of bigoted and racist conduct and words, only to now say, in [Thade's] gentle and soothing tones, that he wants the African American and Hispanic vote because he will provide what they collectively need and require, like jobs, lower taxes, better schools, better living conditions, a fair approach to deportation, and more cops in their neighborhoods (remember, he is the "law and order" candidate)?

Shouldn't Ari's "bye-bye" disposition of Thade in his hour of great need locked in that space station room become a response, as if in microcosm, to how African Americans and Hispanics should receive Trump's bended knee request for their vote? Seems like we are all witnessing Trump's version of Burton's Thade in Planet of the Apes now, aren't we?