Something Positive for Black America With Trump’s Election

For Black America, the election of Donald Trump might become a positive over the next four years. I know, many of you might think that this writer has become delusional. Let me try to explain why I would make such an assertion. I believe a certain degree of apathy has taken hold, and set in on most Black Americans after the election of Barack Obama. We became rather content, after all, we had a Black President. It couldn’t get any better than that. If you couple that with the fact that many of us are living a very comfortable middle class life, then our condition wasn’t so bad after all. We didn’t need another Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead us to the promise land. We were already there.

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But while we were playing golf on Saturday and attending one of our prosperity churches, listening to our ministers who drove up in Mercedes or Jaguars on Sunday, crime in our communities was escalating, police were using our young as target practice, and the job market was not friendly to our men and women seeking employment. And for eight years, the first Black President was constantly under attack by those detractors determined to make his presidency a failure, and by the way Trump led them. We saw this coming but did nothing to prepare. We just kept playing our golf, watching our games on television, and totally ignoring what was happening all around us.

mv5bmtqzmja5njq0nl5bml5banbnxkftztcwmjgwmzyxmq-_v1_uy268_cr10182268_al_But we now know that the lackadaisical attitudes of the past can no longer continue. We all must make a commitment to use our talents in ways that can improve the conditions of our brothers and sisters whose struggles are going to get real tense over the next four years. We all have a lot of work to do as we move forward into the Trump years in the White House. And even though Charles Dutton’s final speech in Spike Lee’s movie, Get on the Bus was geared toward Black men, it is applicable to the entire race. For that reason, I am compelled to share it with those of you who never saw the movie and the others that gave very little importance to what he said.

In the very last scene in the movie, Dutton addresses all the brothers who have made the trip to Washington, D.C. but did not participate in the Million Man March because one of the characters, Ozzie Davis, suffered a heart attack just before the march and many of the men chose to remain with him at the hospital. But once they do arrive at the Lincoln Monument, it is very late and the men are depressed. That is when Dutton walks toward the back of the bus, and delivers the most important and poignant message of the entire movie. And one that all of us, men and women, can use as a measurement of where we go from here. Dutton tells the men:

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“We’re here because God Almighty wanted us here. And he doesn’t care so much about what you already done. God asks what you going to do now…The real march ain’t even started yet. This was only the prelim, the warm up….The real Million Man March won’t start until we Black men take charge of our own lives, and start dealing with crime, drugs, and guns and gangs and children having children and children killing children all across this country. If you all are ready to quit your apathetic and unsympathetic ways as I am and take back control of the Black community. If you’re ready to stop being the boys and be the men that our wives, and our mothers and our children are waiting for and stand up against all the evils lined up against the Black man…and just say we’re tired of this shit and we ain’t going to take it anymore. If you’re ready to do that, then we got work to do. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

For the next four years, the intensity of that work is going to double. Despite his promise to be President for all the people, Trump’s early appointments signal that once again he is not being truthful, at least not with us. But Black America has risen to this challenge in the past. We have precedent on our side. We know how to survive under the roughest of conditions. Men and women such as Frederick Douglass, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bayard Rustin, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not even consider the possibility of giving up. These great leaders struggled and survived and we must pick up their mantle of commitment and continue the work so that four years from now, when Trump is defeated, we will be stronger and wiser as a people.

 

 Be Strong and Stay Strong Black America!

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Trump’s Code Word Appeal—“Make America Great Again!”

Richard M. Nixon, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, is seen arriving at the airport in Atlanta, Ga. with his wife, Patricia, on May 31, 1968. A crowd of about 350 people greeted them as Nixon visits the South to meet with delegates from various states. (AP Photo)In what has become a rather famous or some may consider infamous interview in 1981, leading Ronald Reagan political strategist Lee Atwater, discussed plans of the Republican Party to win the white Southern vote over to the Republican Party. His approach was for the party to appeal to those issues most closely identified with Southern Conservatives who abhorred the changes that occurred in the South during the 1960’s. It was called Nixon’s Southern Strategy. The idea was for the candidate to be only lukewarm in his duties to implement those policies passed in the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the 1965 Voting Rights Bill. This could be accomplished if the candidates simply pledged strong support for states’ rights. That term became the first in a number of codes to the Southern whites, that assured them the candidate was firmly entrenched in their corner for a return to the good old days.

Reagan took full advantage of the strategy when he coined terms such as “Welfare Queen.” And practically every Republican politician since has used the code word “Big Government” to express their support for cutting back on programs that have essentially protected the rights of Blacks and  other minorities in this country.

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Now in the political year 2016 we have the Republican candidate for president playing that same old game with codes. Donald Trump has coined the term “Make America Great Again,” and it has resonated well with a certain segment of the white male population, especially in the South and it carried him through the primaries to a victory. The term “Make America Great Again” creates visions of the past that excites Trump supporters like they have not been since Reagan’s “Shining City on a Hill.”

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The problem is that the population enamored by Trump’s promises, consists of those white Americans whose beliefs and practices are inimical to the continued growth and development of our country as a totally integrated and fair society. This particular segment of America, under the tutelage of right wing conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, dream of a return to a time when America was not great, and that is the irony of their efforts.

9b53cfe968a9afc85f26c5f1f26915bf_crop_northNo doubt this crowd longs for the days when white supremacy reigned economically, socially and politically. In their world, Rocky, the Great White Hope, really did beat Apollo Creed and the statue at the top of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is real. In their world, a Larry Bird led Boston Celtics could easily defeat a Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls, and Tiger Woods couldn’t even carry Jack Nicklaus’ golf bag and there is no way that Serena Williams could tie Steffi Graf’s modern day record of 22 major tennis victories. And most important, in their world President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and never should have been able to serve as President of the United States, and no way Michelle Obama should be First Lady and as gracious, poised and beautiful as any other First Lady to include Nancy Reagan and Jaqueline Kennedy.

hbz-obamas-gettyimages-84379057This is the world that Donald Trump promises his followers and it is their perception of the code “Make America Great Again.” The problem with that particular America is that its premise for greatness is predicated on the color of one’s skin and not the content of one’s character. It paints all other people in a negative light, the Mexican drug lord who wants to come to America to rape and pillage, the Muslim who has to be a terrorist simply because of his religious affiliation, women who have forgotten their place in society, and of course Black Americans who don’t want to work or raise their families and have lost all semblance of a decent and honorable culture. To Trump and his followers all that is necessary is to eradicate these negatives and they will have accomplished their goal to “Make America Great Again.”

A Brief Perspective On Race from Emmett Till to Donald Trump

It is, once again, that time of year for me. That time when I celebrate another year of living here among the billions of men, women, and children, who make up the population on earth. Of course, my communication is with a very minuscule section of that population. When I celebrated my birthday a couple years ago, I had one of my students approach me and ask, “Professor Williams how long you been here, sir?” In other words he was asking me how old I was, but felt it more polite to not ask in that manner. Well, I answered it from the context of his question and would like to share with you my answer, modified somewhat to include the past two years.

tilleversI told that young man that I have been here long enough to know, that this country’s persistent racial crisis has a historical precedent. I have been here long enough to know, that the justice system that failed to punish the murderers of Emmett Till in 1955, fails to punish the murderers of young Black boys in the streets of this country in 2016. I have been here long enough to know, that the racist that cowardly shot and killed Medgar Evers in the driveway of his home in 1963, are still among us. I have been here long enough to know, the hatred that could drive men to bomb a church with children inside during Sunday school, in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 still exist. I have been around here long enough to know, that the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 and Dr. Martin King, Jr. in 1968, were not just random acts of violence but well-planned plots to eliminate two of the most effective Black leaders who, given time, would have united the Black race in a way never done before.

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I have been around here long enough to know, that an economic system that is so unfairly skewed in favor of one race of people at the expense of others, will never be able to achieve economic parity unless a new system is put in place. I have been around here long enough to know, despite the ranting of Bill O’Reilly on FOX television, that white skin privilege is real and has always existed in this country. I have been around here long enough to know, that the conservative movement in this country is essentially an antithetical force to the gains Blacks have made, as a result of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the 1965 Voting Rights Law. I have been around here long enough to know, that the past three Republican Presidents, who have led the fight to overturn the progress that Blacks and other minorities have made as a result of federal legislation, have always found a Black man or woman to attach themselves to, in order to serve as subterfuge to what they planned to eradicate. For Ronald Reagan, it was Colin Powell. For George H.W. Bush, it was Clarence Thomas. For George W. Bush it was Condeleeza Rice. Now as we move into the Donald Trump era of the Republican Party, it appears that Dr. Ben Carson will fill that role. Ceremony to Commemorate Foreign Policy Achievementsdonald-trump-carson-1024

 

 


I have also been around here long enough to recognize the dangers confronting my race and culture, as our young men everyday are drawn more into a life of self-destructive, hedonistic pessimism. I have been
around here long enough to discern the change in our culture from the “Black is Beautiful” era of the late 1960’s and 70’s, to the Crack Cocaine epidemic of the 1980’s and 90’s. I have been around here long enough to know, that the bishop-t-d-jakes-bishop-eddie-longcreflo dollar church in austrailia
ministers in the Black church have moved away from the Social Gospel of Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth to the Prosperity Gospel of Creflo Dollar, T. D. Jakes, Eddie Long and I. V. Hilliard, and none of them have been able to influence our young so that they believe in themselves and in their race i-v-hilliard-photo(although I must admit that Dr. King came the closest). They all have failed to teach the doctrine of “Love your Neighbor as you love yourself,” because our young do not love themselves. Many of them love the drugs, love the gangs and love the guns. And that is pathological for the survival of our race.

I guess you can surmise that I have been around here a long time. I have to admit that I never thought I would live to see a Black elected president of this country. But I have been around here long enough to recognize, that his election would not solve the myriad of problems that my culture and people confront on a daily basis. I think we all now realize after seven years, that President Obama was not a panacea for what ails us as a people. I have been around here long enough to know, that the dangers we confront are now in-house and not the work of forces outside, as they have been in the past. I have also been around here long enough to know, that if we as a people want to change the direction that an important segment of our culture is taking toward self-destruction, we must all individually commit to do something dynamic to help effectuate that change. And if blessed by the creator I hope to be around here long enough to witness that transition.