‘Dark cloud rising’
‘Dark cloud rising’
By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“… they err in vision, they stumble in judgment…” (Isiah 22:7)
Sadly, the financial condition of most if not all of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities is desperate. And they have been in that condition for a long time. Why these institutions are in such financial despair is way beyond my understanding.
The collective wealth of their alumni includes the fortunes of such notables as Sean “Puffy” Combs, Alice Walker, Common, Oprah Winfrey, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee and Michael Strahan among so many more. Surely luminaries like these can come together, establish a benefit that takes place annually, and will benefit Black colleges and universities. If that could be manifested, the presidents of these foundation schools can retain their dignity and not get played by Donald Trump for the benefit of a photo opp.
After all that scraping, bowing and bucking, what they got and all they were ever going to get was nothing but a photo opp. If any of them thinks they got more, tell them to take that piece of paper the President signed to a bank and try to cash it. And that people is not an alternative fact or fake news. It’s real.
But HBCUS are not the only ones in trouble; this country is in trouble. We have a president who has surrounded himself with a group of men who give the impression they do not believe in the American constitution in the form it presently is in. They behave like a group of 21st Century Na-zis. They are not interested in establishing Trump as a president but installing a tyrant.
Like all tyrants the first thing he has to redefine is “truth” and the concept of truth. So now his people and he talk about alternative facts and fake news. They do all they can to discourage any acceptance of facts from any source they label opposition. That is without question what despots in the past have done. When the president brands the press as “enemies of the people,” he is quoting Joseph Stalin.
But that’s understandable because this president seems to admire authoritarianism and those who employ it. I guess that explains this bromance he has with Putin, who probably is presently the world’s most vicious tyrant.
This administration deeply believes in revisionism. They want to reshape history and the facts of history. Ben Carson even had the ignorance to say African people who were forced to come to America as slaves were in actuality “immigrants.” One has to wonder how an educated man like Ben Carson could speak so ignorantly.
But we know in institutions stuff flows downhill. President Trump said the reason he did not win the popular vote was because millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. Ben Carson is following administration policy; redefine that truth if we don’t like it.
But it goes way beyond that. The attitude and the behavior of President Trump and those who surround him is the same exclusionary thinking that the world has seen before. These people behave like 21st Century Nazis.
There is an ongoing effort by the Trump administration to define what truth is and who is able to speak truth. They have decided and postulate that if what is said does not agree with their perspective or support their thinking, then what ever has been said is a lie.
Even worse, they have characterized their lies as “alternative facts.” There is no such thing as an “alternative fact.” Either something is or it is not.
All of this has one purpose and this purpose is to divide the country. These are people with a kindergarten mentality who think in terms of colors. They don’t want unification – they desire stratification. As Elridge Cleaver once said, “They are discovering new ways to divide us faster than we are discovering new ways to unite.” His words proved to be timely for those of his era and prophetic for us.
Yet this is not a call to surrender. We can suffer this by acts of hopelessness and despair or we can unite in ways we’ve not done for generations. We can put aside differences based on education, complexion, where we live and where we work and recognize that a new politics is required, demanded, and necessary for us to survive.
Here is one last prophecy from Mary McLeod Bethune:” These are not the days to consider from whence one came, nor the traditional customs of social standing, caste and privilege. These are the days for a united front with a united purpose to fight for that victory which we must have or regardless of caste, creed or position, we will all sink together.”
Amen to that.