By the Black Press Association of Florida
African Americans knew that Donald Trump was going to be a problem. Nearly ninety percent voted against him, voicing their strong opposition. That vote was higher than any other ethnic group in the nation.
Our relationship with this president has never been good, and he made no serious effort to improve it. Black leaders tried to work with Trump during the early days of this chaotic administration, but it was futile. The narcissistic president tossed centuries of political decorum and protocol. Compound that with his constant misinformation about everything and President Barack Obama, it is just too much.
Here is the other problem with Trump. He never expected to win. He had no policy or plans for any aspect of governing because he is incapable and unfit to lead as president. But a margin of 77,000 Electoral College votes from the White suburbs in three states brought Trump to power. Seventy-seven thousand votes! We were stuck with his racist legacy starting with his father’s membership in the Ku Klux Klan, court confirmation of his discriminatory rental policy, and his call for the execution of the young Black men for the rape of a woman in Central Park of which they were exonerated.
Yes, we knew who Donald Trump is. And now, everyone else knows.
The murder of George Floyd revived Trump’s laser focus on encouraging his base, who are threatened by people of color. And now Rayshad Brooks has been added to the long list of killings. Instead of talking about corrective measures and bringing people together, Trump encourages more violence.
We live with the horror of racism. Racism every day, in some form, African Americans are insulted, stereotyped, discriminated against, and yes, killed because of their race.
Now, let us talk about this. It is not like we have all been buddies in the greatest nation in the world, but it has never been this bad. This president has worked hard to demonize us to his advantage.
Corrupt cops and others take their direction from the top. These people listen to the president, and it is not in code. For centuries, this country has failed to cure its shameful burden. That is brutality exacerbated by racism. The last time reform occurred followed the terrible police violence during the sixty’s civil rights movement. What played out on television was convincing and undeniable, just like the slow, horrific execution of George Floyd.
This time it is different. America witnessed murder
Huge protests erupted and continue nationwide because this is what we do. Speak out and challenge the government. In this case, police brutality. It is tough to separate the many good cops from the bad and the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters from the looters. And you have the heavily armed law enforcement and military trying to keep order that sometimes devolved into chaos. It is quite a conundrum. But for most of us, it was very familiar and scary. It is part of our daily lives.
Reminiscent of the civil rights movement was the youth presence. While this movement also reflected millennial dominance, there were as many Whites as Blacks participating. These young people’s knowledge of the second Civil War was limited to what they read in history books. They are writing their legacy. It is usually the first thing Black people comment on regarding the resurgence of Black Lives Matter. This is the generation Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed would look beyond race to be “judged not by the color of their skin but the content of their character.”
The vast majority of White and Black America agree that systemic racism is real and an enormous problem in America. And we know we cannot convince a racist that they should abandon White privilege. They are not interested in being on the right side of history either. But we can be part of the majority who will vote against elected officials who are racist. That is what happens when America witnesses murder. It votes.
For more information about The Black Press Association of Florida, Inc. go to blackpressassociationof.com