On Nov 9th 2016, America woke up to the reality that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.
As if on que, the two Americas clashed. Those who supported Trump jumped for joy. Those who did not, publicly mourned. How could this happen, they asked?
On November 11, 2016, Patrice Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, told The Guardian, “Trump’s 100-day plan, including the building of a massive wall on the border with Mexico, is that of a man using an outmoded weapon of isolationism that will not revive our economies. He claims to want to restore law and order within the US, but the result will be more police brutality towards black people and migrants. His purported support of white voters will result in more death and misery as he tries to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, hurting white and black people alike.”
Her argument belongs in the theater of the absurd.
First, being a law and order President does not automatically mean one advocates police brutality. There is no concrete evidence that President-elect Trump will unleash the dogs on people of color. He’s no George Wallace, you recall George Wallace? On March 7, 1965, the Democrat Governor ordered state troopers with dogs, whips and tear gas to intimidate blacks who were marching from Selma to Montgomery during a voter registration campaign. He literally released the dogs on Blacks. Ms. Cullors’ attempt to fly the race flag is at best ill-informed and at worst, scandalous.
Second, the outmoded weapon of isolationism she writes about is without definition and completely off track. In fact, it is BLM that is isolationist. BLM’s actions have not lead to any concrete actions that revived economies in the marginalized communities for whom she purports to speak. In an interview in The Washington Times on October 4, 2016, D’Artagnan Scorza, executive director and founder of the Los Angeles-based Social Justice Learning Institute said, “Social justice is an umbrella that encompasses a deeper desire for individuals and communities to see injustices made right,”
Mr. Scorza says “That’s really the goal.”
Finally, for decades The Democratic Party has benefited from the Black vote. The Party has capitalized on Blacks loyalty and fidelity during election time, and then ignored them in the meantime and in between time. And despite all of their support, many Blacks still find themselves marginalized economically, educationally and socially.
If racial bias is a key factor with which to judge presidential worth and efficacy, why did Ms. Cullors selectively leave out any discussion of Hilary Clinton’s history of making racially charged comments? “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators,’ ” Clinton said WHERE? in 1996, at the height of anxiety during her husband’s administration while discussing black men and high rates of crime and violence. “No conscience, no empathy, we can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
Two Black Lives Matter activists actually confronted Clinton at a private fundraiser in February, telling the candidate she owed black people an apology for her super predator remarks. Clinton told the Washington Post’s Johnathan Capehart in a statement published in the Washington Post on February 25, 2016 that “Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.”
Later in the election cycle, former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also criticized her language at a debate in Brooklyn. When a debate moderator asked Sanders why he called out Bill Clinton out for his defense of Clinton’s use of “super-predator,” Sanders said, “Because it was a racist term, and everyone knew it was a racist term.”
Heated campaign rhetoric does not policy make.
Mr. Trump’s stated intention to repeal and replace the ACA has also created considerable tension. The reality is that several major insurance companies have opted out of the ACA, and as a result premiums are skyrocketing. Why exactly shouldn’t the ACA – and all of its flaws – be addressed?
We have to stop looking through a racially-hued lens. Then ask ourselves, how does ACA replacement not make sense? Ms. Cullors does not say. I wonder does she know what replacement looks like? Even better, exactly what solutions has she advanced?
Griping and bellyaching change nothing. Advocacy, on the other hand – even with those with whom we disagree – does.
The fact is, America has spoken. Now we must work together to achieve the goal of one America. Operating in our own pro-Trump or pro-Clinton circles only drives a greater wedge between us. It does absolutely nothing to bring us together to solve the very problems that are tearing the Republic apart.
Mr. Trump has indicated that he will be a President for all Americans. We should give him the chance to do so and hold him accountable. Our Republic demands it.