OPINION | By Khalil Hakim
My brothers and sisters Donald J. Trump did not invent racism! I know you are upset that he waited for 48 hrs to even say anything about the tragedy that happened in Charlottesville, Va. I know you are upset that when he did say something, he had the nerve to say that there is a moral equivalency between White supremacist and those protesting against them. I know you are upset that he referred to those same White supremacist as “Fine people.” When he said, “Make America Great Again” that was a dog whistle for the neo-Nazis, White supremacists, and the David Dukes’ of the world. To be honest with you, I was not surprised because I know and have known for some time that Trump is a racist.
First, I present to you: Exhibit A – former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon. Ray Charles can see that this man is an intensely fanatical white supremacist. For your reading pleasure Google him and just check out his blatantly racist ideology. Trump appointed him to his cabinet without even batting an eye.
Next, I present to you: Exhibit B – Current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions, a profoundly racist Senator from Alabama. As the U.S. Attorney in Mobile, Ala., Jeff Sessions took over a case in the 1980s with two fellow prosecutors. The trial dwelt with a young Black man who had been kidnapped and brutally murdered by two members of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klansmen, Henry Hayes, and Tiger Knowles slit the victim’s throat and hung his body from a tree. They attacked in retribution for a jury acquitting a black man in the slaying of a white police officer. As Sessions learned that some members of the Klan had smoked marijuana on the evening of the slaying, he said aloud that he thought the KKK was “OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Sessions continue to insist, he was joking!
Now, for the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, Senator Lindsey Graham, and other politicians who are so appalled at what Trump said or didn’t say, I have a question for you. Where was the same outrage when the President of “these” United States appointed a white supremacist to his cabinet and a part-time comedian/bigot as the Attorney General? So now, they want to grab the flag of morality and wave it as if their very lives depend on it.
I get it; really, I do. This is the time for news networks like CNN and MSNBC to cover this dreadful situation like Trump invented racism, but really, he did not. America’s founders sowed racism into the fabric of this country. Therefore, racist thinking happened way before you, and I ever thought about what it means to be racist. Hence, Trump did not invent racism, but he did empower racist to come out from the shadows and shout out racist rhetoric and do so without feeling ashamed. The sad part about these racists is that they blame Black folks for their condition and for taking their country.
So, how are Black folks expropriating their nation when the five largest land owners in America own more land than all of Black America combined?
When Trump gave his remarks in Trump Tower, flanked on both sides was, Treasury Secretary, former billionaire hedge fund manager, Steven Mnuchin and Chief Economic Adviser investment banker Gary Cohn, who are both Jewish. They both stood there, didn’t blink as Trump would go on and say that neo-Nazis are “Fine people.” The President of the United States says neo-Nazis are “Fine people” with two wealthy Jewish men on both sides. Just think about that for a second if you will.
Cohn allegedly drafted a resignation letter, he never turned it in, but he drafted one.
Steven Mnuchin did a brief “nothing to see here, keep moving” news conference. Why did they both not leave the Trump Administration? Come on now! He said neo-Nazi are “Fine people” and you are gonna work for someone who said that. It is not like you need the money, both of them have money long as train smoke. Are they both blindly patriotic and have this burning desire to serve the country?
No! That is not it. Steven Mnuchin in his press conference said they are both committed to moving on and focusing on Tax Reform which is another way of saying tax breaks for my billionaire friends and me. The New York Times reports that “Mr. Cohn is known to have interest in becoming the Chairman of The Federal Reserve and that President Trump has been considering him for the job.”
At what point does principle come before money for these people? They both continue to work for an Administration that embraces antisemitism among other horrible things. They are staying because there is a financial benefit for them and their buddies, the same reason a Black guy who owns a white sheet factory would join the KKK. If it makes dollars, it makes sense!
The whole Charlottesville situation was mismanaged and handled atrociously. The police force had 30 days to prepare for this day. They should have known that this was a powder keg situation, that could explode at any time. The excuse of not having enough cops to handle the crowd is weak and irresponsible. However, in Ferguson images of militarized lines of police with semi-automatic weapons and dogs backed by armored vehicles staring down black protesters on the streets of Ferguson has been burned into the national psyche.
When confronted with a situation that brings out that dangerous emotion called anger, you will always have choices on how you handle that particular situation; react or respond. We can all replay our lives and see what happens when we react versus when we respond when confronted with something that makes the very hair on the back of our neck stand up and makes our blood boil. If you were honest, your reaction to the situation always tends to not work out for your good, or you get so caught up in anger that you miss an opportunity to, possibly, learn something – if you had just responded. If you had just taken a deep breath and thought it out, assessed the situation and then made a smart well thought out calculated response to the situation, perhaps the outcome would have been better; actually, maybe people could hear and understand what exactly it is you’re trying to convey.
Black folks have had their chain yanked by society for a long time, which puts us in a perpetual state of anger and that is not by accident. If we stay angry and react, we will miss the big picture. It reminds me of this time in Trenton N.J.; Where I walked down this alley where there was a dog that I would taunt for no good reason.
The dog would charge at me, literally, foaming at the mouth trying to get at me while I kicked the fence and teased him unmercifully. I routinely did this every day because the shortcut to school was out my backyard and through the alley. I knew that the dog was so angry and so caught up in what I was doing that he did not ever notice that the gate was old and flimsy and held together by a loosely tied rope. If the dog were to jump on that gate or push on the gate it would open instantly and with no problem but because he was so angry at me and wanted to get at me so bad, his frustration and anger got the best of him. Hence, he didn’t even realize that his desire and liberty to tear me to shreds was right there in front of him.
Well, one day the dog stopped coming down to growl and bark at me. He sat on the porch just looking at me, not even moving. Despite all of my taunting and kicking on the fence, the dog did not flinch. So I kicked the fencing, I shouted, but nothing. The dog just sat there as if to say “Eh forget about.” This story speaks to how Black Folks are reacting to this spike in racist activities and overtly racist dialogue in public on television. We have become the duality of this dog; angry or docile.
The angry folks are missing the big picture, and the docile folks are just overwhelmed because we have an openly bigoted president and they have yet to fully recover from the fact that Barack Obama is no longer president.
Do we have a right to be angry, HELL YES!! It is okay to have anger but don’t let anger, have you. When you are angry, you cannot think straight, when you in rage you lose the ability to assess, observe, and respond in intelligibly. Devoid of emotion or inundated with everybody’s negative emotion.
As a people, we can no longer get emotional and react to what racist are or are not doing. I do not have to time put racist white folks in little groups, neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, KKK, these are all hateful people.
We must maintain focus on what’s important and the big picture as we tear down systemic racism. That is the goal, the total dismantling of systemic racism. Tearing down Confederate Statues is a nice gesture, but will somebody help me understand how that stops the school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, economic disenfranchisement, and underfunded schools?
We should not get so angry at the fact that Trump did not speak harsh enough to a bunch of racist. Those are just words and words do not mean anything.
Public policy is what makes – change in America. I do not care what 45 says, but what I care about is income inequality and wealth distribution. It is nice if they change the name of a school to something else other than a Confederate General but how about changing the laws that protect cops and gives them a license to kill with impunity.
Those politicians on the left and the right who consistently go on Corporate ran media outlets and voice eloquently about how this is not what the country is about are the worst hypocrites in the world. They pass laws that have more adverse, long term effects on Black folks than any tiki torch carrying, polo shirt wearing, Robert E. Lee loving, ignorant, racist misguided person that has ever lived.
We can no longer become distracted by ratings, hungry CNN as they force feed us a narrative that keeps us in perpetual madness as amid having the nerve to pay political pundits that are diametrically-opposed to the truth and have them debate with someone. Then after all is said and done, call it 50/50; it is a tie never calling a spade a spade.
As Wolf Blitzer, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon and the rest of the millionaire so called journalist regurgitate the status quo of on to the next one same as the last one.
We can not get so frustrated at Trump that we forget the 2018 elections are right around the corner and the Democratic slogan of “WE AIN’T TRUMP” is not a winning strategy. If you do not believe me how did that whole “IM WITH HER” thing work out? We cannot get so caught with white supremacist because the democratic party will just force feed us any Blue will do mentality. Paging Kamala Harris. Paging Corey Booker.
Systemic racism did not just start with Trump’s presidency. We have to keep the main thing, the main thing. The total dismantling of systemic racism is the end game, not removing of statues, Not changing the names of schools, not allowing corporate ran media to yank our chain and not tell our truth. It is not enough to have your eyes open and not be “woke!”