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Black Fear In The Age Of Trump – OpEd

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Black Americans were lost and politically helpless before Election Day in 2016. Having a black Democrat in the presidency hid a multitude of sins. As a group we have lost jobs, the little wealth we had, and literally our lives and freedom from the police state. Donald Trump’s election just made what was already true crystal clear.

The victory of a Republican is always cause for some degree of panic among black people. They are, after all, the white people’s party and their ascension creates anxiety among us.

Donald Trump’s appeal to white nationalism has certainly upped the ante. The people who hold onto the feckless Democrats with a vice-like death grip now believe they have nowhere to turn. The Democrats’ allegiance to neo-liberal deal making instead of meeting the needs of the rank and file resulted in a presidential defeat and Republican control of both houses of Congress. They long ago conceded fighting for control of state legislatures. The result is that the Republicans hold all the electoral cards.

Instead of fear we should be angry that we denounced what we once supported and supported what we once denounced in a losing effort to keep Democrats in office. We made a tacit agreement with the Democrats to follow them, at times blindly and at others with eyes wide open in exchange for protection from the white people’s party.

After supporting mass incarceration, the end of welfare as a right, regime change and austerity, the Democrats didn’t come through. They failed to prop up Hillary Clinton and now most of black America is shocked and fearful of what the Trump presidency will bring.

Every move Trump makes is followed like a sign of Armageddon. Announcements of his appointments and his bizarre ranting tweets are followed with obsessive fixation like watching a monster movie meant to create terror.

It is interesting that there has been no revolt against the Democratic Party and their coterie of black misleaders after this political debacle. Black people came to believe that not only were we supposed to give the Democrats carte blanche but, like domestic violence victims, we had to keep quiet about our humiliation too. Now we are alternately afraid, angry and confused because we still think we must censor ourselves about our bad political decision making.

There should be serious introspection amongst us now. We must ask ourselves how we ended up in this situation. The fault is not ours alone. Our liberation movement was crushed and leaders were imprisoned or killed. We began to err when we accepted the first foolish agreement to be satisfied with the success of a small group of people instead of working for everyone’s freedom. That thinking culminated in the joy of seeing Barack Obama elected president in 2008. In 2016 we watched his hollow legacy go down in flames to the man who said he wasn’t born in the United States.

Black people have always made the greatest strides when unafraid. We speak endlessly of the days of the liberation movement without appreciating what we accomplished. Racism was open as politicians and other “respectable” people had no qualms about using racial slurs and threatening and carrying out violence against us. Sometimes we voted with our feet away from the Jim Crow south and at other times we rose up in open rebellion. We did not allow fear to rule the day.

Now we quake in our boots with every announcement from the Trump transition team. Instead of panicking because Dr. Ben Carson will be secretary of HUD, we should remember that HUD exists at all because of the demands that black people made on our political system. Creating political crisis should be the order of the day. That has always been the game changer, not necessarily getting Democrats into office instead of Republicans.

Should we be able to reverse this fortune through electoral politics just remember who we will be resurrecting. Nancy Pelosi says that the Democratic Party doesn’t want a new direction. Senator Cory Booker is mentioned as a 2020 contender but Ivanka Trump and her husband raised $40,000 for his last campaign.

If Trumpism is to be destroyed it cannot be through the same measures that brought us to this ignominious political end. It also can’t be done with the same faces who brought us here or with bought off progressives. Al Gore and Tulsi Gabbard may stop by to kiss Donald’s ring but that doesn’t mean we must either “give him a chance” or believe the end is nigh.

The desire for self-determination brought people out of slavery and out of Jim Crow segregation. It can certainly save us from the alt-right, Donald Trump and an attorney general named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. We survived the Confederates and we can survive anyone named after them. That will mean shaking off fear, the Democrats, and the black misleaders all at once. We have never had anyone to depend on except ourselves. We do best when we acknowledge and honor that fact.


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Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR (http://www.blackagendareport.com), and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.

2 thoughts on “Black Fear In The Age Of Trump – OpEd

  • December 8, 2016 at 11:31 pm
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    The November 28, 2016, Chicago Sun-Times, Fran Spielman article: “Black Politicians Unite After Murder of Congressman’s Grandson” outlined specifically the exact plan that Todd Elliott Koger has shared with the Congressional black leadership, the “Movement for Blacklivesmatter,” Rev. Jesse Jackson, private foundations, and the like. In fact, Mr. Koger had already complained that the Urban League also usurped this proposal.

    None of the black leadership named in the Chicago Sun-Times article had previously demonstrated any interest for the suggestion until apparently “word got out that Mr. Koger also shared the Plan with Donald Trump.” That is, the black leadership named in the Chicago Sun-Times’ article has always taken direct issue with Mr. Trump arguing that “BLACKS ARE NOT LIVING IN THE PRECARIOUS SITUATION OUTLINED.” Donald Trump was the only one willing to listen to Mr. Koger (blacks have been voting almost 50 years “straight” Democrat and our situation remained the same or worst).

    First Mr. Trump issued an online video that addressed our plight. Next he went to Michigan and then took the message to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Thereafter, Mr. Koger packaged the visual optics and shared Mr. Trump’s fight against the “status quo” with black America to grow an arsenal of black Trump supporters.

    When “sh*t hit the fan” in October 2016 and everyone started to run from Mr. Trump . . . Mr. Koger suggested the need for a new “writing” for black America to put things back on track. Thereafter, Mr. Trump almost immediately issued a “New Deal For Black America.”

    Donald Trump owes his victory to “predominately black Democratic strongholds of Pennsylvania” who were convinced to give Mr. Trump more votes than the previous Republican Party presidential candidate. African Americans like Todd Elliott Koger convinced hundreds of thousands blacks in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and various other states to boycott the vote and/or the traditional “straight” Democratic Party vote.

    Mr. Trump’s “margin of victory” is realized when you combine this with an increase of “Obama white voters” in Wisconsin and Michigan voting Trump in 2016. Trump won Pennsylvania by 1.1 percentage points (68,236 votes), Wisconsin by 0.9 points (27,257 votes), and Michigan by 0.2 points (11,837 votes). If Hillary Clinton had won all three states, she would have won the Electoral College 278 to 260. She fell short in all three.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dieNd5h_qpw

    Reply

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