5 Reasons Why Donald Trump Will be Good for African Americans
By Jeff Thomas
African American voter turnout was at historic highs when Barak Obama was elected and reelected to the Presidency. Motivated by the opportunity to elect the first ever African American President of the United States, grandmothers who had never voted and millennials who had never even registered to vote previously, exercised their constitutional rights and cast their votes to help elect the senator from Illinois.
Not lost on those new voters was the fact that America enslaved 100’s of thousands of Africans. America enslaved African Americans for longer than African Americans have been free. Even after the abolition of slavery, African Americans suffered more government oppression. Jim Crow laws continued the denial of civil rights for people of color for another 77 years. So in America, Blacks have been free to fully integrate into American economics for fewer years than they were denied access to the American economic system.
While the great majority of debate has focused on civil rights, access to civil on rights is actually an economic battle. Denial of civil rights is denying access to capital. Keeping people uneducated and poor allows for their continued economic exploitation. Poor people will work cheaper and do harder work to access money for survival. Centuries of oppression have resulted in a stunted class of people who simply want access to economic opportunity. Denied access to capital, African Americans have lived in an economic state of depression for centuries in America.
- BLACKS HAVE MADE CONSTANT PROGRESS
In the last 50 years, African Americans have successfully and constantly pressured society to overcome the still remaining vestiges of oppression and allow greater access to wealth and resources. From the civil rights movement of the 60’s to today’s Black Lives Matter movement, African Americans have pushed society to recognize patterns of denial of opportunity and remove obstacles to success. And from access to equal voting rights to home loan approvals, African Americans have moved steadily and consistently to create a true American dream. So for many, the election of Barak Obama was the culmination of the struggle and the mythical exhale moment.
Living in America for African Americans is still a precarious existence. The rights that whites view as inalienable have been specifically delineated in the constitution for us. Hence, African Americans sense at a visceral level when these rights are threatened and understand that seemingly innocuous moments are actually threats to our very survival. It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand speaks to this sixth sense.
- BUT OBAMA MADE AFRICAN AMERICANS COMPLACENT
Yet the election of President Obama served as a masking agent for those innate and instinctive abilities to surmise the malevolent intentions of others. Obama’s election gave rest to the weary. Still others were so weary with the pervasive need to provide persistent protection against the encroachment of gained access to societal rights that they were willing to relinquish control to the President. “We have a black President now,” many thought.
But the human existence is rooted in history. And perceptions are deeply ingrained. So 50 years making strides in a society created upon racist notions and institutions will not quickly reverse the course of 350 years of history. The euphoria amongst African Americans at the election of one of their own evolved into a weird apathy and a sense of arrival. The struggle was over in the minds of many.
- TRUMP IS REALLY IGNORANT ABOUT AMERICAN HISTORY
President Trump’s recent insinuation that Frederick Douglas was still alive exposed a frivolity and disconnection of shocking proportion. But Donald Trump’s presidency signals policy changes that are anything but superficial. His dogma telegraphs a roll back of numerous political gains. Rolling back these political gains will result in new regulations that will deny some access to economic opportunity for African Americans and will further jeopardize African American’s tenuous rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Combined with Trump’s call for more “law and order”, we can expect the mass incarceration of black men to intensify. The effects of mass incarceration of black men not only produce budget deficits but destabilized African American families that will actually create more crime, worse education outcomes and an increased need for government support.
- TRUMP WILL SELL BLACK RIGHTS IN A BIG DEAL
Trump’s cabinet appointments are further cause for concern. Since the 60’s, African Americans have relied upon the Justice Department to regulate Southern states whose laws not only denied blacks access to economic opportunity but often with brutal and violent consequences for those who dared to attempt to achieve success in life. (Currently the NOPD operates under a federal consent decree because of brutal killings by officers and constant over policing of innocent black men by officers.) Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice to lead the Justice department, was rejected by the Senate in 1986 for a federal judgeship. His ignoble background makes his choice ideal for conservative and “uneducated whites”. But his selection signals a doubling down on forthcoming Walmart style rights roll backs.
- AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL WAKE UP
Yet these very efforts will awaken the apathetic giant that black America has become. While Obama’s presidency resulted in a false sense of accomplishment and resulting lethargy, Trump’s presidency is producing sense of attack on gains. The realization for many that the Obama election could only produce transitory feelings of pride and jubilation. The alienable rights African American’s take for granted must be protected and Trump’s assailing and encroachment will invite the reprisals and ferocious retribution required to preserve all current privileges and continue the push to fully engage the American economic system of all available resources.
Despite the election of Obama, Trump’s ascendancy to office affirms that America’s struggle for fairness, equality and equal access to wealth and resources is far from over. And for African Americans, Trump’s presidency will be an omnipresent reminder that we must remain vigilante, engaged and involved to protect our constitutional rights that Trump could undo with a late night executive order and Tweet.