The U.S. presidential election is just a few days away. It is one of the most consequential elections in history. While I don’t write about politics on this blog, I have posted about The Racism Iceberg and the issue of Confederate monuments. Some may consider discussion of racism and “white privilege” to be political rather than a human rights issue. This post, however, is political. For many reasons, race relations being an important one, Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.
Recently I read a blog post that said that the most racist candidate for president was Joe Biden and the Trump has done more for the Black community than Obama and Biden ever did. When my reply about what Obama did for the Black community was not published, I decided to express myself in this post.
Trump’s Audacious Claim About His Record On Race
Donald Trump claims that he has done more to help Black people in America than any other President, with the “possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln. Trump has made this claim numerous times verbally and in writing. I believe the first instance was in June 2020.
Trump repeats the claim often in interviews and at rallies. In typical Trump fashion, not only does he make an objectively false claim over and over, but he has the gall to be aggrieved that people don’t buy it. Trump plays the part of the good samaritan who is unfairly denied the gratitude he rightfully deserves. Like we should feel sorry for him. He plays the part to perfection.
Coming from the president who has set back race relations in this country more than any president in modern history, his claim is laughable yet not only does he boldly make the assertion, some gullible Americans believe it.
Trump congratulates himself for a modicum of criminal justice reform, federal tax breaks for those investing in opportunity zones in poor communities, a pre-pandemic record low unemployment rate among African Americans, and federal financial support for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) which in his mind places him far above every other president, save Lincoln, as far as accomplishments for Black Americans.
Trump’s ridiculous boast reveals that he has no clue about history or why Black people think he is a racist.
Trump’s Claim Is Absurd
When you look at the totality of his policies and pronouncements, the facts don’t support the assertion that Trump has had even a positive effect on the Black community much less that he has been the best president for it other than Lincoln. Trump hurts the Black community over and over and over again.
The most recent examples derive from Trump’s abdication of responsibility to control the coronavirus. An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of more than 114,000 Americans who died of COVID-19 between May and August found that Black people accounted for 19 percent of all coronavirus deaths during that four-month period but constitute only 12.5% of the population. Twenty-four percent of deaths were Hispanic or Latino even though only about 18 percent of Americans are of Hispanic descent.
Adding insult to injury, Trump’s relentless drive to wipeout Obamacare without a replacement will leave the 19% of the Black community and others who had no health insurance before Obamacare up the proverbial creek without a healthcare paddle during a pandemic that is worsening.
Trump squandered the economic achievements he touts by ignoring the pandemic he thinks is going away. The overall U.S. unemployment rate spiked to 14.7% in April and the Black unemployment rate hit 16.7%. At the end of September 2020, Black unemployment stood at 12.1%, which is more than four points higher than white unemployment.
Trump wants you to think he was the first president to provide financial support to HBCUs. Actually, the federal government has been giving financial support to HBCUS at least as far back as Ronald Reagan.
That Trump views his efforts at criminal justice reform as a gift to Black people is a tad insulting. The assumption seems to be that most Black people are criminals so we should collectively rejoice.
While much more reform is needed in the justice system, Trump actually deserves some credit for moving the ball forward in this area. He would deserve real praise if he invested in programs to turn potential criminals into productive members of society.
But for the Black community, Trump takes the credit he gets for criminal justice reform and flushes it down the toilet with his complete denial of the problem of police brutality against Blacks.
Every Black person in America who encounters the police fears that if the cop even thinks they make a wrong move they could end up dead. Blacks are sick and tired of being pulled over just because they are black. It happens all the time. We aren’t making this stuff up. I can attest to that from personal experiences.
Killing people who are unarmed or no real threat is flat out wrong even if it isn’t criminal because of the way the laws are currently constructed. Black people are dead. Cops get off scot free. Taxpayers and police departments are stuck with the bill for multi-million dollar civil settlements. Those who think cops won’t lie when it suits their purpose or think they can get away with it are naive. I tended to believe that until it happened to me.
This is the part that really, really burns me up. It’s the final nail in the coffin for me as far as Trump is concerned. Whether or not you agree with this statement, I think you must recognize that Blacks sincerely feel that the police have never treated them with the same level of respect shown to other Americans.
Police are too quick to take Black life. Yet when Black athletes express their feelings by peacefully protesting during the national anthem, draft dodging Donald Trump has the goddamn nerve to brand them “unpatriotic sons of bitches.” Pardon my French, but them’s fighting words were I come from.
I never served in the military but my father, step father, sister and every brother, cousin, and uncle in my generation or the older one did and some in the younger generation are starting. In the 1980s, my father was finally awarded the bronze star for meritorious service he had been nominated for when he was in the army in the South Pacific during WWII. In 1969, my step father went to an early grave bearing numerous scars and lumpy flesh from a German “bouncing betty” landmine in the Italian campaign of WWII. He was evacuated to the States where he had the privilege of spending several months at the medical facility at Fort Benning, which is named after a Confederate general who fought to keep Blacks enslaved. The point being that Black Americans have served and bled in every war this country has fought despite being denied basic rights afforded to them by the Constitution and their humanity.
On the other hand, no one in Trump’s family ever served in the U.S. military. Bone Spur Donald has no concept of patriotism. He wouldn’t know service and sacrifice for anything other than himself if it sat on his lap and called him daddy. He is a despicable human being. How anyone can vote for
that POS him or think he has done more for Black Americans than any other president save Lincoln is beyond me.
What Trump can’t fathom is Black athletes are actually honoring the anthem and the flag not disrespecting them. Taking a knee is a reverent way of pointing out that we have failed to live up to the principles those sacred symbols represent. If I was a professional athlete, I hope I’d have the courage to risk ridicule and financial loss to be there with them.
Other Presidents Have Done Much More For African Americans
First, there can be no doubt that objectively other President’s have done more than Donald Trump to advance racial equality in America. Harry Truman desegregated the U.S. military. Lyndon Johnson picked up the baton when Kennedy was killed and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those laws ended segregation in public places, banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and outlawed discriminatory voting practices many southern states adopted after the Civil War to keep Blacks from voting.
Let’s not forget about Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, the first African-American president. Obama increased funding for HBCUs, passed Obamacare that offered health insurance to the 19% of Blacks who had no health insurance coverage, and signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act that narrowed the huge disparity in punishment given to those convicted of possessing crack cocaine (mostly Black) versus those found with the drug in powder form (mostly white).
Trump Doesn’t Get To Decide Which President Helped Blacks The Most
Regardless of who is in office, I pay attention to what the President of the United States says. We all expect that every president is accurate and truthful with the American people. At least that was the standard before Trump. Trump, however, lies to us repeatedly about thousands of things big and small. Once someone establishes a reputation for deceit and dishonesty, it is prudent to give their statements no credence unless corroborated by knowledgeable, trustworthy sources.
(Trump supporters either praise his lies or dismiss them as being inconsequential. They refuse to see that constant lying by any POTUS creates serious problems for our country in a variety of ways.)
When it comes to determining which president has done the most for the Black community in the U.S., the Black community not Donald Trump gets to make that call. The Black community overwhelmingly and vehemently disagrees with Trump’s claim. Trump realizes it. He feels aggrieved by the lack of adulation.
Given Trump’s history with race, it would be completely out of character for him if his claim was true. Trump’s real estate career is steeped in housing discrimination against Blacks. Trump led a campaign to see the Central Park Five (Black kids wrongfully charged with rape of a white woman) were executed. They were released from jail in 2002 after the real perpetrator confessed. While running for president in 2016, Trump still contended that they should be in jail.
Trump was the ringleader of the birther movement, a crusade to delegitimize his predecessor, Barack Obama, the first African American president. In spite of having zero credible evidence Trump claimed that Obama was born in Kenya. That is just a few of his lowlights on race.
Beyond his insults and prior racist behavior, Trump makes no effort toward racial healing in response to the protests over the deaths of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police. Instead, he pours salt on the wounds by repeatedly calling on the racial dog whistle of “law & order” and even threatening to use active duty U.S. military against civilians.
Trump’s Claim And The Notion That Barack Obama Did Nothing For Black People Are Racist Statements
Racists are guided by a consistent yet twisted set of morals and values. Trump has no morals or values and is too transactional to be consistent about anything. Nevertheless, I’d say Trump’s actions and statements qualify him as a racist.
In the reply to my first comment the author who refused to print my second reply stated, “I voted for Obama and he did absolutely nothing to help black people.” Obama was elected and served as President of the United States. He wasn’t elected president of Black people. In my view that statement is racist. To be clear though, I’m not saying the author is a racist.
In my view, that statement and Trump’s claim are racist because they demonstrate no awareness or understanding of or completely reject the experiences and feelings of African Americans, the group on behalf of which they purport to be making the statement and claim.
I’ve already recapped some of the initiatives during the Obama administration that helped Black people. But here’s what Trump and people who say Obama did nothing for Blacks seem incapable of grasping: Even if Obama did nothing, he still did much more for Black AMericans than Trump ever would or could merely by being elected.
As a Black person born and raised in America in a family that has lived here from the time of slavery, I never felt like a full-fledged U.S. citizen until Obama was elected. Think of all the ramifications of that statement and let them sink in if they can.
I’m speaking for myself, but I know many of my reasons for feeling that way are shared experiences in the Black community and I’ve enjoyed a relatively privileged life compared to many African Americans.
From my regularly passing the sign in the ’60s that was posted on a major state highway at the outskirts of Elwood, IN that read “Nigger don’t let the sun set on you in Elwood” to kneeling on someone’s neck for more than eight minutes, to shooting in the back a fleeing unarmed man who has been convicted of nothing, to numerous indignities in education, employment, and social settings that have become less blatant but still persist, Black people are reminded that society often views us as less than.
Obama made many African Americans proud to be American. Trump makes many of us ashamed to be American.
Thanks for getting through this long post and considering my opinions. People may disagree with my position and that is perfectly fine by me. In fact I welcome sincere disagreement or pointing out things I may have overlooked. All non-vulgar comments no matter how much they may disagree with this post will be posted.
Feel free to express your opinion.
Stay safe! Stay healthy!