“Look at my African American over here… Look at him,” cited then presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in 2016. In a haphazard attempt to show he had support from the black community, Mr. Trump said those words and set off a litany of angry responses from people across the country. Some said his comment was representative of slave ownership, as if “my” depicted that the African American man of whom he spoke actually belonged to him. I do not believe that the president meant it the way it was perceived. I believe he truly thought that he was expressing inclusion, and meant for the comment to bring more African American support to his candidacy. Donald Trump may be good for Black America in the short term however, and we should be extremely cautious when deciding if we should throw our support behind him.
During his campaign, the president never went after Blacks the way he went after nearly every other demographic in the country. We all remember how he announced his run for the White House with the defamation of Mexican immigrants. His verbal attacks on the religion of Islam has not ceased since his campaign days, and the things he’s said about women are just deplorable. Besides his statements about bringing law and order, and threats of implementing martial law in Chicago, which some people refer to as “dog whistles” about the black community, he never directly made negative statements about Blacks. In fact, on the surface he seems to be going out of his way to do as much as he can for our community since he’s been in office. He changed the name of Black History Month to National African American History Month in an attempt to be all-inclusive, even though he bumbled his speech on black history by sounding as if he thought that Frederick Douglas was still alive and doing great things. He signed an executive order within his first 100 days that moved the initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities out of the Department of Education back to the White House. This move was designed to help HBCU’s by giving them the power of being backed by the White House, thus aiding in the progression of their agendas. He appointed an African American neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson to his cabinet… to run Housing and Urban Development. Not to serve as Surgeon General, but to run HUD. At least the man is trying, right? (Sigh)
This is all part of his urban agenda. The problem is, just like with the rest of his agendas, no one quite knows what it entails. There are folks who think that President Trump is only appeasing Blacks so as to one-up former president Barack Obama. It is widely opined that Obama did nothing directly substantive for the black community during the eight years that he was in office. President Trump seems to want to do everything opposite of what Obama did, therefore he can one day boast that he did more for “his” African Americans over here than the first Black president. The question is, if his efforts are not genuine, should we accept the benefits? Should we take advantage of insincere opportunities, especially when Trump is being so spiteful to other minorities? The answer is we should stick together as minorities, and not allow this administration to divide us more than we already are. To modernize the 1940’s anti-Nazi German poet Martin Niemoller’s famous writing, First They Came, if we do nothing to quell the mass deportation of Mexican immigrants, the decimation of Muslims, and the subordination of women, there will be no one left to speak for us in our time of need.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”