Askia Muhammad
Askia Muhammad

I’m through with trusting any white people.


Forget Berkshire Hathaway. Forget the Lone Ranger. Forget Google. Everybody. They are all Johnny-come-lately operators who are not to be trusted any more by this black guy. Why, even Facebook admits to having published knowingly false “news” stories.

Trust indeed.

So the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States is a catastrophic loss by thinking, evolved white people to the forces of Cro-Magnon Caucasians.

White people in the United States just lost a decisive contest against their ultra-white, white selves. They say they want their country back. They want their colonies back. They want their empire back. Never mind that the world has changed.

At the heart of the whole Trump-phenomenon is an irrational hatred of black people. Instead of feeling any sense of gratitude toward black people whose free labor for 400 years made this country rich, white folks today are resentful — after having shown no thanks — of every step of hard-fought black progress.

The way things have always been for us, we are a “minority” population, subject to decisions made by the “majority” groups. White folks have always defined their best interest in racial terms, when it comes to black folks.

They don’t want us to vote, not even in their rigged, imbalanced system. They don’t want us to learn, not even when we strive and excel and attain admission to their finest schools. They taunt us. They mock us, all for no reason except hate. That’s sad.

I can never remember a time as a child when I delighted in mocking white children the way schoolchildren have been doing since the Trump election, and the way I remember white children doing to me 50 years ago when I was just minding my own business.

Ever since the Civil War, black folks have been engaged in this conversation white folks have been having about our condition. Of course, we should be involved, but we had little choice as to which side we would be on between the guys who wanted to keep in slavery and the guys who said slavery must end.

We struggled on their side. It was a good decision. Hundreds of thousands of Americans on both sides (including tens of thousands of us) were killed. Our white patrons prevailed and we were with them. Slavery was ended. We were “free.”

But then came a backlash. Reconstruction ended, the Ku Klux Klan was born, black people were violently beaten back into “their place” — back on the plantations and sharecrop farming.

Black folks rebounded with the Harlem Renaissance and after World War II with the civil rights movement, which moved the bar ahead again. Success was achieved with important alliances with white church and civic groups, and then there was another backlash. Ronald Reagan was elected president, promising to punish all the undeserving “welfare queens” among us. We were pushed back on our heels but we still produced the Jackson presidential campaign and we made progress.

Still we rise, and this time the rebound was all the way to the top: President. For eight years, Barack Obama led the country on a path toward improvement, with a squeaky-clean administration and family life, two black attorneys general and no scandals.

We had white allies. In the case of the Obama presidency, 96 percent of the black vote, along with 35 percent of the white vote. But in 2016, there was no black angle in the debate, and the decision on U.S. leadership was a matter to be decided by white folks.

Even though Trump got fewer total votes than did Hillary Clinton, and as repugnant a human being as he is, he got millions more white votes in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin, and a higher percentage of the white vote than did Mitt Romney in 2012.

How could white voters look past his huge flaws and vote for Trump? How could a majority of white women vote for an admitted sexual predator who broke every electoral rule in the book? What were white folks thinking? Maybe, “we need somebody to put those black people back in their place”?

I don’t want to participate any longer in the white governing conversation. I haven’t really had a choice, but now white people need to have a conversation with themselves. Someone must convince the majority of them that the Trump philosophy is evil. It’s not just politics this time. It is the path to America’s destruction.

So, if white folks can’t see that, then I don’t want to be around people who think like Trump. I’m afraid unlucky things will happen

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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