Askia MuhammadOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Trump’s Unintentional Gift to Black People

It’s probably unintended, but President Donald J. Trump has done something for black people which no other president could have done: he has driven us closer together, and that is a good thing.

After all, 95 percent of the problems black people are confronting in the 21st century can be solved with our unity.

So, as more and more folks recognize the depth of the evil intentions this president has for black people, the more they see the value in unity.

“We have unfinished business in civil rights and anti-poverty,” Ben Jealous, former president of the NAACP, told a panel discussion on a “report card” on President Trump’s first 100 days in office convened by Dr. Ron Daniels and the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.

The value of a Black United Front translates to victory, even if Trump and racist Trumpism is not defeated. In unity, solidarity, means that black people cannot lose, regardless of the outcomes.

“We have to put out into this atmosphere, not only thoughts, not only spirits, not only the requirements of fighting for justice, but we have to be present in a different way. To me it is imperative that we really look at that administration,” Barbara Arnwine, founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition and former executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, told the forum.

White people have and are making themselves very clear. They are in favor of the prosperity of white people. That’s what Trump, Theresa May in Britain and Marine Le Pen in France represent: white people taking back what they feel is theirs by rights.

“I think it’s important that we are clear that the occupant in the White House was leading a movement that is rooted in what they call in Europe ‘revanchism,’ a movement that is focused on revenge, and of getting back what people allege has been taken from them,” author Bill Fletcher, former president of Trans Africa Forum, told the panel.

“This is a movement that believes that the greatest mistake in U.S. history was the election of a black president in 2008,” he said. “This is where the issue of race cannot be avoided.”

More and more black people are waking up to this reality.

Dr. Gerald Horne, Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, told me in an interview: “As I look at those Trump supporters — those Euro-American Trump supporters — where his measures on health care would really harm their interests, his measures in many different spheres, in terms of cutting government programs, would harm their interests.

“But it seems to me they have a long-term goal in mind, of a counter-revolution, against the changes of the recent decades,” Horne said. “And so therefore they’re willing to ignore, what they see as short-term pain, in order to get to the long-term goal of a counter-revolution. I hope that I’m wrong, but I fear that I’m not.”

Arnwine said “these are the imperatives of our times.”

“This is beyond resistance,” she said. “This is the movement we have to be a part of. We have to bring the word to our people. We’ve got to bring the word to this nation in a way that nobody’s bringing it, because our voices are blocked.”

Understand this. Because it all shakes out, kinda like this, black people:

In working with white people who are being stomped on by everything that President Trump has implemented, they are still holding on to the thought: “At least we corrected the mistake of 2008 and 2012, electing a black president.”

Black folks have to talk about the fact that these folks believe that there was that kind of mistake made by this country’s voters, and that the Trump presidency is correcting that terrible mistake, and that this is presidency is about restoring “whiteness” to prominence: about “Making America White Again.”

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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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