If we didn’t know before, we now know that we have a failed federal government. The man in the White House is so bad that we don’t really need to look for failures down the line. There was a time Black people could look to the U.S. Supreme Court for justice. At times, we were able to go around our local and state officials and appeal to the feds. The Supreme Court and executive branch are out of the question now! We already know their decisions won’t be in our favor.
When we hear the words “Make America Great Again,” we know Trump is not talking about making America great again for us. That would be acting like America was once great for Black people.
We can’t look to the federal government for justice in a disaster like the coronavirus. Black people are bearing the brunt of the tragic virus more than anyone. Some want to blame our lifestyle without considering that we’ve never had a chance to heal from the wounds of our circumstances — such as our ancestors being forced out of their natural habitat, forced into inhumane conditions, enslaved once here, lived through Jim Crow, left without equal opportunities for jobs and education without America making a minimal effort to repair the damage of what our ancestors went through — and what many are still going through.
Add to that, white America gave us Donald Trump, who has shown us time and again there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between him and David Duke. At least David Duke was honest. He once said, “Our clear goal must be the advancement of the white race and separation of the white and Black races.”
We see the devastating impact of COVID-19 on Black people, so it’s no surprise that we aren’t seeing an increase in testing or any other measures to treat Black people. We have a president who’ll allow us to be the lowest in benefits, but highest in the death rate during this crisis.
We see unadulterated greed ruling the day when it comes to our people in every aspect of life. Trump has chosen not to treat vulnerable communities fairly. First lady Melania Trump tried to be better than her husband. She introduced her “Be Best” program. We’ve heard nothing from it lately. She expressed her concern for ridding our nation of bullying. Through his own behavior, her husband has pushed back on these ideas to the point that she has practically disappeared.
Despite all the lying and silly behavior from the one who calls himself our best-ever everything, there’s still good in America. The doctors, nurses, aides, food preparers and deliverers, transportation officials, janitors, first responders and so many others risk their lives to comfort, treat, and assist others at great risk to themselves. Let us thank God for them and work for ways to reward them. Those of us who’ve had the luxury of benefiting from their services must treat them as the special people they are, and work for our nation to honor them in some way when this tragedy is over. That is our challenge.
Let us show our gratitude by being better neighbors, better friends. Let’s share what we have with those who have little or nothing. Let’s take better care of our seniors. I’ve asked each of our chapters in NCBW to adopt a senior citizens home. I challenge all to rise above the man in the White House who blames everybody else for the bad but takes credit for the good done by others — while doing nothing to make America great for all of us.
Williams is national president of the National Congress of Black Women.