By Edwin Buggage
Black America in the Age of Trumpism
The Trump Presidency has been one that’s been full of controversy. From his attacks on the media, to embracing White Supremacists and more recently endorsing an alleged child predator Roy Moore in a U.S. Senate Race in Alabama, who stated that America was a great country during slavery. Who is running against Doug Jones, a man who successfully prosecuted members of the KKK for killing four little girls in the bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963 during the Civil Rights Movement. It is a sad time for America when the president would rather see a man who is accused of being a sexual predator of young girls than one who fought for justice. But we must be reminded that this is one whose political rise has been related to the birther movement and the questioning of America’s first African-American President Barack Obama.
This flirtation with many things racial has been a constant theme of Trump’s life and now is part and parcel of his administration, one that seems that when he calls for Making America Great Again it means turning back the hands of racial progress and completely erasing the legacy of Barack Obama. It is an America that’s shown based on high cabinet post, issues around criminal justice, voting rights and the economy; that making America great again means going in a different and dangerous direction.
A Gathering of White Men and the Dismantling of Barack Obama’s Legacy
This cabinet is more White and male than any since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. Of the 23 top positions that require Senate Confirmation seventeen are White men and there is only one African-American; renowned Neurosurgeon and Former Presidential Candidate Ben Carson as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
It seems that this president is obsessed with erasing the legacy and legislative achievements of the country’s first African-American President, Barack Obama. In less than a year in office he’s has signed legislation and proposed changes or ending DACA, Pulling the country out of Transpacific Partnership (TPP), The Paris Climate Accord among many other, but most importantly he and fellow Republicans are working feverishly to end his signature legislative achievement the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) something that’s given access to healthcare to many who could not afford it previously.
Reshaping the Courts
During the last Presidential Administration Congressional Republicans, who were in the majority obstructed and left many seats on the Federal Bench vacant. These lifetime appointments have far reaching implications on issues surround civil rights, the environment, criminal justice, housing, employment and a host of other disputes.
While the media have mostly spent time since this presidency focusing on Trump’s incendiary Tweets and the Russia Collusion investigation; it is this story that is not getting the coverage and attention it deserves. For unlike many legislative policies that can be reversed these appointments cannot. In his first year in office an analysis by the Associated Press found that of the 44 District Courts and 16 Court of Appeal nominees 91 percent of them have been White and 81 percent White males and only one African-American nominee.
Voting has been a right African-Americans have fought to earn and now more than any time in history must fight to preserve this right and get to the polls. Fourteen states have installed new voting laws that target African-American voters and other minority voters. Voter ID Laws and a misinformation campaign were a few of the contributors to helping get Donald Trump elected.
But even in the face of new laws, it is important that more people get out and vote; in this past election it was 107,000 votes in three states Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that put Donald Trump into the White House. In two of these states Wisconsin and Michigan the number of Black turnout dropped by twelve percent; so, it is possible with higher turnout among African-Americans we could be telling another story today and the country could be headed in another direction.
Future of Black America in the Trump Era
As we have weathered one-year of the Trump Administration and its assault on Blacks, women, immigrants, the free press it is important that as citizens especially African-Americans that we remain vigilant in what makes and keeps this country great. Our spirit of dissent and engagement that makes us too American. That we have fought to amend this country into a more perfect union.
And that a people who have endured, survived and thrived in spite of slavery, segregation and discrimination can survive the presidency of Donald Trump and his racist, xenophobic, sexist agenda. It is time for African-Americans to re-engage get informed and get involved; for it is in this that will make a great country even greater.