WHY WE DON’T WANT MORE “TRUMPISM” POLITICS
Dr. Joyce Watford, an Educator and a Descendant of American Slaves
September 4, 2016
When the 2017 Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, was carving a niche around his life-passions, over the last fifty years or so, most of us little people were passively unconcerned. After all, we thought we knew who he was—a predatory, corporate businessman; an economic opportunist; a pop-culture entertainer; a carpe-diem kind of hedonist; and an evolving game-changer when it came down to traditional core values, such as marriage and family, a give-back kind of guy—as in philanthropy, altruism, magnanimity, humanitarian, my brothers’ keeper kind of guy (like Jimmy Carter), multiculturalism, pluralism, racial diversity, pro-human and civil rights, etc., to mention a few of the cohesive, traditional core values that have undergone drastic changes over the last fifty years—all within Donald Trump’s lifetime.
And, so,” what of it?” we may think. Change was all around us, then; and we all were caught up in it, one way or the other. Most of us did not think about how dangerous change could be and what it could make us into, going forward—evolving and growing. The operative words here are “going forward”—evolving and growing—not devolving and regressing, which also denote change.
So what happened to Donald Trump on the roads he traveled that brought him to this place where he now finds himself? Did he make a detour somewhere along the way or a wrong “right” turn (or was it an “alt-right” turn?) that landed him some place where he isn’t supposed to be?
That’s right—some place where he isn’t supposed to be! Yet, here he is! And he is asking for black votes now to get him into the White House, after a Black man has Blackanized it for eight years. After that kind of come-down, “what does any of us have to lose?” he arrogantly asks. So why not him who can make the White House white and “right” again, while making the country great again! That’s a win-win! You get two for one! Hurray! So get to the polls, people, and vote for Donald Trump! He is our last hope—he is our great white Savior!
And let’s just take this thought a notch further—whom has Donald Trump ever saved in his fifty years of wielding power in his “wheelings and dealings”? Has he been wheeling and dealing to save black folks too over his seventy years on the planet? Note that the question alludes to “black folks,” and not “black folk,” because the term, “black folks,” denotes pluralism or diversity in the black race, while the term, “black folk,” denotes a monolithic, singular, black race. Just wanted to throw that out there because I am not sure whether Trump was trying to save me over the last fifty years or so, but missed me somehow, because I wasn’t in the right black group (black folks or black folk) and therefore did not get saved!
Well, at any rate, let’s give the devil his due! If he were concerned about black people and the state of their race affairs over the last fifty years or so, when he reached out or outreached to black voters a few weeks ago, why did he not know that black folk lost their black schools and that black educators (except for a token few) lost their jobs in their black schools (as well as in the white schools too) in the white supremacy backlash to lawful desegregation/integration over fifty years ago? And, guess what—the demographic prediction for black educators by 2020 will be less than 16% in the entire country!
Someone needs to tell Trump that our black schools were closed down and/or taken over by white educators, all the way from K thru higher education, after segregated and unequal public schooling was outlawed. The only schools left, designated, however,only on paper, for black people are our HBCUs (and all of them are struggling and on the brink of closing because of racist under-funding by state and federal governments), but they too have also been taken over by whites. All of our so-called black designated schools, across the board, became job mills for whites—a trend which forced black educators out of the education profession and/or into racially adverse, hostile, predominantly white, academic settings, where their academic survival and economic livelihood were placed under social control (and were, as expected, commonly marginalized and cut short) by the dominant group. Yes! This is the unspoken truths of what happened (and are still happening!) to black educators and black schools in the post-Civil Rights Era, when Jim Crow, racial segregation, and racial discrimination in public schools were not supposed to be tolerated, or so we were told! Public schools declared themselves in writing, “Equal Opportunity Employers”! We know now, in the aftermath, that such written declarations were only for the Feds and the grants that would be forthcoming, and had nothing to do with the spirit of equal and fair employment. The same incompatible spirit between white supremacy culture and the law also extended to matters of housing, voting, and abolishing poverty and economic exclusion so that, as of today, an underground racist, white supremacy backlash has risen to the surface, as virile as ever in the past (or more so than ever) in the lifetime of most of us. Some of us have learned that “race-less and colorblind” are code words for New Jim Crow—unfair, unjust, unequal business as of old. The Same Old! The Same Old!
Ergo, then, to Donald Trump’s denouncement of our black schools being “no good”—the question is “which/what black schools is he talking about and who is to blame if they are ‘no good’?” Certainly, not black people who often cannot even work in their remaining HBCUs, whose existence still hobbles along solely because they are Land-Grant institutions, earmarked for federal funds, and whose existence continues, locally, only for the purpose of defrauding the federal government and continuing the cover-up of deception that those schools still operate under their original mission to uplift the race! However, it was our HBCUs, even under legal Jim Crow, that gave us such great luminaries, the likes of Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Mary McCloud Bethune, W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, and an endless list of other greats like them, whose education began in HBCUs, during legal Jim Crow! Thus, if HBCUs are “no good” today, it is not because of black people (or black educators) but because of what racist, white supremacy backlash did to them under a fierce, covert, underground, white resistance movement, intending purposefully to deceive the world (and dupe black people again) by pretending to be in compliance with desegregation/integration civil rights laws when, in actuality, they never intended to be.
Today, many black students cannot even get into an HBCU or an HWCU, for that matter. Instead, they are forced into community colleges which originated to supplant and/or usurp the original mission of HBCUs, with and/or under white racial dominance, just as HBCUs were in the first evolutionary stage of their development. Thus, the seeds of social control over black lives were replanted and nurtured in the same field of separate and unequal education opportunities and in the same place where Jim Crow was reborn and became the New Jim Crow, while most of us were basking in our newly gained civil rights of desegregation/integration and were then (and still are now) too eager to send our young into enemy camps for education to serve them well for the rest of their life! Perhaps, the misguided reason behind such an uncouth move could have been related to an obsessive desire to assimilate and finally become one with the white race, without understanding that the only assimilation the black race is going to get from the white race (the culturally dominant group) is an assimilation of white supremacy indoctrination.
Complete assimilation—which is both cultural and racial—and which bestows upon us our natural American birthright, the same as all whites have, allowing them to drop their ethnic tag (such as Irish American or French American or African American) and become just “American” is not available to us because of our skin color. Our skin color has kept us (and keeps us) from melting in the American “melting pot,” the way all white people, based on skin color, can melt into one race of people in the “melting pot.” For that reason, no matter how much we try to assimilate or want to be assimilated, full, bonafide assimilation will not happen withoutthe bestowal of our American birthright which will naturally carry with it all the rights and privileges that our birth-country has to offer, as it did for all other hyphenated-Americans who, at one time, were English- or British-American, Italian-American, German-American, Scottish-American, etc. When they dropped their European tags, identifying them as ethnics, who were not all-the-way Americans, as the British-Americans were, the other ethnic Americans then became full-fledged, red-bloodied Americans, the same as the British-Americans. But they had to drop their ethnic tag first!
Some of us already know that we are not (and never have been) a hyphenated-American because our Slave Ancestors were the first real Americans, making their descendants, of course, no less American. Some of us may argue that our Slave ancestors were Africans. The counter argument is that they were indigenous to a specific place before they entered into the belly (the womb) of the Slave ships and the Middle Passage (the birth canal), where they emerged, stripped of everything they had known before, including the bloodlines that flowed through their veins, which would never again be just African, but would become a deliberate mixture of all the bloodlines of those inhabiting the so-called New World. Therefore, the first step in achieving the odyssey in claiming our natural birthright is having our government recognize our cultural (and subsequent biological) births by documenting them into the supreme governing documents of the land. These documents will specify us as a unique race of people, bred and born on American soil, by, of, and for America, unlike any other racial group in the country, then and now.
The records will acknowledge both of the real (true) birth names of the unique race of people, whose sole existence was for the sustainability of America’s first industry—its Slave Industry, from which unprecedented wealth and power flowed, for centuries, and which also continue to stabilize and sustain the status of the country in the world, even as we speak, today. The real, true, birth names must be written in as “American/America’s Slaves” and “Descendants of American/America’s Slaves.” Whenever the official documentation happens, all of the secrecy and hypocrisy can be lifted from around America’s Institution of Slavery and the perpetual denial and subsequent historic, systemic deprivations their descendants have ever known can be redressed and remedied. Then finally our long overdue racial equality and tolerance will no longer be elusive, and closure can then begin to end the unfinished business and/or legacy of American Slavery.
However, none of the above scenario will happen if we do not help it to happen. Knowledge of who we are as a people is power in the hands of the people. Seize the power and create the outcome we all have deserved longer than we have been a country. Knowledge is our weapon and it is up to us to use it to fight for us. We won’t beg, because we don’t have to, when we have the power to persuade. We can begin to use our power of persuasion by telling our story far and wide and by hammering it home, in how we collectively vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Just a word to the wise from history—Harriet Tubman was obstructed too by “divide and conquer.” She learned how not to be stopped by it. We can learn a lot from her, and other American Slaves and their descendants who walked the very same paths, nearly five centuries ago, which we are still walking, today. That, of course, is not said as a failure to acknowledge that we have made some important inroads and have traveled farther ahead than our ancestors and more recent revolutionaires and/or revolutionaries/revolutionists, but we still collectively have a long way to go, for none of us have reached the Promise Land, yet, that Dr. King promised we would get to.
With that said, let’s think ahead, and get back to Trump and “Trumpism” politics.
Once Trump is in Office, will he put the death nail into the coffin of the remaining HBCUs, by considering them “no good” and superfluous, allowing him then to appoint a Supreme Court Justice to balance out the extremist right-wing Republican vote to get rid of the existing HBCUs, based on a ruling that they are no longer needed in a “race-less, colorblind” society where black students, with all other students, can now go to HWCUs, which are community colleges and traditional four-year-and-beyond-HWCUs (because HBCUs are “no good” and are beyond their sustainability)?
How will Trump handle the black “racial quagmire” with the black vote when he becomes the President of the United States of America, a job for which he has no prior experience, except that he is a racist, privileged, white man who thinks he can have the top job in the free world, if he wants it, even as an apprentice President of the free world, with no prior learning or experience for the job beforehand? What mega corporation would hire a novice or neophyte CEO to lead the company on the assumption that he can learn the CEO’s job as he goes along? Now, if that were to happen, then the rational conclusion for all of us is that our country and the corporate business world have fallen off the cliff into a big wide sea of insanity!
Finally, let us, please, be prudent about our choices and to be cognizant of the ethical and moral dilemmas accompanying our choices—mandating the importance of trusting ourselves and having self-discipline because the dilemmas confronting us are bigger than our individual selves. To paraphrase a very significant poem, entitled, “If,” written in 1865, by Rudyard Kipling, a poet from India, whose wise counsel was as follows: If those around us are losing their heads and blaming it on us; if we can trust ourselves when everyone else doubts us, without retaliating against our doubters; if we can bear to hear our truths twisted by smaller individuals than ourselves in order to trap and bring us down; or if we can watch all the things we gave our life to , being broken by haters, and then stoop and build them up again with sheer will; and then hold on when there is nothing left except the will to hold on—the Earth can be ours and everything in it—and which is more, we will have proven ourselves strong and decent human beings, my friends, who will rise again after every fall!
Yet, we cannot afford to fall off the cliff into a sea of insanity with Trump and “Trumpism” politics. “Trumpism” politics is one of homogeneity and cultural regression. Therefore, we cannot afford and/or tolerate what the great white Savior Trump is offering. Stand up, be strong, and say “Pass,” when your vote is asked for.