Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently extended a disingenuous offer to Blacks urging them to join his campaign because, according to him, Black people have nothing to lose because their lives couldn’t get any worse. He stated, “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is (sic) unemployed, what the hell do you have to lose?” he said. The wild thing is that Trump said all of this in front of white audiences, so in essence he was sending an empty message because those who sat entranced by him were not Black. This latest gaffe shows how wrong and out of touch Trump is; he has not done his homework – he is spouting well worn memes. And it is interesting that he said this during the waning days of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Had he been paying attention, he would have noted that Black people received almost half of the gold medals won by the United States.
Once upon a time certain white observers said that Black people couldn’t play basketball, yet during the recent Olympic games, the entire team was Black, and they earned gold by beating an all-white team from Serbia by 30 points earning the Gold Medal for the United States. That’s just one example of the resilience of the human spirit; never say what can’t be done because there will always be those who set out to disprove that notion. This year Blacks really brought home the Gold at the games, winning 46 gold medals for the United States, which was disproportionate to their numbers. Four Blacks won gold medals in gymnastics; 1 in boxing; 11 in track and field; 2 in swimming; 1 in water polo; 1 in men’s basketball team and 1 in woman’s basketball team. This represents almost half of all gold medals won by the United States, i.e., 22 out of the overall 46. And that’s not all: Simone Biles brought home 5 medals, 4 gold and one bronze; she emerged as the most decorated U.S. gymnast ever in a single Olympics. Another standout is Simone Manuel who won 2 gold medals in swimming, the first Black woman to do so. Claressa Shields won the Women’s Middleweight Boxing 75kg, and is a two-time Olympic champion who became the first U.S. boxer to win two gold medals after unanimous victories in semifinals and finals. Ashleigh Johnson became the first Black woman to win a gold medal in water polo. Others who came away triumphant with gold medals include the celebrated Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics Team; Brianna Rollins, Women’s 100 meter hurdles; Chaunte Lowe, High Jump; Michelle Carter, Shot Put; Christian Taylor, Triple Jump; Jeff Henderson, Long Jump; Ashton Eaton, Men’s Decathlon; Tianna Bartoletta, Women’s Long Jump; and Dalilah Muhammad, Women’s 400 meter hurdles. The Men’s Basketball Team, as pointed out earlier, won its 3rd consecutive gold medal with 15 gold overall, and Carmelo Anthony became the leading scorer in Olympic history. The Women’s Basketball team won its 6th consecutive gold medal, and Allyson Felix won 2 golds and 1 silver; 4X100 meter relay, 4 X 400 meter relay, and 400 meter. The Men’s 4X400 Relay brought home the gold.
Once upon a time in the 1936 Berlin Olympics when Black people, were considered inferior to whites, Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in those games and Ralph Metcalfe came in second. This put egg on the face of Nazi Germany’s Adolph Hitler by proving they were not the “master race.” Apparently, this was not a lesson learned by many of today’s white supremacists. They have not yet learned that you can’t write off any human group by declaring that they cannot achieve spectacular things. Black people, in particular, have proved to the whole world (except, apparently, to Trump and his sycophants) that they can rise to ANY occasion and excel. This is probably what secretly puts fear in the hearts of white supremacists. It also puts hope in the hearts of Blacks. As the late, great Marcus Garvey said, “Up, you might race, accomplish what you will.” Take heed Trump and all other naysayers. A luta continua.