It is hard to believe that many African Americans still refuse to embrace the power of the vote. Thousands refuse to go to the polls, believing that their votes don’t count. During the November, 2016 elections, a lot of African Americans were heard saying that they were faced with the choice of voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Fast forward to the present. We are more than 130 days into the Donald Trump presidency. (Yes, we all know that Hillary Clinton lost). Yet there are still people who have no regret about either not voting for Hillary Clinton, or not voting at all. If the current situation is examined, that was a very shortsighted approach.
President Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has turned things on their head when it comes to Black Americans and the poor. Let’s be clear, however, that Black and poor are not synonymous. The poor come in all shades, and Black Americans come in all financial conditions. But with this said, it is true that Black Americans tend to suffer disproportionately more from whatever ails America.
A number of observers agree that the incidence of hate crimes has increased since Donald Trump came to office. In addition to that, Black men and women continue to be manhandled and killed by police who, for the most part, do not suffer any serious consequences. The Black Lives Matter movement grew up around these issues, which have not abated in spite of protests.
Along with the physical violence and mean-spiritedness that is more and more evident, the economic violence is about to go over the top if the Trump administration continues on its current path. Republicans seem to have one overarching goal: reduce taxes on the wealthy.
In order to meet their objectives, they are trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which will result in the loss of health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. They are also proposing cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and other supports that benefit those who are not wealthy. The shameful celebration that took place in Washington, D.C., hosted by President Trump when the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, was a case in point.
There was a sea of white, mostly male faces rejoicing. In fact, the entire Trump administration seems to be a white revolution. We shouldn’t be surprised, though, because Trump was very clear about his determination to “make America great again.” That he would think that white supremacy is great is another problem.
If Black Americans, who stand to lose a lot under this administration, had come out and voted in larger numbers for Hillary Clinton, we would not be in this predicament. Of course, at a certain political level it is true that there is little choice. The wealthy in this country are the ones with the most clout and can, therefore, place their minions in positions of power. Even though this is the case, there are differences between candidates. Donald Trump is a far cry from Hillary Clinton, and the change in policies will reveal this.
Ultimately, there is an overall assault on Black Americans, the poor and other minorities, which this presidential administration seems to condone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is turning back the criminal justice clock, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is doing the same in education. If the Republicans continue on their current path, the clock will be wound backward so far that we might be in fear of neo-slavery.
It’s about time that Black Americans demand respect. One of the best ways to do this is to fight back with economic sanctions. The Black community could win a lot of concessions if money is spent strategically. In this regard, a target might be reparations. When this word is bandied about, questions abound as to what form these should take.
One suggestion would be TO MAKE BLACK AMERICANS TAX EXEMPT EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF YEARS SPENT IN AMERICAN SERVITUDE. This would impact the entire Black community. If this seems farfetched, we need to remember that anything can be accomplished if we unify. A luta continua.