By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader
Thank you, Donald! Allow me to delineate four reasons for my gratitude.
First, you achieved in one lewd utterance what would have been unachievable in a lifetime of passionate and intellectual appeals from the NAACP, Operation PUSH, Black Lives Matter, Congressional Black Caucus, the Urban League, and the National Action Network.
Your vulgar rant has rallied divergent sects within the Black community – even sensitizing Negroes and colored people blissfully absent of any sense of racial consciousness for as far back as they can remember. What you said was even too much for MOST of them.
Be not naïve, there will also be those for whom subservience is preferable; those with fingers permanently planted in both ears – eyes closed tight, and those who exploit the racial divide for personal or political gain, and those who simply enjoy. For the larger group of reasonable thinking African Americans, your hateful rhetoric is galvanizing.
You have drawn the clearest line in the sand on race in America since the debate on abolition in the 19th Century.
Secondly, your venomous posture opposing immigration from Africa and Haiti – in contrast with the welcoming expressions for those seeking to relocate in the U.S. “from countries like Norway” is an embarrassment for most decent white Americans of myriad political and social persuasion.
Even those among your legion of loyalists who you claim would not abandon ship if you “shot someone in the middle of Times Square” are starting to rethink their commitment. Clearly, some have views that mirror your vitriolic outbursts. Their numbers, however, are waning and your base is eroding at a time you need it to expand.
My third reason for expressing appreciation is that you have removed any doubt from the ridiculous question of whether or not this president is racist. Well, there is overt and covert racism – as we all know. You embody both.
For most, it was not enough that you twice settled lawsuits for refusing to allow Black tenants on your properties. It was not enough that you pushed for the death penalty for five Black New Yorkers eventually acquitted of raping a white female jogger – and even after their acquittal refused to apologize or express any level of contrition.
For some, it wasn’t enough that you humiliated the first African American president of the United States by challenging his birthplace – refusing to acquiesce even after proof was provided. It was not enough that you called Mexicans rapist and murderers and insisted that a Mexican American judge could not give you a fair trial. Time and space will not allow a full chronology of evidence verifying your racism. You are that beast.
Your despicable defense of calling Black nations “s—hole” countries arguing that what you really said was “s—house” nations would be laughable if it wasn’t so ignorant and hurtful for so many. You have found a way to wedge beneath the bottom of the barrel.
If anyone aware of recent events still doubts that you are racist, they must fall into one of three categories. Either they too are racist; they do not believe that racism exists, or they are not practitioners but simply racist-sympathizers. None of the three is acceptable.
The last of my four observations in the aftermath of the presidential slur of Haiti and African nations is that it reinvigorates dialogue on race shamefully muted today across every level of American society; not in general or in response to an isolated incident but rather institutional – with the leader of the free world in the eye of the storm.
In any effective social or human movement, there are three key components – inspiration, information and mobilization.
Agent Orange has unwittingly inspired a potential alliance of divergent citizenry to unite on a joint mission. The unrepentant posture of the incumbent will generate more discussion and information. In an issue-charged election year, many will not settle for mere dialogue but will feel compelled to mobilize forces for constructive retaliation.
The timing could not have been better – occurring in the shadow of remembrances of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and as a lead into what will surely be a more introspective Black History Month in February. Out of that comes Women’s History Month in March and the 50th commemoration of the assassination of the martyred civil rights icon in April.
With aggressive voter inspiration, information and mobilization, the rest of the year may reflect the anguish of the resistance where it matters most – the polls.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].