We lived under the leadership of a Ku Klux Klan-loving President who broadly rejected Japan’s 1919 Treaty of Versailles amendment that would view all races and countries as equals — likely because this President had more colonial ambitions to chase that involved nations of color.
We lived under a president whose treatment of Black Mississippi flood victims in 1927 made a later President’s inhumane treatment of Hurricane Katrina victims look like a noble United Nations rescue operation.
We lived under a President who used 9/11 as a basis for rounding up, imprisoning and torturing Arab descendants across America — many of whom were never formally accused or convicted of crimes.
We lived under a President who accelerated the mass incarceration of African Americans and has been identified as the driver behind the spike in modern-day deep poverty.
Think about a hypothetical President whose campaign kickoff speech was made in front of Auschwitz prison — with no acknowledgement of the genocidal acts committed there.
And now think of a real-life President who delivered a campaign speech in a county known for the high-profile murders of three civil rights workers — while talking about his support for “states’ rights” — and with no mention of those racially-motivated killings. Some historians attach this President’s eight years in office to be the beginning of America’s downward economic spiral.
We lived under a few Presidents whose treatment of Native Americans can only be labeled as “ethnic cleansing.”
We lived under a president where his views of African Americans looked much like those of a conflicted and ashamed interracial lover. He said African slaves should be freed, but he couldn’t tell his White peers that Black people should be treated as equals.
After that President was assassinated, we lived under his successor, who presided over the clawback of any post-slavery racial progress achieved. You may know of this sequence of violent events by another name: Reconstruction.
Then people ask for my opinion about Donald Trump being elected as America’s 45th president — as if I never knew our struggle and perseverance through centuries of brutality, injustice and broken promises.
The answer I end up providing is short …
song currently stuck in my head: “jamilah” – pucho and his latin soul brothers
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