By ANTONIA WILLIAMS GARY
These days, many folk I know talk in code. No one wants to call out his name. We simply jump right into debate and argument about the problem: “45.”
Folk make very casual references to him being unstable/unfit, racist, misogynist, childish, a Nazi sympathizer, to name a few of the ‘nicer’ descriptions.
Giving more pause, these labels are also coming from former intelligence officers, ranking Republicans, and journalists, not to mention daily evisceration of him by late night talk show hosts.
Even the Secretary of State broke rank with “45” on matters of international importance, stating that the president’s opinions do not reflect the values of this country. Ouch.
Make no mistake. As President of the United States of America, “45” is still the most powerful person in the world in too-close-for comfort proximity to a nuclear arsenal.
So much hand-wringing going on. But don’t forget, his tactics started long before he descended that gold plated staircase to announce his candidacy for President. In 1985 he placed full page ads in four New York dailies that called for the return of the death penalty after five young black men were convicted of rape, yet after they were exonerated he refused to apologize, saying they must have been guilty of something. All indications are that they were pressured into confessing, they had no prior records, and they have since been paid reparations.
There are the housing discrimination suits. “Birtherism.” Numerous bankruptcies. Marital scandals. Shafting his sub-contractors. The list is long.
I contend that since election night, we have suffered from a form of collective PTSD: PostTraumatic Syndrome (after) Donald.
“45” has never shied away from disclosing his bad character, ill-temperament and propensity for invective and small-mindedness. Fearfully, his emergence ignited a sleeping mass of folk who yearned for license to spew hatred. They got it.
Charlottesville had been simmering for a long time.
Hillary Clinton didn’t get it quite right. No. “45s” supporters are not just a ‘basket’ of deplorable. There are legions of such; and they are using his positions to help them take this country back to a morally leaner and meaner time.
Watch how “45” uses the cloak of disasters, or crisis, to sneak in his Executive orders. Most recently, as our attention has focused on the Houston flooding, “45” reauthorized the use of military equipment for local policing. Hand grenades in the community? Add coward to the descriptive list.
Where are black folk in all this? Kudos to the front line protestors, pundits and activists. I have no time or patience for those who have drunk the poisoned elixir mix of untruths and revisionist history, and I am saddened to see black folk who have joined in with uneducated, narrow-minded, fear-mongers, either by their collusion, agreement, or worse, in their silence, but I have been advised to love them just the same.
That piece of advice came from Sonia Sanchez, poet, activist, womanist, who ‘preached’ about how we must reimagine ourselves under “45,” and that includes to love ourselves in our entirety: our skin, our noses, our hair, our very being on this earth.
She cautioned us to not fall for the trick of being divided into the ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ black (who cause problems). She encouraged us to continue to cause problems in the name of love for one another, and not to forget that our history in America is written in blood.
For years, I have ranted and railed, and shaken my fists at the shortcomings in the original documents upon which this country was founded; the narrow-mindedness of the founding fathers (for only including white men as beneficiaries); and I have often written about my disappointments in, disagreements with, and opposition to many of the laws, policies, and practices in these United States of America.
Still eager to take on the issues of today, I feel fired up; ready to go!
For the love of black folk, and in memory of Dick Gregory, are you with me?