By ROGER CALDWELL
As President-Elect Donald Trump continues to announce and make nominations for his administration, it appears to be done under a veil of secrecy. Trump won the election without a hundred percent support from the Republican Party, and he believes that he can do what he pleases. His campaign was unprecedented, and from his perspective, he is following the will of the people.
Even though many of the policies Trump supported, such as the stop and frisk program, which targeted the majority of African Americans and Latinos, was discriminatory, he may try to reinstitute this program across the country. No one knows how Trump will manage the country, but equal protection under the law, may become a major battle in the halls of Congress and the courts. The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the Civil War. This is one of the most litigated amendments of the Constitution, and is the foundation of many landmark decisions.
This is a very powerful law and there are several clauses such as the Citizenship Clause, Due Process Clause, and Equal Protection Clause, that has prevented federal, state and local government officials from depriving its citizens of civil rights, discrimination, and liberty.
With President-Elect Trump and his Chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon in his ear every day, many of their extreme ideas could challenge many clauses in the fourteen amendments. Stephen Bannon is a supporter of Richard Spencer who coined the term “alt-right.” This term purports that White identity is under attack, and they must build White coalitions to survive this attack.
Spencer says, “Someone who is really alt- right recognizes the reality of race, and the fact that race matters, and that race is an essential component of identity.” There is now a new coalition in American, and the foundation is based on White identity. White identity is nothing new in America, because the KKK is an outgrowth of White identity and White backlash.
America has a history of White backlash, when Blacks and minorities are making progress in politics, economics, and leadership positions. From the 1880’s into the 1960’s many states enforced segregation and discrimination through Jim Crow laws. After the Civil War, Blacks held major positions in the federal government and many different state and local legislatures.
Southern Blacks lost the right to vote and hold government positions in 1877, and in 1894, Congress ceased appropriations for federal marshals to protect Black voters from intimidation and threats. In 1901, the last Black representative lost his seat, and it was 30 years before another Black was able to win another congressional seat.
Many Blacks think this could never happen in 2016, but Republicans, the alt-right, and White supremacist organizations want Trump and the Republican Party to stay in power for eight years and beyond. They are willing to suppress and obstruct the vote, and keep Blacks and minorities from voting.
In Newark New Jersey, from November 16- 20, 2016, there were three thousand Black activists, celebrities, scholars, and many foreign dignitaries at the Black World Conference. The Black World Conference was focused on seven key areas: 1. Pan Africanism & Reparations, 2. Religion, Spirituality & Liberation, 3. Culture & Education, 4. Economic Development, 5. Mobilizing Hip Hop and Cultural Workers, 6. The War of Drugs affects on the Black family, and 7. Sustaining and Enhancing the Black Family.
This was a very powerful event, but there was very little discussion on the importance of voting in America in 2016 and beyond. Blacks are losing their political power, because we are failing to vote as a block and build minority coalitions. Blacks are under siege and attack, and what are we going to do about our conditions and voting?