Guest Editorial: Turning back the Clock in 2016

Guest Editorial: Turning back the Clock in 2016
June 09
09:15 2016

It is in-conceivable in this year of 2016 that we have a presumptive candidate of a major political party running on a platform of racism, sexism, bigotry and hatred.

It is less conceivable that a majority of the party agrees with and supports his position. This is still America. It’s not quite the same as it was pre-civil rights days but it still possesses many of the characteristics of days of old.

From the days of Lincoln up to the days of Lyndon B. Johnson, each and every national election was a political contest between the candidates who favored blacks and the ones who vowed to maintain the status quo. Fear mongers used the bestiality of the black man and fear of reprisals against the slave master as a reason to deny the slave full protection under the law. He had to be contained and controlled. The country clearly belonged to the White Anglo Saxton Protestant Males.

The 15th Amendment gave blacks the right to vote. United States Supreme Court decisions in the late 19th century interpreted the amendment narrowly. From 1890 to 1910, most black voters in the South were effectively disenfranchised by new state constitutions and state laws incorporating such obstacles as poll taxes and discriminatory literacy tests, from which white voters were exempted by grandfather clauses. A system of whites-only primaries and violent intimidation by white groups also suppressed black participation.

Propositions to ease these restrictions during national elections met with fierce opposition.

White women in the Unites States won the right to vote in the late 19th century.

Segregationists feeling assured

Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for U.S. president in 1964, can be seen as the godfather (or maybe the midwife) of the current Tea Party. He believed the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional. But states, he said, should implement the law in their own time. Many white southerners, especially segregationists, felt reassured

by Goldwater’s words. African-Americans heard the message that was intended to be heard, which was that Goldwater and the Goldwater wing of the Republican Party were opposed not only to the Civil Rights Act, but to the Civil Rights Movement, in large part, as well. What happened to black members of the “Party of Lincoln”? When Goldwater, in his nomination acceptance speech, famously told the ecstatic convention “extremism in the defense of liberty” is no vice,” he was speaking of “a very specific notion of liberty. “Small government, a government that doesn’t give out handouts to black people; a government that doesn’t have laws that interfere with states’ rights; a government that is not conducting a war on poverty.”

From the middle 1970s to the election of Barack Obama in 2008, civil rights, social and political inclusion was the tone of the day.

Enter Donald Trump in 2008 with his “birther” rhetoric. Out of the blue, even though proven wrong time after time, he insisted that Barack Obama was not an American citizen.

Donald Trump was well aware that if you were born to parents, at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth; you automatically gained U.S. citizenship through the process of acquisition. It does not matter whether you were born on American soil or foreign. If you have children, those children will also acquire U.S. citizenship through you at their birth.

The US Constitution states:

“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.”

Awareness be damned, Trump persisted even after the nation had spoken, and Barack Obama had made history by becoming the first African American president in the history of the country.

Inheritance of bigotry

The racism exhibited by Trump against Barack Obama, was a learned mindset inherited from his father years earlier.

When a black woman asked to rent an apartment in a Brooklyn complex managed by Donald Trump’s real estate company, she said she was told that nothing was available. A short time later, a white woman who made the same request was invited to choose between two available apartments. The two would-be renters on that July 1972 day were actually undercover “testers” for a government-sanctioned investigation to determine whether Trump Management Inc. discriminated against minorities seeking housing at properties across Brooklyn and Queens. Federal investigators also gathered evidence. Trump employees had secretly marked the applications of minorities with codes, such as “No. 9” and “C” for “colored,” according to government interview accounts filed in federal court. The employees allegedly directed blacks and Puerto Ricans away from buildings with mostly white tenants, and steered them toward properties that had many minorities, the government filings alleged. In October 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case that accused the Trump firm, whose complexes contained 14,000 apartments, of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Trump began his presidential primary campaign by insulting and name calling each and every Republican candidate in the race. The bullying, ridicule, profanity, and rhetoric were something no aspiring presidential candidate had experienced before.

Next was the attack on women. Then the attack on Mexicans, Black Lives Matter, Muslims, the urging of violence against protesters, and his latest, attack on a federal judge.

Americans who support these negative qualities in a presidential candidate are inviting disaster to the United States, themselves, their families and to future generations. He captured the imagination of his supporters with showmanship and fear. He has painted blacks, Mexicans, and Muslims as the scourge of the earth.

These United States of America belongs to its diverse millions of citizens. Trump, who is of European (German) decent, feels that the country belongs to and should be controlled by the likes of him. He can never be representative of anyone except those people who he believes are of the same ethnic heritage as he. He cannot be president in the interest of African Americans, Latinos, Mexicans, Muslims, or anyone else who dis-agrees with him.

His latest attacks on the federal judge who is presiding over his “Trump University” case points up his disregard for anyone who does not do his bidding and challenges his bullying ego.

Trump the “Bully”

The bully’s ego is artifice. His arrogance is a hollow confidence. His condescension is a need to belittle. His rage  is a need to control. This ego for him is a fragile thing, driven by fear and narcissism, not by power, nor by the power he wishes so desperately to possess. In fact, the bully is actually quite powerless, for he is only as powerful as the power we give him. He feeds on our fear, but his hunger is driven solely by his own.

As was the case with Barry Goldwater, let the decent people of these United States speak out against this bully at the ballot box and hand him the resounding defeat he deserves.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors