Donald Trump has been inaugurated as the 45th president. It will always hurt to say that. I did a video on the early morning after election night where I let my high emotions show through. Since then I have mentioned in different wavelengths my unwillingness to accept Trump or anyone who aligns themselves with him without checking his bigotry. This is something I will never ever give in to normalizing.
For those who see nothing wrong with participating in the celebration of his inauguration or parading through Trump’s tower for the photo op and to talk about “the Blacks” without themselves having any substantive experience in civil policy, there is a deep need for historical and political education.
I deeply understand the history that comes before me. I understand the oppression that is tied into my ethnicity, my lineage, my race. I understand the apathetic are never the ones who lead their people through to the other side of oppression. Apathy often is used to allow or excuse one to be selfish. To focus only on taking care of oneself while criticizing others from the sideline. Revolutions are motivated by high emotion, anger and passion. The sacrifice to see any radical change through is not built on “oh girl it’s been like that so why you worried?”
In June of 1921 Adolf Hitler became the leader of the Nazi Party, a political party in Germany. In November 1922, the New York Times ran an article on Hitler saying:
“several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line…”
Between 1932-33 when Hitler was pseudo elected as Chancellor of Germany, the equivalency to president in the US, I’m sure there were Germans both Jewish and Christian, who had negatively torrid reactions. And I’m sure there was another Jew who was set on being contrarian that was like “oh girl, why you surprised these Gentiles haven’t ever been here for us, it’s in the Torah…like what was the Red Sea, what was the First, the Second, the Shepherds Crusade? Papal cities was just a thing like 20 years ago, they were kidnapping Jewish children to forcefully baptize them. Why are you surprised? You want validation from the Gentiles? We will get through this ain’t nothing.”
We know how obscene that is because we have hindsight and museums and blockbuster films that informed us of the doom to come through Hitler’s hands. But who knew that in the summer of 1932?
Now, I do not believe that Trump is a Hitler, maybe more of a Mussolini. But we tend to be very elitist in how we view the past. Did you ever sit through history class and hear about a tyrant, a dictator, a totalitarian and wonder why didn’t the people *just* revolt when they were rising to power? Every time society is at the precipice of an autocracy, we see the same patterns. Oh they’re not that bad, they’re just manipulating the lower class, they’re not going to do what they say, let’s be unified, love not hate, we have to respect authority. Then the apathetic, who enjoy the comforts of capitalism in a society they believe they are so removed from until their comforts are removed from them.
It is not just that Trump is president. It is that we are now in a situation where there with one slight tip of the scale there will be no way out and we are essentially f*cked from all angles.
We have to remember Mike Pence is the vice president. Bush wasn’t the whole villain, his vice president Dick Cheney was, Vietnam wasn’t all Lyndon B. Johnson it was Robert McNamara his Secretary of Defense. Here with Trump we have a ultra conservative Republican who is well liked in his party, in Pence. Potentially all three levels of government will be controlled by Republicans. The presidency, Congress (that’s the House and Senate) already in the hands of Republicans and the one seat currently open on the Supreme Court that the Republican controlled Congress blocked Obama from appointing Merrick Garland to. To wit, the GOP were able to block his nomination since March based on a precedent set by Democrats in 1992 when Joe Biden blocked the first George Bush’s nomination; remember precedent and the bigger implications to what we decide on now.
I will harp on this for forever and a day, but your local elections matter. Two years after Obama came into office, Republicans through the rise of the Tea Party took a full assault on a Black man becoming president. We have had the most pristine president in recent history, not without fault or beyond criticism but he is without personal scandal. But the GOP controlled Senate and House have blocked any and all policy the president has offered. They poured money into state elections, allowing them to win control not only of the Senate and House, but of state legislatures.
We currently have 33 republican governors and 18 democrats as governors. State governorship is the last protector of our Constitution. You need three fourths of states to ratify amendments. There are 18 Democrat governors bringing us to 26%, lose one more…and there is literally nothing stopping the Republicans.
Republicans controlled Congress under George Bush’s first term, when 9/11 happened. They controlled it briefly under Truman for two years and then there is Herbert Hoover, who did many of the things Trump is vaguely claiming he will do. Hoover was president in 1929 ticking off the Great Depression. Yeah, in the Great Depression white men lost it and jumped out of windows. In the 21st century disenfranchised white men are much more likely to pick up assault rifles and enter into… White men are a bigger terroristic threat than ISIS.
I am not going to argue whether the potential autocracy that is upon is worst than what our parents, grandparents or ancestors went through. None of them walked into the doom happy to see it again. I’m not eager to live through a tyrant of heightened violence. I’m not eager to go through another recession when my family has barely climbed out of the last one. I refuse to be docile and watch states continue on the pathway of voter suppression, stripping civil rights law, intimidating Black people from voting. I haven’t even touched on foreign policy and the current of right leaning populist conservatism that is sweeping over the western world.
Do you know what the consequences were from the Southern Redemption that killed all possibilities of progression in the Reconstruction? Do you truly realize what is upon us?
- Resistance Manual
- Keep up on all elections – Ballotpedia
- Find Your State Legislature & Bills They’ve Sponsored
- Washington D.C. Contact Info for Senators
- Washington D.C. Contact Info for House of Representatives
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund – separate from NAACP, fighting against voter suppression.
- How Hannah Arendt’s classic work on totalitarianism illuminates today’s America
- The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Starter Tips on Becoming “Woke”, Learning about Black Identity
- FairVote, advocating for electoral reform
- This American Life, eps. 599: Seriously?