The history of America in terms of racism is a long and persistent one. In my book on Racism in America, I wrote that this history did not start with slavery but actually began with the English settlers who brought to America their racial and xenophobic inherited traits from their Anglo-Saxon ancestors.
Racism represents a vile, evil, and arrogant trait that a human can possess. It is vile because it corrodes the human soul, evil because it is void of any spirituality and arrogant because its tenets have no basis that is justifiable on any level.
Racism in America is not only a complex social problem it is an enigma. This is because it contradicts the social values that Americans proclaim to cherish – equality, justice, and freedom. Black people who are the primary target of racism in America cannot claim to experience these cherished values completely.
From the time they arrived in America as slaves, black people have had to endure racism. After slavery was abolished they continued to be terrorized by racism. The racism roller coaster ride would reach its peak with the segregation policies of Jim Crow racism. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1963 dismantled Jim Crow racism, the Act did not destroy it. And although America elected a black president, racism would continue to persist.
The achievements of the Civil Rights Act of 1963 have led some people to think that racism is no longer an issue or even exist. There is no denying that America has come a long way in racial progress, however, racism in America is alive and well even though it has morphed for the most part into a more subtle form.
Despite the persistence of racism albeit in a more subtle form, there are usually strong denials that racism is not a problem or a person’s racist behavior is not racist. Like anything involving making a decision, we need a test or criteria to help us decide. With racism, America has had a big test when Barack Obama was elected as the first black president.
In my book, Whom God Has Blessed, Let No Man Curse, about Pres. Obama’s destiny to become the first black president, I wrote the following:
Regardless of how we want to account for how Barack Obama became president of the United States, there is no mistake that his term in office will force America to learn about its true character or if she has matriculated to the level, where race is not a significant issue anymore. With a white president, America cannot learn much about its true racial character and status with respect to reconciling and matriculating beyond racial problems.
Yes, Pres. Obama’s presidency made America faced its first real test to determine the status of racism in America since Jim Crow racism. Had he not been elected president, the country would have more than likely kept racism under the proverbial rug.
Pres. Obama’s eight years in the White House was one in which he endured all kinds of racist attack. To deny this is simply dishonest and shows a lack of courage to accept the truth. Donald Trump advocated his birtherism conspiracy theory that the first black president was not born in America but in his father’s homeland of Kenya. When Trump was proven wrong, he proceeded to demand that Pres. Obama revealed his college transcript supposedly to prove that he was admitted under the affirmative action program. No other president has been subject to such disrespect.
The verdict as to whether America failed the racism test is in and has been confirmed by none other than Donald Trump. He has a history of racial proclivities that include the following:
- He and his father engaged in racial discrimination by refusing to rent his apartments in New York to black people.
- He took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for the death penalty of five teenagers (four African Americans and one Hispanic) accused of killing a white female jogger in Central Park in 1989 even before they were tried in court. Even after DNA evidence exonerated the five youths, Trump insisted that they were guilty. Trump never offered them an apology.
- Black workers at his casinos in Atlantic City have accused him of racial discrimination.
- He promoted the birtherism conspiracy theory that Pres. Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii.
- He complained that Obama wasn’t a good enough student to have gotten into Columbia or Harvard Law School, and demanded Obama release his university transcripts because he was a terrible student and that a bad student does not go to Columbia and then to Harvard
- He called Mexicans rapist and robbers during the 2016 presidential campaign.
- He called the White supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia last year “fine people.”
- He referred to Haiti and African countries as “shithole places” during discussions with six Republican senators and one Democratic senator at the White House this week.
These are just some of the examples that provide strong evidence of Mr. Trump’s racial proclivities. That he could be elected president in America at this juncture of the country’s history is revealing. One can use the argument that it was because the Russians interfered with the election that he was elected. While there is strong evidence that suggests this, the support that Trump has received from the Republicans and others is mind-boggling when you consider how he has performed as President.
Mr. Trump’s recent vilification of the people of Haiti and Africa in which he referred to those countries as “shithole places” is unbecoming of a President. As the president, he has the responsibility to ensure unity/racial harmony in America and peace around the globe. Such comments and the idea that people from these countries are unfit to reside in the US harkens to an era when Europeans refer to Africans and the indigenous people of the Americas as savages. Yes, America has failed the test for racism and it is unfortunate that it is a president who has contributed to this failure.
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