26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
-Matthew 20:26 NIV
“When people show you who they are, believe them.”
These words articulated by the late Maya Angelou summarize how the overwhelming majority of African Americans feel about President Donald J. Trump.
From the moment he descended down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy to become President of the United States to the moment he was elected on Nov. 8, 2016, hate, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia have fueled his campaign and presidency.
Now with the 2020 presidential election in full swing and having been acquitted on two articles of impeachment, President Trump has declared war and is willing to tear anyone down who gets in his way.
For Republicans, his acquittal was a day of victory and the kick off of his re-election campaign. For Democrats, it was a reminder of the tyrant we have in the White House and the profound weakness of the majority in the United States Senate.
Now that Trump has survived removal from office, many are asking: “What does a second term, if re-elected, look like?”
If history is a barometer, it does not look good for African Americans. Just consider some of Trump’s comments and legal issues with African Americans over the years:
On Nov. 25, 2014, Trump tweeted: “Sadly, because President Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another Black president for generations!”
In 1973 and 1978, the Trump Management Corporation, was accused of discriminating against African Americans who were seeking to rent apartments in his buildings located in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island and was sued by the Justice Department for lying to prospective Black renters about the availability of apartments in his building.
Moreover, according to John R. O’Donnell’s 1991 book Donald Trump, Trump views “laziness” as a trait in African Americans. And in 1989 he told then NBC’s Bryant Gumbel in a two-hour special “The Race” that:
“A well-educated Black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think sometimes a Black may think they don’t have an advantage or this and that... I’ve said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated Black, because I believe they do have an actual advantage.’’
In 1989 Trump took out a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers with the headline “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police.” to stir a media frenzy and mob mentality around the falsely-accused African American and Latino teenagers known as the “Central Park 5” who were exonerated of all crime involving a Central Park jogger.
And, unfortunately, there are multiple additional examples of Trump’s behavior and comments towards African Americans.
The future of African Americans and other minorities during a second Trump presidency looks bleak, despite his false claims to be the one to bring down unemployment for African Americans (that trend began during the tenure of President Barack Obama).
When Trump launched his first presidential campaign, his slogan was: “Make America Great Again!” The slogan was code for reverting back to a time when America wasn’t considered a melting pot or an inclusive nation.
As he seeks a second term, his revised slogan is: “Keep America Great,” again code language for racists and white-only politics.
In sum, African Americans and other minority communities are justified in feeling anger, despair, and fear of their future.
There is an uptick in hate crimes in America and it is attributed to the political climate.
This presidential campaign cycle extends beyond policy debate. What we know is the safety of many in this country is, literally, on the line.
The possible re-election of Donald Trump is not a sign that American is moving forward, but that America is returning again to very, very dark days.
Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, former president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, said it best that Donald Trump is: “a foul-mouthed, thin-skinned, emotionally unstable, intellectually inadequate and dangerously vindictive person who serves our country with dishonor every single day.”
McMickle further argued: “He turned the State of the Union into a part-MAGA rally and a part reality TV show. He gave the nation’s highest civilian award to Rush Limbaugh who spews venom on the radio every day.”
“He used the National Prayer Breakfast to attack and demean the faith of those who dare stand against him. He rambled for 90-minutes during post-impeachment press conference on TV, revealing exactly why he is unfit to be President.”
And he “used the words ‘bullsh_t’ in a public gathering inside the White House while referring to a lawful and constitutional process of impeachment.”
Yes, Donald J. Trump is not a leader, but a tyrant.
America deserves better.
It’s time to for new leadership, and it begins with removing Donald J. Trump from the White House.
We cannot and must not let hate continue to permeate the core of our nation. If we do, then America—the great experiment of freedom—will never reach its full potential.
As always, keep the faith.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. View more opinions on phillytrib.com.