today in black history

July 17, 2024

The Port Chicago incident occurred in 1944 when Black Navy ammunition handlers were killed in a violent explosion at the California base.

What now Black people?

POSTED: November 03, 2020, 6:00 pm

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We may not know the final results of the 2020 presidential election for some time, but it is clear that the presidency of Donald Trump has been akin to something like an episode of ‘Scared Straight.’ Four years ago, then Republican presidential candidate Trump chided the Black community and said, ‘What do you have to lose?’ in making his appeal to Black voters. What we quickly learned is that we have everything to lose, from the little financial security most Blacks have to our very lives. Donald Trump has been deliberately and unabashedly racist in his governance of the United States and has made clear his utter disdain for Black people despite his token appeals and cast of Black caricatures he enlists for show. This is a president who makes Woodrow Wilson look tame by comparison.

The real question we must ask, is what protection do we really have as citizens of this country? We have witnessed a president who has been purposely negligent in addressing a deadly pandemic that is universally known to disproportionately impact Black Americans. This president has openly aligned himself with White supremacists and made clear how little regard he has for Black victims of police brutality, while embracing quack pot conspiracy theorists who demonize Black people. Donald Trump’s embrace of the most ignorant and ill-informed representations of Blackness points to his resentment of Black intelligence and cultural excellence. For four years he has trolled Black people with the worst representations of ourselves in a deliberate campaign to malign our history and culture. His intent is to entertain his White base with a vaudevillian characterization of Black people. The likes of Candace Owens, the so-called Rev. Darrell Scott and others have been the village idiots in Trumpville, used to amuse his White minions and embarrass Black people. It’s a show that hopefully this election will cancel.

Now, as we are poised to watch the election returns, Black people can only hold out hope for some divine intervention to remove this stain from our nation. Given the high anxiety over a possible second Trump term, Black people are understandably wary and concerned over the outcome of this election. The degree to which Black people feel marginalized under this president is unlike any moment in American history since the imposition of the Black codes. Many Blacks are, for the first time, seriously considering their futures in this country. Like no other election in this history, this one is defining for many Blacks what America really is and represents as a nation.

Donald Trump casts an ominous shadow over this nation but more so over non-White people in America, citizens, and immigrants. The level of toxicity he emits weighs heavily on the daily lives of Black people as every aspect of our living – our working, our schooling, and our residency – is affected by the poisonous nature of Trumpian politics. The level of our discomfort is markedly higher than where it was 4 years ago prior to Donald Trump entering the White House. Many of us have discovered that old relationships with White friends harbored unspoken hate and hidden resentment that came to the surface because Donald Trump made racism great again. The America we see today is the America we privately feared and hoped only existed in our worse nightmares.

So, what now? We wait and see. We wait and see whether a different America shows up at the polls today. The America that has been speaking loudly the last 4 years is a divisive, racist, bigoted, sexist, and xenophobic representation of our nation. We have been confronted with a neo-Confederate version of America that believes it has a license to harm, and upon impulse, kill Black people. The safety and welfare of Black people is on the ballot today, and make no doubt about it, a second Trump term will require Black and Latino people to be consciously aware of their personal safety and security. It will require a different orientation and a different sensibility of how we proceed, mobilize at the state level, provide self-defense and how we become more self-sufficient in the face of a hostile federal government.

Walter Fields is the Executive Editor of

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