Trump election racism questions

By Donald A. Collins | 2 September 2020
Church and State

(Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0)

After watching Trump break any ethical standard to win re-election with a Bible in the air and a comment that George Floyd must looking down from heaven with satisfaction at what his death has done to put down racism, I can only wonder at what the reaction of his core supporters will be. My guess is continued obescense along with the Senate Republicans.

Of course one could postulate that his promised veto of any effort to change the names of the US Army bases named for Confederate Civil War generals is proof of his abject cynicism about racism. In so stating, I suspect his base would (violently?) disagree!

On June 11 and 12 our PBS station WETA in DC aired two 3 hour segments featuring Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr’s films and books on Reconstruction (1864-1875) and the successful efforts thereafter by white Southerners who viciously and murderously took away from blacks the civil rights granted by the 13th, 14th an 15th Amendments to the US Constitution which has allowed blacks a time of freedom and progress during the brief Reconstruction period.

Knowing about the history now has great bearing on whether or not the George Floyd murder will lead to real reform not just of policing but of correcting the huge imbalances of civil rights still suffered by black Americans.

This web site has been correctly incisive about the long time success of religions to dictate unwise political influence over secular governments worldwide and certainly here in the US. Attacks on women’s reproductive rights offers a prime example.

However as white racism flourished after Reconstruction in the South, black churches proved critical refuges for blacks beset by the KKK’s violence and lynchings.

The disparity of opportunities for blacks exists to this day and makes the Floyd murder a significant chance for improving race relations but clearly not if we give The Great Divider Trump a second term.

In the 1930’s I grew up in a small city near Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh spawned the Pittsburgh Courier a black paper of national reputation.

So many black musicians populated the national scene then whose work still stands as exemplary. I can still sing the lyrics along with Fats Waller as he plays Honeysuckle Rose, Ain’t Misbehavin, or Hold Tight! With Lena Horne and Satchmo—Louie Armstrong—and Nat King Cole and countless others from whom we all got huge enjoyment. It is lamentable that despite these brilliant stars that blacks were still kept down by phony racial theories, lack of broad educational chances (there was one black male in my 1949 freshman class at Yale) and our dreadful history of slavery and its still present hangover today.

Did I after graduation personally engage in any public action to change that obvious condition? Nothing but my unbiased personal behavior in all my numerous contacts with African Americans. Too many of us white people pretended progress was being made. My marriage in middle life to a Jewish woman did not really educate me much about to my racial ignorance.

Pittsburgh product August Wilson left his black Hill District for Minneapolis where he wrote his famous Hill District plays about the lives of blacks there. Again eye opening but not sufficiently life changing for black Americans.

So back to now. Is voting for Trump the equivalent of voting for American version of Putin, Chi and Kim?? 40 percent of us won’t see it that way.

A 2nd Trump term means further packing of the US Supreme Court. It could be argued that not only our future but to a plausible extent the future of democratic governance here and elsewhere hangs on his being turned out of office!

Biden may not be everyone’s idea of a dream candidate but he is an intrinsically honorable person, highly qualified by his history to uphold our laws and encourage unity now so broken by Trump’s relentless campaign of divisiveness.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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