Who would have thought the country would be in the midst of all of this turmoil in less than a year of the Trump Presidency? Initially, I did expect it to be bad, but never would I have thought it would be like this.
Charlottesville, Virginia has become the birthing place for the “New Era of Racism in America,” and it has been fueled by the Trump administration, and the white-supremacists who salivate at every word he speaks. When watching all of the events take place in Charlottesville, I was infuriated, and wanted so badly to be in the middle of it all, putting my hands on someone, but then it dawned on me that this situation could be a positive, in a sick kind of way.
I began to look at the pictures of the mob of white men, walking around, screaming with Tiki-torches in their hands. I saw Klan members marching with their flags, while screaming, “We need to take our country back!” My frown immediately turned into a smile. My fists began to become unclutched, and I found a peace inside me that I had been longing, for quite some time.
One may ask, “How could you find peace in times like this?” I am so glad you asked.
My mind took me back to the “Malcolm X” movie made by Spike Lee. I remember when the Klan came to Malcolm’s father’s house. They had their sheets on, and their faces were covered. All Malcolm, his siblings, and his parents could hear was their voices. It was easy for those Klansmen to move about in the confines of society without anyone Black knowing who they were. Then I look at the news, and the pictures showing these men and women in Charlottesville, and all I could do was smile, because their boldness has allow people of color to see the officers, the guy at the grocery store, the supervisors, the high school athletes and coaches, the teachers, the soldiers, the executives, the police officers, and the politicians who have all claimed to have love for Black people, or may even say that they have a Black friend.
America has always been a racist country, and from the looks of it, shall always be. America has never wanted to deal with the issue of race. There are so many disparities that prove that racism exists (education, housing, equal opportunity, unemployment, underemployment, police brutality, etc.), but the powers that be have always figured out a way to cover their tracks. They have covered it up by allowing us (Blacks) to enter their schools, their restaurants, their hospitals, their sporting events, and their businesses. We started letting our guards down. Some of us started believing the hype. During times of segregation we felt that we needed to be like them, and threw away everything we had in order to feel accepted.
This sounds crazy, but I must say, thank you President Trump, you did something right. You have done something for Black people that we will never forget. You have done something that no President before you could get done. Your arrogance, ignorance, and boldness have allowed racists in America who were once hidden, to feel the need to show their faces. You helped them feel comfortable. You’ve helped them feel safe. You told them that that you were going to “Make America Great Again,” and they embraced you hook, line, and sinker.
For years we (Blacks) have had the hardest time proving that we were not seeing ghosts. We have had to tell stories of being mistreated, terminated, beaten, bruised, raped, lynched, and murdered to people who watched, and listened as if we were making it all up. President Trump, thank you for doing something right. You are the President who has exposed what so many Caucasian leaders before you thought, but would have never said. Those CEO’s from your manufacturing panel aren’t bailing on you because they disagree. They are bailing on you because you broke the cardinal rule of racism by actually saying your racist thoughts publicly.
President Trump, you did something right. You may go down in history as the President with the lowest approval rating. You may go down as one of the worst Presidents ever. Please know that your ratings aren’t down because of Black people. I am sure you know that your ratings were low with us way before you entered the White House. Your ratings are down because you have exposed racism in a way that allows the world to know that the American, and the racist way, are one and the same.
Gregory Meriweather is the CEO of Black on Black Network, talk show host, writer, and public speaker. email: firstname.lastname@example.org booking: email@example.com.