At the end of this week, President-elect Donald Trump will officially take office. While many celebrate his victory, others mourn the exit of the sitting president, Barak Hussein Obama. It is true, Trump’s presidency will present major challenges for Black America, and this community will have to work hard and fight harder, but without a doubt will rise to the occasion. The new presidential administration might make life harder for African-Americans as well as many others, but the truth is, black people been here before and will continue to survive and prove Donald Trump is no threat to Black America.
The realization of a Trump presidency is frightening on many levels. Following an election that shocked the world, a man who seemingly embraces racism and bigotry was chosen as the leader of the free world. A great number of Americans sided with the unorthodox presidential candidate because he spoke their language. Although divisiveness and hate may seem to prevail in America, Black Americans have always survived.
Black Americans Survived Slavery
Black America, who at the time were considered to be less than human, suffered through 400 years of “acknowledged” slavery. Even during the era of post-slavery, Black Codes leading to the arrest and jailing of Blacks for reduced crimes such as vagrancy were created by the United States government. Concurrently, the rise of the KKK led to Black murders and lynching that often went unsolved. Although the KKK was widely celebrated, ironically, the induction of Black Lives Matter poses a threat. Despite the struggle, African-Americans continue to fight and will prove that Trump is no threat to Black America.
Black Americans Survived the Era (or Error) of Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow was the name of the racial status system that operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and Border States, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. This system suggested that whites were superior to blacks in civilized behavior, morality, intelligence and other ways. Supporters of the Jim Crow era believed that treating or accepting Black Americans as equal would destroy the fabric of the nation. The Jim Crow law recommended violence, and other threatening methods be used to keep African-Americans at the bottom of the race hierarchy. The challenge was disheartening, yet they continued to press on and will now prove Trump is no threat to Black America.
Black Americans Survived High Poverty Rates
The poverty that has plagued African-Americans experience is often different from that of poor whites. It is more isolating and concentrated and tends to extend outside of the family’s home touching the entire neighborhood around it, including grocery stores, schools, parks, and streets. It tends to create what sociologists call the “double burden” of poverty.
This form of concentrated poverty worsens as the number of poor African-Americans who are left behind increases. Some of the forces that drive this pattern are zoning laws that prohibit the poor from inhabiting wealthier communities, policies surrounding public housing and systemic discrimination… to name a few. Even still, hope abounds and in the upcoming days, Black America will prove that Trump is not as much of a threat to this community as some imagine.
Black Americans Survived Reaganomics
Reaganomics is the term used to refer to the economic policies of the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan. The Reagan administration called for the deregulation of domestic markets, increased military spending, and decreased social spending and widespread tax cuts. Serving back-to-back terms in the White House, this administration waged a well-documented, highly public war against civil rights leaders and did everything in their political power to reverse the advancement of civil rights.
At Reagan’s infamous presidential kick-off rally, he used speech laced with racial phrases and code words blasting rampant federal spending, big government, and welfare. The message conveyed was that if elected, Reagan would not only work hard to avoid offending the white South; he would work hard to challenge civil rights. Yet, African-Americans maintained strength despite Reaganomics and will prove that Trump is not a threat to Black America.
Black Americans Survived Mass Incarceration
America’s “long history of inequality in the criminal justice system” has disproportionately harmed minorities in the form of mass incarceration. This is nothing more than a well-disguised and comprehensive system of racialized social control that strongly mirrors the Jim Crow era. The series hike on punitive, ever-longer sentences tainted by racism, resulting in more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, receiving jail time for longer than ever before.
This practice leaves ex-felons stigmatized and excluded from voting, juries, jobs, housing, education, and public benefits. This crisis is not just a symptom of poverty or poor choices; rather it is evidence of a new racial caste system at work and the ongoing racist conspiracy to subjugate blacks. Even in the face of racial disparity, African-Americans stand strong. In the days ahead, as the country cringes, Trump is still not a threat to Black America.
Black America has survived these and other extraordinary experiences that a lesser people may have succumbed to. Harassed and battered by uprooting, injustice, and discrimination, many African-Americans have moved on to unprecedented levels of achievement. During the darkest moments in the history of African-Americans have survived through the power of music, faith, and hope.
The Trump administration will come with several challenges, but the black community is no stranger to unfair treatment and other issues plaguing Black Americans. Despite the current apprehension, they will survive the Trump administration and prove that Donald Trump is no threat to Black America.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Ferris State University: Jim Crow Museum
Washington Post: Black poverty differs from white poverty
Huffington Post: The Black Male Incarceration Problem Is Real and It’s Catastrophic
New America Media: Ronald Reagan Was No Friend to Blacks
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