WHITE AMERICA'S RACISM IS GROUNDED IN A FUNDAMENTAL LACK OF RESPECT FOR BLACKS, AND IT MANIFESTS ITSELF DAILY.
Donald Trump’s tweet this morning about John Lewis is an example of that disrespect. Trump tweeted, “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!” John Lewis represents Atlanta and you see Trump's racist code words talking about a predominantly Black city with a number of Black colleges and universities.
John Lewis announced Friday that he will not attend Trump’s inauguration, saying “Trump is not a legitimate president.” Daily news bears that out. John Lewis's comments were just an extension of his lifelong fight against Racism and for Human Dignity and Respect. Donald Trump has proven to be a unswerving example of the Racism we fought against during the Civil Rights Movement. Donald Trump enters the White House as the most overt Racist in the history of this country. Trump’s America cannot come to grips with its Racism because using Racist ideologies is how Trump’s America operates. Trump’s America in its usual racist way, disrespected President Barack Obama from day 1 of his presidency and only because he was Black. Their racist epithets and disrespect were apparent in news reports and meetings across this country, in official sessions of Congress, and even as the President was delivering one of his State of the Union addresses. Pure Racist.
White America’s comeback is always that Blacks blame everything on racism, but they are not Racist. Yet there is empirical data and obvious examples everywhere to show the level and the degree of White America’s Racism. We have seen White America’s common strategy of saying to Blacks when we identify a racist practice or pattern to “prove” that racism is indeed the reason. The implication is, if you cannot prove Racism, it is not there. This is both silly as an intellectual claim and dangerous as a policy standard especially in a nation with the racist history of America. Yet that is the rhetoric of Trump’s America. Tim Wise said, “If you want to know about America’s Racism, don’t ask White people”, and Tim Wise is White.
John Lewis is a civil rights icon and was a part of the Black Youth Leadership of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 50’s and early 60’s. John was one of the founders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Some of us—like me—were members of the NAACP Youth Councils and Colleges Chapters, others were members of the Congress of Racial Equality, while others were members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. WE all had the same mission. We fought the disrespect of Racism while fighting for Human Dignity and respect. We “sat-in” at White lunch counters because they were visible vestiges of segregation and they were examples of the ongoing disrespect for Blacks. Stores wanted you to shop and spend your money but only where THEY wanted you to shop and spend your money. Young Blacks throughout this country said enough was enough and we marched and we picketed and we boycotted and we protested America’s Racism by any non-violent means necessary. White America responded to the Civil Rights Movement and non-violence with batons and bats and bullets and bombs.
We have come full circle and though some of us walk a little slower and a bit less steady, many like John Lewis are still on the Civil Rights Battlefield. White America’s continued disrespect of Blacks and continually ignoring its Racism and its Core Racist Attitudes has resulted in where we are in this country today. There is no use wringing your hands, you had to know the election of an Overt Racist president would be the culmination of White America’s resentment towards Black America. THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE WAS THEN AND IS STILL TODAY GROUNDED IN FIGHTING RACISM, AND FIGHTING FOR HUMAN DIGNITY AND RESPECT. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES.