This is not the article I had intended to write. By this time I had expected to still be basking in the bright promise of a Hillary Clinton victory. I had expected to be anticipating which African Americans, Asians, Latinos, and individuals who practice Islam would become a part of her Cabinet and inner circle. The abolitionist poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, penned the phrase “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.” Instead of acknowledging a diverse and progressive Clinton Cabinet, I sit here writing about Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions having been chosen to become the Attorney General of the United States. Senator Sessions was turned down in 1986 for a Federal Judgeship due to his White supremacist views and actions regarding race. Sessions at the Justice Department means that there will be no justice. The Voting Rights Act is dead. Civil Rights is dead. There will be no police reform in the United States. In addition to Sessions, I also sit here writing about Steve Bannon becoming the major advisor to the new President-elect. Bannon has promoted White nationalist causes through his media endeavors. Let us be clear. “White Nationalism” is nothing more than a subversive way to promote “White Supremacy.” I find it amazing that many do not know the meaning of “White Supremacy.” I say this because of the number of African Americans, Latinos, Arabs, Indians, and Asians that voted for Donald Trump. White Supremacy means that the groups I just mentioned do not matter. It means that their lives do not matter. Yes, a White Supremacist will court the vote from such groups in order to gain power. White Supremacists have never had a problem working with someone of color who is willing to participate in their own oppression and destruction. For example, does anyone remember South African Apartheid? Please recall videos of the police chasing and beating the African inhabitants of the Bantustans and shanty towns. Never forget that there were Black police who also participated in these beatings. Some have offered a critique of the Trump Cabinet for not exhibiting any diversity up to this date. No person of color should be willing to participate in Trump’s racist regime?
Poet Robert Frost wrote the following verse in his poem The Road Not Taken, I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence:/Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference. An interpretation of Frost’s poem seems to imply that the road not taken or the less traveled road helped him to achieve his individuality and compel him toward his success. On November 8, 2016 the United States of America chose Barabbas. From my vantage point, it appears that such an insidious choice could make all the difference. Just think about it. We were told that America said it could not trust Hillary Clinton. Yet, the President-elect just settled a 25 million dollar lawsuit for defrauding students at Trump University. Reports stated that the electorate voted for Trump because they saw him as the “change candidate.” Please tell what type change would come with an administration staffed with Newt Gingrich and Rudolph Giuliani? Gingrich was the government shutdown king in the mid-1990s. Giuliani has just recently gone on tirades against Black Lives Matter. What type of change does this promise to bring? Trump is reaching into the past to bring out the most reactionary political figures he can find.
Trump’s smorgasbord of bigoted and reactionary political elites is only exceeded in sadness by mainstream media attempts to talk about what is taking place right in front of our very eyes. In essence, the mainstream media is a willing accomplice in this mad dash backward to a less inclusive and less intolerant period in the history of the United States. The problem is that Trump is moving forward unapologetically with an ultra-right wing agenda. There is no way to have a normal discussion about creating a national registry for Muslims in the United States. Can you imagine Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota being forced to sign such a document? There is no normal way to talk about the rapid deportation of three million illegal immigrant criminals of Latino descent. First of all such language harkens back to the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850. These laws criminalized the Black image to such an extent that we still have not fully recovered from such labeling in 2016. Talk of mass deportations only criminalize all people who fit the supposed profile those targeted for deportation. A Trump surrogate stated that like Franklin Roosevelt’s Japanese internment camps such policies only seek to protect Americans. Could someone define “American” in this context? Are not Muslims American? Are not Mexicans American?
November 8, 2016, marked a great setback for the United States in the country’s attempts to form a more perfect union. Nevertheless, is not that how the long and tortuous march to progress unfolds? With President Obama. we took five steps forward. With Hillary Clinton, it was possible to take a few more steps forward. However, when America chose Barabbas, America chose to inflict itself with a severe wound and take forty-five steps backward. As I prepare to walk out my front door on the way to the latest protest, I think about the 1963 March on Washington. I think about the Watts Riots. I think about the Million Man March. I hear the words of King and Malcolm. I hear Maya Angelou reciting her poem at Bill Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration. I hear Obama saying “Yes we can.” As I make my way to the march, I can only think about what might have been.