If there were any doubt prior to the recent G20 Summit in Germany, most are certain now that America is not the same country it was prior to January 20, 2017. In all honesty, the United States has lost its footing in the international arena. America is not a second rate country with a first rate military arsenal. The question has to be asked, “Why did America change its mind?” I have posted in this column many times that the rise of the current Administration was predicated on the hatred of having had a Black man as President of the United States. One can almost understand some political changes given a new administration; however, what we are experiencing now is something quite different.
In my courses at school, I have taught about some of the worst periods in the history of the American political narrative. I just finished watching the Genius series on National Geographic Channel. This series was about Albert Einstein. Yet, Einstein’s early life coincided with the rise of Nazism in Germany; watching that series was amazing because I knew the endgame. What is puzzling about America’s current political climate is that I do not know what the endgame portends. We African enslavement ended after the Civil War. The Fourteenth Amendment overturned the Dred Scott Decision. I am a citizen of this country now. My son, who was just born, is citizen of this country now. Brown v. Board of Education reversed the Plessy v. Ferguson decision. Separate but equal is unconstitutional. On the other hand, the Voting Rights Act was essentially declared unconstitutional in 2013. Congress never got around to addressing that issue by passing a new Voting Right Act. Also, the Supreme Court waffled on the current Administration’s Muslim Ban. Franklin Roosevelt was President a long time ago when we had Japanese internment camps out west. Andrew Jackson was President an even longer time ago when the “Trail of Tears” was thrust upon Native Americans. The current President adores Andrew Jackson. Police shootings of unarmed Blacks are up this year. There are no riots. There are not protests. The shootings of Police are up also this year. There are no calls for gun control. One Congressman wants to arm all members of Congress and their staffs. Some state legislators would like for all college students and all elementary school teachers to carry guns. Some even advocate open carry laws for any type of weapon. You do the math. Open carry laws for any type weapon plus America’s penchant for violence equals carnage in the streets, the churches, on the highways, in the clubs, at baseball games, at little league practice, at three on three tournaments and continued domestic violence. How many people are murdered with legal guns? I once heard a minister say, “And there will be no outcry.” I do not hear any outcries.
As it pertains to the issue of voting, I always expected various states and local governments to try and restrict voting. I always believed that the federal government would place a check on such abuses. The current administration has set up a commission to investigate the issue of voter fraud that is virtually no existent except in the mind of the current occupier of the White House. The federal government now wants to purge voter rolls. Allow me to repeat this insanity. The federal government now wants to purge people from voting. Is there any wonder why the current “President” chooses not to place any emphasis on the recent coup that Russia pulled off in the American Presidential election? The current President is not concerned with democracy. The current Justice Department is not concerned with Justice. The current Environmental Protection Agency is no concerned with the environment. The current Education Department wants to systematically dismantle education in America. Housing and Urban Development is concerned with neither.
What does one do when the national agenda becomes a nationalistic agenda? How does one function when see a fuse burning? Not only is the transportation infrastructure of the country crumbling. The political infrastructure of the nation is also crumbling. The Constitution is only words on paper when those in power simply chose to ignore it. What do we have when there are no more checks and balances? What type of nation is it when we no longer have separation of powers? America is not the same nation it has been for the pass fifty years. Something has gone terribly wrong. There are only two questions left. When did America change its mind? Why did America change its mind?
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”