The African American journey through American history can be summed up in two words – unjust and unfair.
From the moment we first set foot on the North American continent, we have been subjected to atrocities both great and small. Armed with a culture of white supremacy bolstered by their religion and world view, Europeans seeking to create empires spanning the globe built their dream with the lives and labor stolen from Africans and other peoples from around the world.
And while the flames of former imperial aspirations have settled into the glowing embers of financial and military hegemony, control over much of the world’s resources remains in the grip of European nations and the Western nation states they spawned.
America, one of those spawns of European colonialism, is a curious mix of posturing as a rebellious breakaway from old European values while being the most ardent advocate of the old-world concept of white supremacy. America has managed for centuries to juggle its race hatred and notions of democratic fervor with a skill unmatched elsewhere in the world.
As 2020 dawns, it is imperative that people of color accept the reality that significant numbers of European Americans are willing to deny us of our rights in order to maintain a world order that favors them. These people who identify most with their European ancestry and have an explicit or implicit bias against people of color are preparing to trash the constitutional values they hypocritically claim to love so dearly in order to put people of color “back in our place.”
With the national disgrace who squats in the White House leading the hate-mongering, Republicans and other conservatives are preparing to strip the vote from people of color and make it impossible for our voices to be heard in the nation’s elections in November.
People of color are being purged from voting rolls, and the polling places most convenient to us are being closed. Conservative judges recently appointed by Trump are not likely to find fault with these tactics. They will find no fault in these injustices and illegalities being carried out by even the worst violators of the Constitution.
But this is not the time to give up. Nor is it the time to give in. I am old enough to remember when white bigots ruled the South and threw up barricades in front of every black person who wanted to exercise his or her right to cast a ballot. I remember the marches, the fire hoses, the dogs and the baton wielding “law enforcement officers” used against our people. And I remember the courts ruling that this was the way it should be in America.
Today, there are many European Americans we can count as our allies, just as there were during the civil rights movement. But we must not lull ourselves into believing that they are in the majority. Fifty-three percent of white women voted for Donald Trump despite his crudeness, dishonesty, ignorance and all the other negative qualities he possesses.