President Donald Trump, or any non-liberal hoping for the support of the Black community at large, for that matter, needs first to understand the opposition. The Black community has been cultivated and their votes harvested for many years by being persuaded to forget or ignore history, common sense, and the true promise of America. Some “inconvenient truths,” for example:
By the time of the Civil War, NO Republicans owned slaves.
— The 13th Amendment abolished slavery – ALL Republicans voted for it, and 77 percent of Democrats voted AGAINST it.
— The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to former slaves – ALL Democrats voted AGAINST it, and 94 percent of Republicans voted FOR it.
— The 15th Amendment gave Black people the right to vote – All Republican lawmakers voted to ratify, and ALL Democrats voted against it.
— Of the almost 100 anti-lynching bills introduced in Congress in the twentieth century, ALL were defeated by Democrats. Unfortunately, presidents from both parties lacked the moral courage or the conviction to state their opinion – preferring to duck the issue as a “states’ rights” purview.
— The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed through efforts and votes of Republicans, while largely opposed by Democrats.
Donald John Trump espoused during his campaign that some things needing fixing in America, things that would benefit all Americans. He advanced the idea that he would not be beholden, like other politicians, to financial backers. He followed up by spending much of his own money in winning the presidency. This was his appeal to me and much of middle America.
But can he retain this appeal among his loyal base and expand it to a larger segment? Can he appeal to all the black community, despite the opposition of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)? I believe that to do so he must de-emphasize and minimize his abrasive rhetoric, his self-preening, his feuding with individuals, celebrities, Congress, the press and yes, his vulgarity, as to be expected of gentlemanly conduct and respect for others.
President Trump has a limited time to broaden his appeal to all middle America. So far, much of the truth, relevancy, and common sense of his policies have been overshadowed by his very public airing of things personal to him but inconsequential to the voters.
Instead of his ad nauseam opinion on “fake” news, he could, for example, use his stage to highlight specific instances where the system, government, etc., dealt unjustly with its citizens: Where the EPA bankrupted families for using their own property. Where prosecutorial misconduct at all levels penalized innocent people. Where soldiers’s split-second decisions in battle, upheld afterward by their commanders, were second-guessed by Pentagon lawyers, which resulted in hardship for them and their families.
What about civil asset forfeiture? Why not give his opinion on other issues without dodging them with the claim that it’s a “states’ rights” issue? Would this not elevate his appearance of moral authority and his appeal to more of the citizenry?
President Trump should approach the CBC knowing and publicizing the above history and the CBC’s links to and ideological support of the Communist Party USA and the Democratic Socialists of America. ALL socialist systems devolve to tyranny and a master-slave system. Knowing the (feigned and real) emotional scars of the legacy of slavery, Socialism or the threat of it, should be anathema to the Black Community.
Many Black Americans, self-evident or self-identified, have been deceived and encouraged in the mindset of Tribalism. Most have little knowledge of our American roots, and much fewer the specific African tribes from which we descended. Assimilation in this country is of much greater benefit than separateness. Hopefully, we can someday learn to integrate and not be ruled by victimhood.
The survival of this Republic depends on the care and awareness of those who follow us. What we can and must do for our progeny is to educate them, as diplomatically as possible, of the potential of our system. The president can greatly assist in this education and re-education of our people or allow our destruction through inattention.
Richard Dimery is a member of the Project 21 black leadership network and the grandson of a South Carolina sharecropper. He’s a writer for the Broden Group.
The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.