Is this your president? Last night was a sad day for democracy. I read a meme on FB. It pretty much read, “When this is all said and done, we have to discuss how traumatizing this week has been, particularly for Black Americans. As if the pandemic and police killings’ trauma to our psyche was not enough, half of this country has signaled that they do not give a damn about us. The fact that the race is this close is heartbreaking. He is Putin’s puppet, Adversary a** kisser, annihilator of democracy, race-baiting, fake taking a photo bible thumping, asinine In-DUMB-ent President in our nation’s history, and he is trying to take the whole country to hell with him.
The White House walls are closing in on him, just like the margins in the battleground states. Last night’s press conference was full of shameful lies, baseless claims of illegal votes, calling out predominately Black neighborhoods for voter fraud, and whining about a “rigged” election. It was cringeworthy. The fact is that the “illegal” votes he is talking about are ballots that postmarked on election day. What is more, he put so much distrust in mail-in ballots and the U.S Postal system that his base and his party ran to the polls instead of using the mail-in ballots, giving him and his base the false notion of victory on election day. Trump thought that he could suppress votes and disenfranchise voters this way, and it backfired. Now he is scrambling and uses the same tactics he has used for the past four years, tweeting misinformation, frivolous litigation, and spreading falsehoods while undermining the democratic process. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper put it, “That is the most powerful person in the world, and we see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun realizing his time is over.”
By exploiting white anxieties, Donald Trump represents the darkest part of America. He reflects America’s worst values. His quest to make America “great” again has left poor people, people of color, women, and immigrants as collateral damage in the war against himself and the world, except for Russia. When he talks about “grabbing women by the private parts, he speaks to the soul of the misogynist and the Caucasian suburban women who voted for him. When Trump does not denounce racism or acts of discrimination, he speaks to the heart of every xenophobe and bigot. He exposed the ugly underbelly of racism and incited violence in almost every ethnic group. In this election, Trump’s popular vote numbers revealed to us that although he’s a grim gatekeeper of immigrant children locked in cages, despite the fact that he is a sexist, racist, classist windbag of lies and misinformation, his base remains solid. None of these reasons were enough to deny him a shot at a second term and has me questioning the soul of America. No way should the margins be this close.
Trump continues to leave many Americans vulnerable with his divisive rhetoric. Perhaps feeding on the blood of thousands of Americans who died from COVID-19 was not enough. His vitriolic lies have his base of armed thugs surrounding various polling locations, stirring fear in those who are working diligently to tabulate every ballot. His base has transcended just being supporters. They are a cult. Let me rephrase my opening question. Is this your Jim Jones? Is this your David Koresh?
Trump’s chance of re-election is dwindling. How ironic is it that the same communities that Trump ignored and used racially charged language against are the ones whose votes are securing the election in Joe Biden‘s favor? If he did his homework, but then it would require him to read and think critically, he would have realized that Black voters make up the majority in the largest metropolitan areas in most of the battleground states. We, too, are America. We are part of what makes America great. In the words of James Baldwin, “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose. I love America more than any country, and precisely for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” As Americans, especially as Black Americans who built this joint for free, we have every right to do so.
Kelly Washington is a freelance writer living on the southside of Chicago. You can follow her on social media @SunriseandSugar (Facebook) and @BlackBFly7 (Twitter).