by Myliyah Hanna
(Image source: http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-board-tirade/files/2016/07/IS-His-Life-Worth-More-Than-Mine.jpg)
We have been under the Trump presidency for almost two months now. Yet, before even a month ended the Trump presidency found itself in the face of scandal after scandal. He signed an executive order banning Muslims from seven Muslim-majority countries, as they have been deemed the areas creating so-called “radical Islamic terrorists”. Oddly enough the countries responsible for successfully committing terrorist attacks against the United States aren’t included in the ban, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However, since we are in the era of alternative facts, it’s best to overlook that piece of information.
Although the Muslim ban has been overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it is an example of what we will be experiencing over the next four years. With a GOP majority in the House and the Senate, the Republican party is undoubtedly a threat to the minorities in this country. For Latinx Americans, it means losing family members as ICE arrests and deports them. For Black Americans, it is the continued and worsening of the fear of the ugly American heart, a heart that will only beat for those who are white and privileged.
On the White House page, one of the issues that the Trump presidency plans to address is furthering protection for law enforcement communities across the country. Under his administration, he seeks to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America” and “to make life comfortable” for the average American citizen. What Trump fails to realize, however, is that the efforts of Black Lives Matter advocates and other human rights activists are to make America comfortable for everyone in the country, not just its white majority. How can Black Americans be comfortable in a country where police murder innocent civilians for existing while Black? How can Black Americans trust in Trump to ensure that the law enforcement will do its job justly when it has never been just?
Americans are anti-police because law enforcement has proven itself to be anti-Black. The murders of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and more innocent Black lives taken before their time have proven that minorities are expendable. Blackness is expendable in this era. Yet, we are supposed to believe in Trump and his constituents and that they will be the ones responsible for making America great again. Yet, those constituents and Trump himself have only reassured that America will be great for everyone that voted for him; whereas, minorities will be left to view from the outside.
Don King, an ex-boxing promoter, said that in order for Black America to be successful that it was important to “emulate and imitate the white man,” an idea that prominent Black leaders in the era of Reconstruction felt was necessary in order for Black America to become as successful as white America. But we are no longer in the era of Reconstruction and ideas such as those have become outdated. Blackness no longer needs to forsake itself to imitate a certain status in society that will never be granted to us.
Instead, in these trying times, unification is the most important. Understanding that we, as a community, can overcome the tallest of obstacles if we support one another to our best abilities. The American heart does not beat for us right now, but we are capable of making it recognize us as essential to this country by working together. There would be no America without Blackness. Although we move two steps back with each step forward, we must continue to push forward into a future that we can be certain will accept and nurture our children, their children, and future Black generations to come.