Category Archives: racism

Where Trump blew it

In two weeks, Americans should make clear they want Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. Of course, polling numbers can change, and we certainly know they can be wrong, but the lead that Biden has over Donald Trump continues.

If Biden wins, he’ll have pulled off a surprise: Incumbent presidents aren’t supposed to lose when Americans believe the economy is moving in the right direction. In 2020 they’re indicating they believe it is and voters also say Trump would be better than Biden at handling economic issues.

Despite that optimism, you can find plenty of voters who say they’re doing well financially, but they’re not interested in returning Trump to the White House. The Boston Globe reported one such story this week.

So, where did it go wrong for Trump? The reasons are obvious: his awful handling of the coronavirus pandemic; numerous suggestions he’s at best prejudiced and at worst racist; neutering America’s image around the world; picking losing battles with China on tariffs, and the list can go on from there.

An argument for a second Trump term is a difficult one to make, and such a case is built around a flimsy idea that Democrats are eager to create a socialist utopia in the United States.

Serious followers of politics know Biden is no socialist. Sure, in comparison to Trump’s agenda, Biden’s policies are progressive. However, whenever one leader takes the country as far off the rails as Trump has done, his successor must immediately steer toward something resembling normal.

That should be Biden’s task beginning on the afternoon of Jan. 20, 2021.

White supremacists are the greatest threat to the election

Looking for reasons to fear for the integrity of the upcoming presidential election? The Nation has a government document that indicates you’d better be careful of white supremacists.

White supremacists. The people who have infiltrated our cities’ police forces.

White supremacy. The language the president used in a recent campaign stop.

White supremacist ideology. Easy to find, including around at least one major U.S. public university.

You want to take a knee? You do it!

You want to take a knee when the national anthem plays?

You do it.

Your symbolic action is working. And it needs to be followed by much more meaningful action.

I could make a dry, legal argument (no offense to lawyers) that kneeling is constitutional. But that misses the point.

The more important reason why kneeling is appropriate and necessary: The people who are taking a knee are silently, but effectively, delivering a powerful message that requires our attention.

And, oh yes, it’s getting the job done.

Remember, there remain large pockets of the country where nasty, angry messages are sent to anyone who refuses to stand when the national anthem plays. (The basic theme is “get out of my country.” Whether the message is written or said that politely depends on the person delivering it.) The kneelers — and they’re mostly public figures, especially athletes — are getting under the skin of the people who respond with such hate.

Might that be because those who hate know that those who kneel are right?

They’re most definitely right. The decades upon decades of systemic inequality — economic, social and political — remain in place; no single piece of legislation can erase the problem. Rather, it will take forward-thinking people — inside and outside government — to identify policies and programs that slowly, but steadily, erode racism.

The Chinese proverb that a journey of many miles starts with a single step applies in this instance. And each time an athlete or someone else takes a knee, they’re reminding every American, of every race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation and more, that much more work needs to be done.

You don’t like the message? Sorry, but too bad. It’s the right one.