By William Cameron, Jr. –
It’s time to face facts.
It’s time to call a spade a spade. American democracy is being attacked, and not from alien forces, but from within, and by those whose job it is to safeguard that democracy. The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017 brought to light once again the red thread that has always run through the fabric of our nation’s history: RACISM.
From top to bottom the party of Lincoln, the party of Hoover, the party of Reagan, the party of —— —— (see how I went through that progression and didn’t write the current member of this group?) has managed to do a 180-degree turn from its roots. That’s not calling a spade a spade. So now I will! Donald trump is allowing and aiding hatred to take over America.
In many ways it’s hard to understand how voters in the 2016 election let this happen. After all, the man’s campaign left no other conclusion except that he was looking to take the nation back to a time when only one race of people mattered, and all others were left to fight over the scraps. America has had 45 Presidents since its inception, and of course many of them have been racist, some even being slave owners.
In the 18th century the prevailing theory on race was that Africans in America were by nature the least capable of all races, and were cursed by the Bible itself to serve the other two races (Geneses 9:18-27). So the 18th-century presidents’ views on the race question were in line with the times. Since the end of the War Between the States in 1865, the U.S. has had to deal with the ugly red thread of racism in its history.
The 28th President, Woodrow Wilson, a southern-born Democrat, said on the subject of the ante-bellum South, “Self-preservation forced whites to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant Negroes.” Wilson excused the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in like manner, calling it “understandable” in view of the (lawless) situation that victimized whites in the South after 1865. Anti-black terrorism rose to unprecedented levels. Sound familiar? Yet because of serving as Commander-in-Chief during WWI and his involvement in founding The League of Nations, Wilson is viewed as a good President.
The 34th president, WWII hero Dwight D. Eisenhower, born in Texas and raised in Kansas, was nobody’s liberal. However, he loved what America stood for more than his political leanings. In 1957, when the state of Arkansas refused to obey the Supreme Court order to desegregate public schools, Eisehhower went away from his conservative leanings, did his job as president of everyone, and demanded that then-Gov. Orval Faubus obey the court’s ruling. When the governor disobeyed, the president sent in the Arkansas National Guard to force the state to comply and to protect black students who were entering white schools that year. General Eisenhower was a Republican.
Until the 1960 presidential election featuring Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John Kennedy, blacks usually voted Republican, because their local Democrats were the party of segregation. Then things began to change. Dr. Martin L. King had been jailed in Georgia. Mrs. Coretta King put in a call to Mr. Nixon for help but he never returned her call. Mr. Kennedy called Mrs. King to reassure her about her husband, and since then black folk have voted in the majority as a bloc for the Democratic Party. After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson from Texas became president, and civil rights moved to the front of the table. Black people began to rise—even those who today think that affirmative action had very little to do with their personal successes. Johnson denounced the KKK publicly many times, and this man was a Texas southerner. (He even acknowledged that his support of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act would cost the Democrats the southern vote “for a generation.”) He loved America as a whole more than his place of birth.
In recent years the country has been led by Presidents G.W. Bush and Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the office. Although from opposite ends of the political spectrum, these two men agreed with Thomas Jefferson that all men and women are created equal, and today they are good friends.
The 2016 exit polls notes that 80% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, only 16% against. Evangelicals are supposedly the most Christian people in the American population, yet they still support a man who has said he has nothing in his life to ask forgiveness for. Silly me. I was brought up to believe that JESUS is the only one who needs no forgiveness. Black Christian leaders who back Trump quote, “I am black but I’m Christian first.” The same issues that stoke their white counterparts are the same issues that they are against: gay rights, immigration, abortion, etc. These people want to rule other people’s lives and they blame God for their actions. Liberals are wrong according to the Bible, but so are conservatives. The difference is that black leaders in the past fought for black people and black children through the African American Church. Today, I don’t know; however the church still has the power to move the race forward.
African American leaders in 2017 need to know African American history. Take your place among black leaders of the past and remember the race would not have made it to this point without the GRACE OF GOD, compromise, and alliances with people of like minds. Dictatorial leadership is not the way.