It’s like the saying goes: It doesn’t matter how you start, but how you finish.
You know what else they say: It’s more about the journey than the destination.
Both of those apply here.
We finished with Donald Trump not receiving that second sought-after term.
We also got a front row seat for the journey. The ugly one that it was.
As a writer, I feel that I am among those unofficially responsible for doing more than just ranting. Whether I love something or hate it, I have to do just a little more than to just express it in those manners alone. I have to be a little more constructive.
Some will see the title of this and just go crazy. The assumptions will start to fly. No need to read. Some will assume that I support Donald Trump in some way, despite the sentence that appears right before it.
There is no question that the Trump administration was train wreck to say the least. Most of the country is thrilled that as of a few hours ago, he officially became the “former” president as PRESIDENT Joe Biden is in the seat.
However, as happy as I am that Trump is gone, again…as a writer, I have to think a little deeper than just that. Which is what led me to my conclusion that he was needed for this country. Here’s why.
Have you ever had an issue with your car or house, where there was something wrong, but the issue was either small, or something you could put off until later? But then, when you got that issue checked, you discovered something far deeper that you likely would not have noticed otherwise?
As a 41-year-old black man, racism in America is not lost on me. Especially systemic racism. I’m far past the point of trying to convince people that this is true. And I’m not talking about just Blacks. People of color in general. I cannot imagine that there are too many Latinos who have no clue as to what certain parts of the country feel about them, namely those who are American citizens and have to be told to “go back to their country” to include the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
While I am aware of where things were, Donald Trump made racists extremely comfortable in their own filthy skin. There was his Muslim ban. There were his numerous comments about our brown neighbors coming from the south being “rapists” and “criminals.” There’s the treatment of those kids who are still in the cages. There’s his comment about areas in the Middle East being “shithole countries.”
There is even that one time where (and I don’t know what the hell this was about) he addressed a black man at an outdoor event by repeating, “There’s my African American! There’s my African American!” I’m surprised he didn’t pat on his damn leg and say, “Here boy!” and start whistling.
While certain white people expressing any of these sentiments is not exactly breaking news, the difference here is that at no other time in recent history has a president done so. Of course this has a much greater effect on the nation as a whole than some drunkard ranting at the bar, even though some might believe Trump behaved as such on several occasions, namely during his rallies.
Police brutality against Blacks did not decrease. There was also the emergence (or accentuation of) the “Karen.” This refers to a white woman who sees a black man or woman doing...anything, and this woman either harasses them or calls the police with some bogus explanation to imply that these black folks should not be doing them. This has happened at parks, in luxury apartment complexes, pools, Starbucks, you name it. A white woman even called the police on a child who was selling lemonade.
Yes. A child.
There are also instances where white people have harassed Latinos and state that “Trump is going to send them back to their countries,” even though many are American citizens. I’m sure this happened to some degree before Trump, but it really stood out over the last four years. Then there is the whole “Muslims are gonna blow us up” nonsense any time a hijab is seen on someone’s head.
I thought that with some of these instances, certain folks would speak up more to state how wrong they are. Not only did they not do it, but again, they became more comfortable in participating or backing up. I always believed that under no circumstances should we not all agree that police should not be murdering black people for whatever reason. Not only was I wrong about that, but there’s an excuse for just about every instance of a police officer murdering a black person, even when they shoot us in the backs. So a trained police officer “fears for his life” if a suspect might have a weapon and is facing in the opposite direction to the extent that several bullets have to be pumped into them? Go figure that one.
Then there are the disgusting responses anytime we peacefully and legally protest. Donald Trump himself encouraged NFL teams to “fire the sons of bitches” who protest the National Anthem. Any time we participate in protests, these people assume that we “don’t have jobs” or that we are just looking to start trouble.
I guess we should be like them and storm the Capitol with the Confederate flag. But we already know what that outcome would be.
Thankfully, we have a number of white allies to our cause. Many have spoken up.
But what if Trump had never made it into office? Would those same people be speaking? And I’m referring to those we did not hear much from prior to him taking office.
There is nothing wrong with someone understanding racism later on and doing more to speak up later than they should have. I get it. But my point here is, without Trump, does that happen? What went on before? Many of us have white friends who did not say a whole lot before Trump took office. Then after our problems, they spoke up extensively. Our issues did not matter much until they mattered. Until their spaces were being invaded upon. Don’t get me wrong; I tremendously appreciate them. But with no Trump, do certain white folks understand? Do they get the point that just because Trump was and encouraged to be the way he was in regard to Blacks, that none of this was happening before?
Speaking of Trump, how often has he spoken up about police brutality against blacks or harassment of people of color?
Now let’s talk about all his lies for a moment. And no, you can’t like Trump because “he’s not a politician” while also excusing his lies “because that’s what all politicians do.” Pick one.
Sure, politicians lie. But they’re at least somewhat clever about it or address some lies at some point. But Trump was that child who got caught in the cookie jar and swears that he didn’t do it. He had been caught numerous times making comments on video, as he would later pretend he never said those things. Over time, the lies just became sloppier. It was like he wasn’t even trying anymore. All this came to a head, of course, when he repeatedly stated that he “won the election” against President Joe Biden. Even social media grew sick of his nonsense, as many platforms eventually banned him.
The sad part was how so many people out there still believed him. They were either brainwashed or willingly went with whatever he said. Even when Trump would let a certain lie go, they stayed with it as though it was still the story. It was like they were not paying attention to which lie he was on.
The domestic terrorist attacks at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was clearly a direct result of this, as Trump’s lies about election fraud ultimately led to one of the most devastating events in our modern history. Trump’s team lost about 60 court cases in which he attempted to have the election overturned. There were some Supreme Court losses as well. Despite this, his faithful supporters still attacked, repeating that they were doing so to “stop the steal” of the election.
So this is why Donald Trump was needed. Not because we wanted him, but because we needed to see just how screwed up things are in this country that we fool ourselves into calling the “greatest nation on Earth.” At least during his presidency, we were anything but great.
But you know what else happened? People voted in record numbers. Citizens realized that change needed to happen, as they were sick of where things were. We were able to help President Biden earn more votes than any other president in history. We have also flipped the Senate, meaning that both the House and Senate are predominantly Democrat. This matters, because with a Democrat as president, there’s a greater chance that legislation does not get blocked simply because the president and these Congress leaders exist in different parties, as has happened on many occasions in the past.
So while thing are absolutely looking up and it very much feels like a New Day in America, our fight in long from over. There is a great deal of healing left. A lot of damage has been done.
The good thing is, Donald Trump helped us to see exactly where all that damage is.
So true, great message.