by: Marceline Donaldson
We need to take a look at a parallel time in history for these United States. The time of Reconstruction was followed by the dismantling of what the time of Reconstruction wrought. What we are experiencing under Donald J. Trump is that time after Reconstruction of horror, evil, misery under which so many suffered.
It comes under that old adage – if we don’t know and understand history, we will be forced to repeat it. And surely enough that is what we are doing. President Obama brought in an era very much like that time of Reconstruction. He continued the process of eliminating our equivalent of the “black codes” which began to be dismantled under Martin Luther King, Jr’s Civil Rights Movement – only instead of concentrating on African Americans, Obama addressed bigotry across this country amongst far more than just African Americans. His time in office highlighted just how venomous bigotry was in these United States and we all thought it was coming to an end.
After the Obama presidency, we elected a man we knew to be a liar, cheat, etc. etc. Today, we are appalled at what he is doing. Since he was a very public and visible person and since it was very difficult not to have known Donald Trump and his reputation, it is amazing to me that we, the citizens of these United States who elected him president could be surprised, dismayed, etc. etc. about the actions of this man who was so thoroughly known. Who you elect is what you get. There is no miraculous change that occurs. Many in the media talked extensively about the “pivot” that they expected to happen. Where did they get such an idea? Was it from the history that rolled out before them showing that the person elected to office said what he had to say to get elected and once elected he became and started to institute policies far different from those he/she ran on?
We were appalled that President Trump rolled out policies, etc. that he ran on. He let everybody know who he was and what he was going to do.
He also threw in the politicians lies to some folks, claiming he was going to do great things for them – which totally violated his image; what he was saying most of the time; the people around him, those total racists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other such folks supporting his candidacy who he clearly embraced and preferred in his rallies which were horrid places to be if you were non-white and non-northern european.
Many believed he would “pivot” and be someone very different when he took office. Only, I wonder if we really believed that or deep down we actually hoped and voted for him because we didn’t want a country where everyone was marching into that nirvana of equality, justice, compassion and Donald Trump looked like the candidate who would make sure that things were put aright which this Obama guy had turned in another direction. Trump promised to undo everything Obama had done as president and he has actively and hurriedly taken that seriously and that part of his campaign promise he is daily implementing.
Instead of a mirror image of Reconstruction, he has brought about the period of time that followed Reconstruction when work went on to bring back the “black codes” and other laws and principles which would bring the country back as close to slavery as possible. In the process we have helped to bring this country into a time of great destruction of many of our fellow citizens. During that time after Reconstruction, justice, equality, compassion were destroyed. Evil, hatred, bigotry, infliction of pain was the order of the day and for the next hundred years we lived under what that period after the Reconstruction brought.
We celebrated the “first” African American elected to Congress after 1960 ignoring the fact that during Reconstruction over 100 African Americans, just out of slavery, were elected to federal, state, county legislatures and served their fellow citizens well.
Trump’s presidency looks a lot like that of Rutherford Hayes, whose term of office started with a disputed election and during which the Chinese were today’s Muslims. The Chinese worked hard to build the railroads, but were treated very poorly and were those selected to keep out of the United States the way Trump has worked to keep Muslims from coming to the United States.
The condition of people was horrid and the gains from Reconstruction which the Radical Republicans gained, particularly for African Americans, were destroyed – mostly by the Democrats.
During all of this time I had family living in Mexico who had everything taken away from them and were treated extremely abusively by United States soldiers when the lines were drawn and a part of Mexico became America: I had family – Choctaw Indians, who were put on the Trail of tears and suffered much: I had family – African Americans who were active in their small town in Alabama – elected to public office there – and finally, as the political climate changed, were stripped of everything and tarred and feathered, put on the railroad track forced to walk to Texas in that condition by the Democrats: I had family who were English, Irish, Italian, Swiss and more who gave up their “white privilege” to marry minorities who had experienced those things.
And today, I am living through the modern version of that terrible time because of the Republicans and Donald Trump and his supporters who are moving very quickly to bring us back to that time after our own modern day Reconstruction.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Trump, the United States president, who gained office by lying.
Two of his big lies are currently clearly on view:
He promised Iraqi Christians that he would support and protect them and they supported him in large blocks. When he gained office he started deporting them by the hundreds. They have not yet been hauled out of this country because the courts stopped Trump’s deportation of so many. They would have faced a horrible and dangerous life if they had been deported and they still might be.
He promised to support the LGBTQ Community and just recently showed clearly that his ethics are in the gutter and his sense of values none existent to the point of not merely being “political” to gain office, but evil to gain eternal damnation.
And those are just a few of his broken promises which will cause thousands horrendous, broken, desperate lives of which he will know nothing and of which he wants to know nothing. His life is privileged and its continuance as such is his only concern. More power. More money. More glorifying of Donald Trump.
And for this we live, work, worship and die in this country. When will it all change? What are you doing to bring about that change? Or are you doing nothing to help continue things as they are because you see yourselves as benefitting? Life changes in the blink of an eye – your time is coming and soon.
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