Donald John Trump, the racist in the White House – Perspectives by Simon Ateba

There are many people in Africa who watch Donald John Trump on television and love him, and wish him success in the up coming election, and, sadly, even defend him. I guess part of it is because of ignorance. Although they would claim they know, the same way I also thought I did as I watched CNN or read The New York Times.

Donald John Trump is 74 years old. On Friday, August 28, 2020, tens of thousands of Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where Martin Luther King Jr. stood 57 years ago on August 28, 1963, to deliver his iconic “I have a dream” speech, to demand justice and equality under the law for black people in America.

Mr. Trump was 17 years old on that day. As Reverend Al Sharpton who organized the March on Washington on Friday noted, African Americans who were traveling from the South in 1963 to Washington D.C. could not stop at a restaurant to eat because that was against the law for blacks and whites to eat at the same restaurant. They could not also find a place to sleep because that also was against the law. They could not even stop to use the bathroom because that also was against the law. They kept their food in paper bags and stopped at isolated areas to pee or do other things.

So, even as they were coming to the nation’s capital to demand the end to segregation, voting rights and for fair housing policy, they were still in bondage. It would take another year until 1964 when De jure segregation was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It would take another year for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to pass for them to be allowed to vote. The Fair Housing Act will come in 1968.

By that time, Donald Trump was already 24 years old and working with his father. Both will continue to violate that last act, discriminating against blacks. So racism started early for this man. He would continue with his racism in New York when black boys were arrested in error and accused of a crime they did not commit.

Donald Trump would take a full page ad in newspapers convicting them without proof. When it was determined that they did not commit the crime, Donald Trump would not apologize or take the same full page ad to regret his racist actions. He would continue that way.

He seemed to have been so shocked when President Obama became president that he would be the head of the birther conspiracy, claiming he was not born in the United States.

Those attacks endeared him to many racists in the country. As President, he was given the platform he had wanted for a long time to promote his agenda. But by that time, the country had greatly changed.

Younger people, most of them in their 20s and 30s, had grown up in a different country, the country was gradually turning the page. However, instead of moving the country forward, he has tried to revive the old tricks and even indicating that it was a mistake to ‘grant’ blacks freedom. To him, blacks should be in chains or jails, they should not be allowed to vote, they are not fit to be judges or anything else.

In addition, Africa is a shit-hole place while Nigerians in the US won’t go back to “their huts”. When police kill blacks, he says “law and order” should be maintained, when the country calls for police reform, he says that’s a mistake. When anti racists protesters are killed by racists, he calls the racists “very fine people”.

Even though very few Africans can afford to come to the United States, he restricts them from coming, cancels visas with executive orders and make it hard for those here to get work permits, or study or anything else. He also increases fees for virtually all documents immigrants have to apply for or renew.

I can go on and on. With all of these things, as an African, what is there for you? If it is not trauma or stupidity, why will you defend so ferociously someone who wants you in chains, in jails, in poverty and sick by taking away health care?

What if you travel to the United States and as you’re eating at a restaurant, someone calls police and when they come, they just shoot you dead or your son, or your spouse, or your mom or dad or your friend, only because you’re black. And when the President is asked to comment, he says police are doing a great job and law and order should be maintained. Will you pray for such a man while you’re burying your entire family? Will you? Don’t be stupid. Wake up. 

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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