Commentary: Trump, as President, was not an aberration

by A. Peter Bailey

(—In June 2019, I wrote a column entitled “No. 45 Is Not An Aberration” that included the following: “The American news media is deceiving the world when it consistently describes No. 45 (Donald Trump) as an aberration in the history of the United States presidency….Rather than being an aberration he is a direct descendant of former presidents, most notably Saint George Washington and Saint Thomas Jefferson who bought, sold, owned and exploited African men, women and children.”

How can he be an aberration when he is a direct descendant of a president who wrote the Declaration of Independence while being an enslaver of over 200 Africans? How can he be an aberration when he’s the direct descendant of former presidents who helped write the United States Constitution that declared enslaved Africans as three-fifths of a person? How can he be an aberration of former presidents who from the Reconstruction Era through the 1950s passively looked on as White supremacist terrorists killed several thousand Black people and viciously oppressed millions of others? How can he be an aberration when presidents since the 1960s passed Civil Rights legislation only for foreign policy considerations?

American presidents have never voluntarily supported civil and human rights for Black people in this country.  They always took the position that the federal government had no jurisdiction in those arenas. It was up to individual states, they said, to deal with the situation.  They finally were moved to action because of propaganda needs resulting from the so-called Cold War with Russia.  Even then, many Black warriors were killed in the war against White supremacy.  That’s why there is no reason to extend gratitude to anyone or any government that do the right thing only after people have been killed.

This history documents why Donald Trump was not an aberration as an American president.  He was just more outwardly flagrant with his actions than most of his predecessors.  A possible positive result of his presidency may be that more Black people than ever before during the past 50 years will now understand that we must organize ourselves economically, culturally, politically, educationally, technologically, legally, health-wise and self-defense wise in order to promote and protect our vital interests.



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