by Dr. E. Faye Williams
(TriceEdneyWire.com)—I am not an outdoors-person, but I am naturally curious and pay attention to my surroundings. Being observant satisfies my curiosities and affords me better understanding of how we creatures behave and interact.
In my youth, I can remember going outside and seeing numerous shiny lines in the garden, on steps, and, sometimes, windows and doors. I, first, ignored those lines, but, eventually, asked my mother what they were. She said they were the trails left by slugs foraging through our garden, often ruining our vegetables. She explained that table salt could kill them. I did not like slugs then and I do not like them now.
Thinking abstractly, those slimy slugs have become analogous to Donald J. Trump, his acolytes, and their willingness to destroy the fabric of this nation’s democracy for self-aggrandizement and to create an environment of racial superiority. Like the slugs of our garden, their initial damage may be minimized, but left unchecked, their damage can be significant.
After January 20th, I intended to leave Trump and his administration in the dust heaps unpleasant memories, but disclosures of his gross mismanagement, disregard for the public welfare, and connection to churning of sediments of racial discord deserve comment. Moreover, emerging evidence of Trump’s attempt to replicate the permanent, autocratic strongmen he admires (Putin, Kim, and Erdogan) requires a challenge to the potential destruction of our nation’s democratic principles and viability of our institutional constructs.
Although gone, Trump has left thousands of disciples willing to act seditiously to overthrow our current government in his behalf. He has opened a floodgate of racism and intolerance that will not close, and he has been the founder of “Institutional Lies,” which with his other infractions, cause suffering among those he targets.
January 6, 2021 is testament to the influence Trump has over a radical right populace willing to supplant our 250-year democracy in favor of an evolving dictatorship. One should not breathe a sigh of relief yet. January 6th failed to interrupt government process, but, among the Trump faithful, there remains a willingness to immediately reinstate him to the seat of power.
If you listen without your crazy filters, you will hear highly placed Trump loyalists present thoughts that are only to be said “quietly.” A chief example is Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin. Tone deaf and blind to the obvious violence, Johnson expressed collaborative belief systems with January 6th terrorists in opposition to Black Lives Matter demonstrators of this past summer. I welcome anyone to explain his statements without using the lens of race.
Few need to be reminded of Trump’s lies throughout the COVID pandemic. The number of lives lost to these lies can only be speculated, but it is doubtful that State and local governments and individual citizens would have responded as negligently without the endorsement of the president.
Despite Trump’s protestations of inaccuracy, a report from the Director of National Intelligence confirms that Russia was a principal actor in efforts to support Trump in 2016 and 2020 and discredit the Biden campaign. Willing actors (Ex: Rudi Giuliani) were used to spread Russian, anti-Biden dis-information and promote a lack of confidence in the election process.
Too many Trump transgressions have emerged for us to believe we are done with him. Like the slug, his slime tells where he’s been, but we have no real knowledge of where he’s going, and what he plans to do. Increased voter suppression activities may give us a hint. He holds sway over too many people for us to relax.
His obvious trail of slime reminds us that, although gone, he and his acolytes are eager to leave a trail of discord and destruction for us to fall victim to.
(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women.)