Donald Trump’s win in Iowa should be wake-up call for Black voters

by Danny Bakewell Jr., Executive Editor, Los Angeles Sentinel

Trump’s victory in 2016 was not because he was the most popular candidate or the candidate that we thought could do the best job.  It was a referendum of just how unpopular Hillary Clinton was and a demonstration of conservative White America’s determination to overthrow or overcome the reality that America had voted in Barack Obama as President – twice!

It doesn’t matter how many times Donald Trump is dragged into court; it doesn’t matter that he led the attempt to storm the Capitol and overthrow a fair and honest election.  It doesn’t matter how much he lied in the past nor how much he will lie in the future.

Donald Trump won and won big at the Iowa Republican caucuses.  This victory should serve as a wake-up call to Black voters, voters of color, and all good, honest Americans that the Trump campaign is real.  He truly has a real chance of returning to the White House.

What matters is that we must vote.  Apathy cannot and should never be how we demonstrate our dissatisfaction with our government or the leaders we elect.

We must be motivated to turn out with the same energy that we had when we un-elected Donald Trump and elected Biden-Harris into the White house.  Not only here in California, but across the nation.  Not voting cannot be an option.  Our votes must be heard, our power must be felt.

History has already shown us what a Donald Trump presidency looks like.  But this time his un-tethered arrogance would be allowed to work on full display because he would have no reason to tone it down.  He can’t run for office again, although he might try.  And with the power to appoint a few more Trumpsters to the Supreme Court, he just might try.

They say that the support of Black women for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has waned.  I ask why?  Did the Biden administration not do what he said he would do and appoint Ketanji Brown Jackson as a Supreme Court Justice?

Then there is the conversation about the economy.  Let’s put this into context.  We were in the midst of the greatest pandemic the world had ever seen.  People weren’t working, production and products weren’t readily available, retailers, barber shops, nail salons, construction workers, lawyers, court clerks and anyone else you can think about were “at home.”  So, wouldn’t it make sense that the economy would be affected?

Furthermore, let’s not forget who was asleep at the switch when the pandemic first came onto to the shores of the United States.  Yes, the one and only Donald Trump.  But now he wants to blame Joe Biden and the Democrats for what never was a recession, but for the downturn in the economy.

Well, guess what?  The economy is looking better.  Prices from gas to milk have come down.  Interest rates are on the decline and unemployment is at an all-time low.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  The country has a lot of work to do.  There is still much more that needs to be addressed and fixed – affordable housing, homelessness, pay equality, immigration, the right for a woman to choose, climate change, the war in Israel etc. etc. etc.

But apathy will not get these issues fixed.  I will never believe that we as Black people will be better served under a Donald Trump administration.

The truth is, we as a people are under attack.  For all the gains we have made over the decades, there truly is a movement to try and “put us back in our place.” Look at the rhetoric being spewed against Fani Willis, Alvin Bragg, or Letitia Willis by Trump and his intermediaries.  You can’t tell me that the venom they are spewing is not racist and not intended to motivate his racist supporters.

Remember it was Donald Trump who said that those involved in the racist, torch carrying, white supremist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia “were very fine people.”  Also remember his message to the far right hate group, the Proud Boys, “to stand back and stand by,” which also was the first shot fired and the prerequisite to the storming of the Capitol on January 6.

People, we must be motivated.  We must vote, we must show up in huge numbers to end the rhetoric of colonialism that is bubbling right under the surface of America today.  I believe that most people in this country are good, God-fearing and fair-minded, but if we choose not to show up to the polls, we relinquish our voice into a reactive position offended by the outcome of a process that we willfully and voluntarily chose not to participate in.

The call is now, and the alarm is loud. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.  It’s easy to say, but not always easy to do.  Yes, our lives do depend on it – if not literally, certain figuratively.

But not only do our lives depend on it, but the future of our children, our families, our democracy, and possibly our freedoms all depend on us showing up to VOTE!

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