JULIANNE MALVEAUX

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—When he was running for President, 45 asked African Americans what we had to lose by electing him.  Embracing the most dystopian view of the African American community, he attacked our schools, our streets, crime rates, and unemployment and suggested that we were so far down that electing him could only improve things.  Curiously, he never talked about racism when he talked about the status of African Americans.  He never spoke of hate crimes, police killings, or racist symbols like Confederate flags and Confederate statues. He never denounced some of his most racist supporters, including Klucker David Duke and alt-right leader Richard Spencer. He just asked what Black folks had to lose by electing him!

We’ve been learning what we have to lose in these nearly five months of 45’s “leadership.” He cynically used HBCU Presidents in a photo op, while cutting education funds that help HBCUs. He has been silent or slow in denouncing racist incidents that have occurred on his watch, including the lynching of Second Lt. Richard Collins III, and the murder of heroes Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, who stood up to the rabid racist Jeremy Joseph Christian, who was harassing two young women on a train in Portland (it took him three days to respond tepidly to that incident). As of this writing, two days after a noose was hung in the Smithsonian Museum for African American History and Culture, he has not uttered a syllable of condemnation.  These issues don’t appear to be important to him.

Are we surprised, then, that the budget he has submitted to Congress, would eviscerate civil rights protections in literally every area of our lives. Already, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved back toward draconian jail sentences for minor crimes, reviewed consent decrees with police departments, looking to loosen them, and suggested that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department can be smaller.  The budget reflects that so clearly that Venita Gupta, who led the Civil Rights Division under President Obama and now leads the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, says she sees this budget as a “setback” for civil rights.

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