By David Mark Greaves
In this coming Saturday’s New York City lien sales of 4,700 properties, we see how America’s legacy of racism is baked into the system, showing itself at key moments in our lives, enveloping our lives and limiting our horizons from the moment of birth.
In a release calling for Mayor De Blasio to postpone the sales, New York Attorney General Letitia James says, “…according to the Coalition for Affordable Homes, the city is six times more likely to sell a lien on a property in a majority Black neighborhood and two times more likely to sell a lien on a property in a majority Hispanic neighborhood than in a majority white neighborhood.” It is part of racism’s death-by-a-thousand-cuts approach to race war. It is one of the pressures Black and Brown people are subjected to. Constantly.
In addition to the systemic and even public attacks, we are the prime targets in the authoritarian takeover of the United States government. This is not crazy talk. According to Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Muller’s report on the 2016 election, it is our diverse readership of African Americans, who are progressives, conservatives and none of the above, that was singled out for special attention by the Russians and continue to be in the upcoming Presidential election.
Right now, there are millions of Russian bots moving through the internet, delivering messaging in support of a President who knows no boundaries, including fomenting something close to civil war. Working on his behalf, they hyper-target us sorted by demographics, zip codes, likes, dislikes, page views and web searches. Readers of Field and Stream and readers of House Beautiful, may live in the same household, but the messaging they receive will be shaped to their interests. They receive ads that self-delete and email giving messaging only for them. The messaging is reinforced on all their social media channels, as well as on Fox television and by the President. It is a total immersion in an alternate reality, where unstable personalities in this world of delusions will then act out solutions with real-world consequences.
This is what happened when the Trump-following 17-year-old with an AR 15-style weapon, killed two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week.
Inflamer in Chief
More violence, more fear: this is what Trump wants so that he can cry out, “This is what’s coming with Biden,” rather than the truth of, “This is just a taste of what you’ll get with four more years of me.”
The rhetoric that he, his family and his supporters use, actually describes what’s happening while Trump is president as Joe Biden’s America. They have no positive message, but what they do have is a gangsta president who will stop at nothing to retain power. He has installed an Attorney General who acts as his consiglieri, his Direct of National Intelligence just said he would no longer give in-person briefings to the Congress on election interference, the president dismisses anyone who speaks of Russian interference in the election, he has attacked mail-in voting and his Postmaster General has removed street mailboxes, taken highspeed mail sorters offline and cutback overtime preventing carriers from completing routes.
And finally, he said the only way he loses is if the election is rigged. And that’s the real reason Donald Trump won’t condemn the militia groups with their AR 15s and who are called terrorists by the FBI. He may need them November 4th to cause havoc and give him reason for stern measures that the Russians will be more than happy to help rile up.
Negative health disparities are more evidence of the legacy of racism that have been exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, with African American dying at three times the rate of whites. Now, one of the concepts being whispered in Trump’s ear about controlling Covid 19 is “herd immunity.” That is achieved when enough people, say 75-80% of the population, are infected, then the virus has no place to go. Of course, this would mean millions of people, disproportionally Black, Brown, old, poor, and in Trump’s mind, Democratic, would die. However, that would still leave too much collateral damage. And we can be sure that if it were the Republican upper classes who suffered most disproportionately from the virus, the idea of herd immunity would not even be uttered in polite company. More likely we’d hear, “Test everybody and test them again. Spare no expense, do whatever you have to do. This is serious.”
The Republican Agenda
Senate Republicans are complicit in all of this, with their outright voter suppression tactics and by blocking funds for election protection and funds for the postal service to handle the increased election load of mail-in ballots. By sticking with Trump, they have the Trump mob on their side, keeping them and their ilk in control for as long as possible, starting with the over 200 lifetime appointments already made to the federal judiciary. We cannot depend on Republicans to save our republic. They have a different agenda and ours has to be resistance by voting big time.
Bridgette Floyd: Will Future Generations Remember You for Your Complacency
In this past Sunday’s march in Washington, we heard the calls for justice that were made in the 1963 march, except that now, we also were able to listen to the voices from the families of victims of direct racial violence.
Bridgette Floyd, sister of George Floyd, asked, “How will the history books remember you? What will be your legacy? Will your future generations remember you for your complacency? Your inaction? Or will they remember you for your empathy, your leadership, your passion for weeding out the evil and injustice in our world.
“Martin Luther King stood here 57 years ago, and he told the world his dream. But I don’t think y’all know, we’re here right now and have the power to make it happen. But we have to do it together. We have to do it together for our generations to come. For our children.
“My brother cannot be a voice today; we have to be that voice. We have to be the change and we have to be his legacy.”