Vol. 12    No. 16
AUGUST 7, 2017
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                             More Attacks on Civil Rights
The Rhythms of Africa and the
Diaspora
Africa Fest at Central Park
I have such fluctuating feelings about the Trump Administration. I don’t know if Donald Trump is absolutely crazy or crazy like a fox. I don’t think
there is any doubt that Trump is a narcissistic ego-maniac who would say anything just to be the main topic at dinnertime tables across America.
He feeds on the attention, a level of attention that he could never get as the CEO of Trump Industries.

And then I sometimes feel that Trump goes into these midnight Twitter tirades just to firm up his political base of alienated Euro-Americans who
would love to see Washington, D.C. burn to the ground in order to “drain the swamp.” Of course tearing down the federal government would have
a catastrophic impact on their lives, but they haven’t even started to think it through on those terms.

It came close if the Republicans had repealed Obamacare and then all of a sudden their opioid treatment went away. But somehow in their bigoted
hearts, they would have found a way to blame the black man, President Obama, for this sudden loss of resources.

And so while Trump’s Twitter attacks are often times insane and packed full of untruths and falsehoods, he doesn’t lose much from them
politically, even if the rest of the world suffers from the results of his twittering and stay up at night scratching their heads wondering what Trump
is doing. And that is exactly what Trump wants, to keep everyone off balance.

And there are other times, when I feel that Trump had some kind of royal notions of what it meant to be president, that everyone would lay low and
say, “Yes, Your Majesty” and that Trump could do whatever he wanted without repercussions. After all, that’s what he did within the confines of
Trump, Inc. and so why shouldn’t he be able to now that he is occupying the most powerful position on earth?

In some ways, Trump knows that he doesn’t necessarily have to accomplish anything. All he needs to do is appear to be “draining the swamp” of
liberal political influences. Trump is rewarded for creating chaos and creating gridlock on Capitol Hill for in the minds of some conservatives, a
gridlocked Capitol Hill means that the federal government grinds to a halt, which is the next best thing to destroying the central, federal
government.

And Trump as Clown may also serve another purpose. It’s like a magician who does a sleight of hand by momentarily distracting the audience and
does a hidden movement that is not noticed by the audience. It all appears magical and happens outside of the view of the audience.

Well I can’t help but feel that Trump is also doing a sleight of hand in order to push his agenda forward. Trump acts and Twitters like crazy and has
everyone convinced he’s insane and can’t wait to read his next Twitter comment while all the while, he is putting initiatives in place that will rob
people of their rights, give more tax money to the rich, and eliminate essential governmental services for individuals and cities across the United
States.

And so in the midst of some Trump travesty the other day, I found this news item on CBS Nwes.com. In other years, I can’t help but feel that this
story would have been the headline of the day.

"The Trump administration plans to use resources from the Justice Department civil rights division to investigate and sue universities over
affirmative action admissions policies that may put white applicants at a disadvantage, the New York Times reported Tuesday."

Donald Trump — or whomever is pulling his strings at the moment — wants to turn our country’s civil rights apparatus on its head.

During the 1950s and 1960s, it was the NAACP’s and other civil rights organizations’ legal efforts before the U.S. Supreme Court that led to the
dismantling of the legal segregation apparatus. Great gains were made through the Warren Supreme Court.

But the conservatives would have none of that. So by the time the late 1970s came around, it was a more conservative Supreme Court that ruled
in the Bakke case and set the president for claims of reverse discrimination to be used to dismantle the very civil rights affirmative action
policies that were set in place to cure the centuries of discrimination that African Americans and other people of color experienced.

And so, the conservatives expropriated the language and rhetoric of the civil rights movement and turned it against the movement to erase the
gains that had been made. Ruling after ruling has been made by the conservative Supreme Court to turn back the hands of time on affirmative
action and equal opportunity.

And so now, the Trump Administration under the direction, no doubt, of Attorney General Sessions, wants to use the apparatus of the civil rights
division in the Department of Justice, an apparatus that recently brought pressure on police departments that appeared to have patterns of
discriminatory behavior against residents of color to attack the affirmative action and diversity efforts of institutions of higher learning.

I could have sworn that most of this had been decided by the Texas and Michigan cases that race could be a factor, one of many, used in
admissions practices so that a university could recruit a diverse student body.

But apparently Sessions wants to turn back the hands of time and make higher education the privilege for the Euro-American community and only
the rich ones at that.

Keep your eye on the prize and don’t let Donald Trump’s buffoonery distract you from his real anti-civil rights agenda. Stay vigilant!