Vol. 12   No. 16
AUGUST 7, 2017
UNIQUE HITS
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                          More Attacks on Civil Rights
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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It came close if the Republicans had repealed Obamacare and then all of a sudden their opioid treatment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!