TheGrio interviewed Yusef Salaam to find out more about the Central Park Five’s relationship to the 45th president and why he considers Trump a hypocrite.
The trending news is Donald Trump’s comments about Haitians and people from the continent of Africa migrating to America. His criticism of the state of these countries is harsh, some will argue that these countries are in the state he used to describe them, but they will not admit the cause or the reason these countries are in the state is that of European influence. To argue with them about this is futile because facts do not matter to racist.
My point of view on this topic is why are people surprised, the only people who should be surprised are those white people who do not believe they practice racism and do not realize white privilege exists. All people of color should not be surprised by these comments. A Fox News commentator, I do not remember his name, he said, and I am paraphrasing “this how people talk when sitting in a bar.” He is telling Black people this is how we talk about you behind your back. Trump denied using those words 15 hours after the statements were reported, he tweets about other dumb shit but nothing about these comments. This tells you he did not want to deny making these statements and he believes he was correct in using this descriptive language, someone had to convince him to tweet something about the reported story. Have you noticed the individuals in the room have said anything about the comments? The Senators could have said, “That language was not used, and I would not tolerate that language being used in my presence.” Instead of doing that we get silence which indicates the comments reported where the exact statements he made.
All people of color must realize the direction of the country has changed, White people clearly understand that within the next 25 to 50 years they will be the minority in this country and this scares some of them. The problem is many people of color want to be white, but it is coming closer to the point will the line will be drawn, and people of color will have to choose which side of that line they want to be on. I am one who believes there are some good white people who are sensitive to our situation and want to help. The problem is they may be the minority, but this too seems to be changing with more and more realizing racism is hurting this country.
The racists are no longer hiding underneath sheets, this President has emboldened the racist which may be a good thing because it will force Black people to wake up.
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, and pedophilia cases have been running ramped in the few months. We have seen newscasters, comedians, actors, music executives, movie executives and politicians being accused of these infractions. Many of which have been fired or resigned from their current positions because of these allegations. The Time magazine persons of the year are the women who have spoken out against these sexual deviants. For some reason, the woman who created the #metoo movement, Tarana Burke was left off the cover but anyway. This movement or moment has given life to conflicting feelings about this phenomenon.
People will ask why would I have conflicted feelings but there are several reasons why. I believe many of these men are criminals and should be punished but there are some situations where I believe the men should not be judged as harshly. The ones who have raped women should be in jail, the ones who exposed themselves should get professional help, the ones who groped should receive a combination of both. The problem I have is with the ones who may have just been a little too aggressive with the women, were they fully aware of how the woman would feel about these tactics. If this behavior has worked on women in the past how would you know if it offended a woman? I am not saying it is right, I am saying I am conflicted. It causes me to think about my interactions with women. A time when you are trying to get a young lady’s attention and you grab her by the arm. I may think I am being smooth but to her, I might be aggressive. The other problem I have is this may cause the pendulum too far in the other direction. How do we know who is telling the truth, if they’re just the two people involved, and they are the only witnesses? What if the woman exaggerates the incident? How do you handle this? My other issue is Rose McGowan, she is listed as one of the silence breakers and I am not sure I agree with this. I know some women will not like this statement but if I am wrong please enlighten me. She said Harvey Weinstein raped her, she initially took money to be quiet, when the other young lady filed charges against Weinstein, Weinstein people offered her more money not say anything when asked. Rose agreed to take the second payout, the next day after she agreed she changed her mind and decided to speak out against Weinstein. My issue is why take any money let alone agree twice to take the money. Was it only after you saw how big this was going to be you decided to change your mind about the second payout? After Weinstein was exposed she attacks Ben Affleck stating he knew and did nothing. My thinking may be off but as a father, I would be mad if Weinstein did this to my daughter and I find out this may have been prevented if Rose did not take the initial payment and continued to seek justice. Just think if she had fought, Weinstein might not have had the opportunity to do this to other women.
My final issue is the feminist. Why are the feminists more visible on these issues? Roy Moore, an accused pedophile was running for Congress, there should have been thousands of women in Alabama protesting this, Roy Moore called the accusers liars and no uprising. Donald Trump stands accused by 19 women for many of these same charges as the other men and nothing for the women. On January 21, 2017 over a million women march in Washington DC to protest for women’s rights. There should at least be a fraction of that crowd protesting Donald Trump. I have seen protest Nate Parker and Bill Cosby why not Roy Moore and Donald Trump? This is the real fight these men influence laws and have serious affect on the nation, if there are criminals they should be checked. Where is the support for Cyntoia Brown? The world is watching why aren’t feminist leading the charge?
I want justice for women, I believe there needs to be a national discuss to let man know what is not acceptable and women should let man know on an individual level what is not acceptable. I would go crazy if something like this happen to my daughter and it would driving me further insane if she felt she could not tell anyone what happened to her. My point of view is from a male perspective, so it may be wrong, but I am in full support of women. The most important people in my life are women and I will die before I allow someone to get away with hurting them.
Are we witnessing the destruction of America? Does the phrase “Make America Great Again” mean to start from the beginning? Are we, the people, being distracted by all the other things taking place in America? I ask these questions because Donald Trump has been exhibiting strange behavior and some of his appointments have been strange. Take for example Scott Pruitt the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Scott Pruitt described himself as an advocate against the EPA, and he does not believe in climate change. Dr. Ben Carson is the head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the man is a brilliant neurosurgeon but has no experience with HUD. Then, there is Betsy DeVos, the head of Education, at least she has a long history dealing with education, but the history is shrouded in the destruction of the educational system of Michigan.
I am going to share my opinion about the appointment of Betsy DeVos. Betsy DeVos believes in charter schools, and allowing children to attend the schools of their choice, which I do not have a problem with but her record in Michigan has shown that the charter schools are worse than the public schools. The charter schools in Michigan are run by private companies, therefore there is a profit incentive associated with schools. Mrs. DeVos wants deregulations, which is one of the reasons she champions charter schools, but with deregulation, the level of education received is decreased. Regulations hold the schools and the teachers to a standard, this forces the teachers and schools to live up to or exceed these standards. Without regulations who is accountable for the failures or miseducation of the children.
It is a well-known fact that companies in the United States need individuals educated in the fields that are useful. Manufacturing jobs are becoming a thing of the past, having a college degree is becoming a necessity, there are many jobs requiring a master’s degree. Companies are hiring people from other countries because the people from these countries are better equipped to perform the duties of the job. Knowing all of this why would Mrs. DeVos take positions that would discourage people from attending college? She is against student loan forgiveness, there was a provision put in place if a student was defrauded by a school or if the school utilized illegal or deceptive tactics to get the student to take a loan the student would be forgiven for the loan. In the new tax bill, students would no longer be able to deduct the interest from their student loan repayments. The cost of education is rising, therefore, most people need a student loan to attend college, but making people fearful of student loans will result in fewer people going to college, more jobs going overseas, and the destruction of the middle class.
I just find it strange that someone would work hard to discourage people from seeking an education and work for people to receive a subpar education. Remember the one percent will not be affected by any of these changes in the department of education, department of housing or the EPA, the other 99% will suffer. The American people are divided by racial lines, political lines, and religious lines but the line that everyone is ignoring is the class line. While the 99% is fighting each other the 1% is “Making American Great Again” for them.
This past weekend we witness a large portion of the NFL react to Donald Trump’s statement which he indicates any player who kneels during the National Anthem should be fired. The media and the public have praised many of the players and owners for opposing Trump and taking a knee or showing so another form of gesture during the anthem. I respect the unity and the heart to stand against the Donald Trump but part of me is disappointed.
The reason why I am somewhat disappointed is the fact that the reason Colin Kaepernick started sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem was to protest police brutality and the injustice towards black people. The fact that INNOCENT black people being slaughtered in the streets by the police and receiving no justice for these atrocities was not a good reason to take a knee. Some have only taken a knee because Trump called the league out and threaten their livelihood. Now the media is talking about every team who performed some gesture but NO ONE is talking about the injustice that started Colin on this crusade. The murder of Tamar Rice, Alton Sterling, Philando Castiel, or Freddy Gray wasn’t good enough to stand up against the system but an empty threat was the catalyst for your resistance. During all this kneeling we find out the T-Boz, of TLC, a relative was murdered by the police and this instance was barely reported. If not for T-Boz we may not have heard about this killing.
So what you took a knee, the reason for the knee as not been addressed and we are still be murdered by the people sworn to protect us. For all the black NFL players who did not want knee before the Donald Trump statement, you do not have to take a knee but you should donate money to the fight. There are many street-level organizations fighting the good fight you can donate too. There is no excuse for failing your people if you do not want to use your voice then use your wallet.
With the election of Barack Obama, it was thought that America has made advances on race but are we absolutely sure that country has made advances? Has the election of Obama created more hate groups or White Supremacist Groups? Has the election of Obama created more racial tension in America? I ask these question because after the events that have taken place in Charlottesville Virginia this weekend it seems like there have not been any advancements. As many have stated in was reminiscent of the 60’s.
Obama won the popular vote during each election based on these results this meant that the majority of the country saw past race and voted for whom they believed was the best candidate. The election of Obama was a historical event, I think many people thought this was a huge advancement in race relations in this country but it seems that a small of a fraction of the country was not pleased by this. I do not have statistical data or historical data to back my opinion but it appears to me that the racial tension has escalated with the election of Obama. The killings of unarmed black people seem to have increased but one can argue these killings have always taken place and the introduction of social media has just made us more aware of these incidents. It seems the number of hate groups, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist and Alt-Right organization have increased or have become more visible since Obama’s election. The election of Donald Trump has also fueled many of these groups, they believe they have an ally in Trump. Trump cabinets would suggest that they do have an ally, his remarks regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville suggest they have an ally. Regardless of who is aligned with whom we must be prepared for whatever is coming.
We all thought the election of Barack Obama meant the pendulum of racism had swung to the side of righteous, equality, and love of all mankind now it seems that the pendulum has swung back to the side of evil, hate, and inhumane thinking. Will the pendulum swing back or are we stuck in evil and hate? If we are stuck will this be the end of America?