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Trump Is 'Bout To Make Me Lose My Mind
1/18/2017 3:05:51 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Monday we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which became an official Federal holiday in 1983. I started the day off by attending the annual YWCA King Parade. It was a great day and great parade fit for a “King”. Later, I watched replays of Dr. King as a young minister and leader of the Civil Rights Movement. The replays triggered my anger meter and sent my pressure through the roof. I had to take a chill pill. How can anyone not be moved by such unfair treatment of a people who were treated less than the dogs that were let loosed upon them?

I am no Biblical scholar but I am reminded of this verse “there is nothing new under the sun”. Discrimination is not new. Not only have I watched injustices on television, I have been a part of discriminatory practices and history. I have been face to face with discrimination so I know what it looks like. I know what it feels like. I have been followed around stores, peeped at through clothes racks, charged excessive interests, denied loans, paid less for the same job as whites, denied promotions, trained whites to do the same job that I was doing and they were paid more than me, steered to certain communities when I wanted to buy a home, called girl when I was older than the young white girl who called me girl, handed money to cashiers at check-out who placed my change on the counter not wanting to touch my hands, made to wait at restaurants so the white family that came in after I did could be served and called a trouble maker because I refused to accept indignities and injustice. Stand your ground is nothing new in South Carolina and certainly not new to me. I have always stood my ground. When you stand your ground folks will set out on a mission to discredit you by ruining your reputation, your business and/or your ability to secure employment. Discrimination cuts deep.

As I watched television footage last night from the days of Bill Connor, Jim Clark and Governor Wallace, I had to take a deep breath. As I pressed the reverse button of my memory, I thought about Harvey Gantt and his struggle to enroll at Clemson as the first black and how Clemson has a Black quarterback that brought state honors and national distinction to the school. I thought about how voters had to confirm the number of bubbles in a bar of soap or men pay poll taxes before they could vote. I thought about the dogs turned loose on blacks seeking to vote and water hoses knocking them down because they dared to challenge the system for the right to vote. Although they were knocked down and attacked, they got back up and voted for the first black President. The denial of black voting rights is largely responsible for the election of this nation’s first black President. When black folks were pushed away from voting precincts, they pushed back even harder. President Obama will go down in history as one of the most accomplished presidents ever in spite of those that sought to discredit him. Remember, that’s what folks do when they can’t dig anything up on you. They make things up. King was called a communist and a womanizer because he went against the power structure.

In a few days, President-Elect Donald Trump, will be sworn in as President of these “divided states of America”. He will go down in history as the “tit for tat” and the “I will get you back, little kiddie President”. According to polls, Trump’s approval rating going into office is 44 points less than President Obama. His support base is crumbling and those that voted him into office are having second thoughts. Say what?? The inauguration is being boycotted by rich and poor, black and white, republicans and democrats, entertainers and athletes and the list goes on. President-elect Trump has appointed basically multimillionaires and billionaires to most major positions and cabinet posts. That is an indication of who he will serve. Billionaires know absolutely nothing about not having health care or even burial insurance. What do they know about going to sleep and waking up hungry? What do they know about picking up cans on the side of the road to cash in for a sandwich?

Black folk, y’all need to heed the handwriting on the wall. It is time to wake up. You have been sleeping much too long. Hibernation is for bears. If you are not a bear, you need to be about your forefathers' business. It is time to pick up your forefathers' torch and run with it. Don’t you let “Donald Trump turn you around, confuse your mind, turn you down, keep on marching, marching towards freedom land”.

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