By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editorsyoes@afro.com

Last week when reports of the Trump administration’s sanctioned separation of undocumented immigrant children from their parents first erupted nationally, I had a conversation via Facebook with my friend Merrick Moses, a community leader who happens to be a transgender man.

Here is the wider context of our exchange; I wrote a Facebook post on June 20 with the heading, Do Dems have any f—— fight in them at all, on ANYTHING?! For the record, out of more than 100 replies to that question, less than a handful of people said “yes,” but, even those people offered caveats and conditions (most name checked Rep. Maxine Waters and Sen. Kamala Harris, both from California, as examples of Dem outliers, and I agree with that assessment).

But, specifically, the dialogue between Moses and me included my reference to a commentary I wrote on June 9 (The Race War Will Not Be Televised). After hearing the reports of Brown babies being ripped from the arms of their mothers, as African babies were stolen from their mothers for centuries in the Americas during the Transatlantic slave trade, I said to Moses, the race war is happening right now.

Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)

His reply literally took my breath away; “Its bad…I keep telling my LGBTQ family, if he is locking babies in cages, what will he do to us? This man is evil.”

Let that sink in… “if he is locking babies in cages, what will he do to us?”

It’s a harrowing question for every disenfranchised community in America, especially when you ponder the depths of Trump’s moral depravity; for Black people and other people of color “What’s past is prologue.” From millions of indigenous North Americans wiped out by disease and war since the arrival of Europeans to the continent, to millions of enslaved Africans, the systematic annihilation, subjugation and dehumanization of “the other” has historically been the American way. But, dehumanization typically comes first.

From the first moments after Trump descended the escalator of Trump Tower June 15, 2015, he began his campaign of dehumanization of Hispanic and Latino communities, calling them “rapists” and “murderers.”

In recent days, in the wake of his so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policy, Trump has used the word “infestation” to describe the exodus of people from Central America into the United States. Rats, mice and other vermin “infest” homes; apparently so do three-year old toddlers from Honduras. His administration’s woeful response to, and some argue willful, neglect of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, may have contributed to the death of thousands, despite the White House’s “official” death toll of 64.

His ongoing attack on people of African ancestry has included his description of African nations and Haiti as “sh*thole countries.” Trump has declared moral equivalency between Neo Nazis and those who protested against them in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has labeled NFL players protesting police brutality and racism as “sons of bitches.”

As for my friend Merrick, Trump has tried to ban the participation of the transgender community from the military; hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, and specifically Black transgender people, have risen significantly since the 45th president took office.

With each new Trump abomination, it seems like millions of Americans keep looking around, as if any moment, somebody is going to handcuff Trump and our collective nightmare will be over. Don’t be fooled; No one from any disenfranchised community in America should look for relief from this president, ever.

When Hurricane Katrina displaced millions and killed almost 2,000 mostly Black, mostly poor, people along the Gulf Coast in August 2005, the mantra of those trapped in the hellish conditions of the New Orleans Superdome or on their boiling rooftops was “They aren’t coming to save us.”

In the age of Trump, millions of Black and Brown Americans, the poor, the working poor and the LGBTQ, would do well to embrace that mantra because, “…if he’s locking babies in cages, what will he do to us?”

Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore Editor.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor