By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, email@example.com
Donald John Trump ain’t nothing new; his racist ilk is as old as the rats (and myriad diseases) Europeans brought to the Americas, from Columbus to his wee mum Mary, who immigrated from Scotland to the United States.
Indeed, we’ve seen his kind before, we’ve heard his language before.
His limited lexicon features words like “infestation” and phrases like “go back…from (where) they came,” which anti-semites, fascists and racists here and abroad have routinely wielded to facilitate oppression and spark genocide.
Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)
So, when Trump attacked Rep. Elijah Cummings last weekend, who represents the legendary Seventh Congressional District of Baltimore City and our great, but imperiled city as a whole, we certainly should not have been surprised. Although the Seventh is actually one of the wealthiest majority Black districts in the nation (it actually stretches from Baltimore City to parts of Baltimore and Howard Counties), we have many impoverished communities. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, Trump hates Black people and he hates poor people.
But, you know what he hates most? Black people that have the audacity to stand up to him.
That’s why Trump went in so hard on “The Squad” and told them to go back to Africa, because these four magnificent women of Color have been calling out this criminal on his B.S. ever since they arrived in D.C. Now, he goes after the venerable Cummings, the man who succeeded Kweisi Mfume and the iconic Parren Mitchell before him, representing the historic district. But, Trump’s racist attack on Cummings had less to do with rats and more to do with facts.
The fact is Cummings, the chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee, has methodically probed Trump’s corrupt practices and in the process has taken aim at his family. Under Cummings’ leadership, the Oversight Committee recently voted to authorize subpoenas for senior White House officials’ communications via private email accounts and mobile devices (sound familiar?), including Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Steve Bannon.
But, what also got under Trump’s mangy skin was Cummings, who as chair of Oversight, zealously and rightfully shamed and disparaged Kevin McAleenan, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), over the heinous treatment of migrant children by DHS.
Trump saw the image of Cummings “sass” an upstanding White man like McAleenan and probably thought to himself, Who does this n—-r from Baltimore think he is?
Former Republican strategist Rick Wilson, author of, Everything Trump Touches Dies, may have said it best this week via Twitter: “Why don’t you just use the n-word and get it over with? You’re almost there and you clearly want to,” Wilson wrote.
And although it seems clear Trump’s campaign strategy is to plunge the country into an all-out race war, his Republican Party has hardly uttered a mumbling word in protest of his overt racism, or in defense of their colleague Cummings (who has often transcended partisan divides in D.C.)
On the contrary.
During the Oversight Committee’s hearing with former Trump goon Michael Cohen back in February, it was Cummings who defended Freedom Party member and Birther Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who had been accused of a “racist act” by Squad member Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. In his own defense Meadows tearfully proclaimed, “my nieces and nephews are people of color,” so how could he possibly be racist? Cummings chimed in an acknowledged Meadows was his “best friend” in Congress, co-signing for his Birther buddy and rebuking the charge of racism against him.
But, after Trump called Cummings a racist (among other things), two days later, Meadows finally implemented Trump’s “very fine people, on both sides” loophole when he offered a lily livered, “defense” of his “friend” Cummings. He essentially said, (via a statement delivered by Republican former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during a segment on CNN!), `Elijah is not racist, but neither is Trump.’
Bro. Cummings, with friends like Meadows, who needs Trump?
At the end of the day, Trump’s rambling racist Twitter missive against Cummings and Baltimore are simply a distraction from the criminal activity of the most corrupt man ever to occupy the White House.
But, this is what I know for sure; West Baltimore, the original home of the Seventh District will only grow stronger and more resilient in the wake of this filthy animal’s attacks against us.
And after Trump is dead and long gone from the scene, West Baltimore will endure and prayerfully, thrive.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.