Sean Yoes

By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
syoes@afro.com

Donald John Trump has checked out and I am neither shocked nor surprised.

It’s been a month since Trump decisively lost his bid to fully implement authoritarianism in America in what would have undoubtedly been a catastrophic second term. Now he spends 99% of his time convincing the members of his cult that he actually won and he is being cheated out of four more years because of “a rigged election.”

In Valdosta, Ga. on Dec. 5, in front of thousands of his cult members Trump said, “I’ve probably worked harder in the last three weeks than I ever have in my life…doing this,” he proclaimed. For a man who has told more than 25,000 lies in four years, Trump sure has a panache for saying the quiet part out loud. Indeed, the laziest (and perhaps most criminal) president in American history has been no paragon of hard work during his four failed years in the White House. But, he has spent almost all his waking hours (when he’s not watching television) trying desperately to overturn the results of the most secure election in U.S. history (according to his own administration) and nullify the votes of more than 80 million Americans.

Coup:“a sudden, violent and illegal seizure of power from a government.” The only difference from a traditional coup and what Trump is trying to do is there has been no violence, yet.

Since his election defeat Trump has gone from only part-time, to virtually a no-show at work with few public appearances. And it is neither shocking nor surprising to me that a sulking Trump has chosen to take a knee as the coronavirus pandemic, which he made worse by his inaction and ignorance a year ago, now rages out of control.

And America continues to lead the globe in coronavirus cases and deaths. There is little doubt that more than 300,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by the end of the year and a disproportionate number of those people will be Black and other people of color. However, in Europe this week they have already begun administering a coronavirus vaccine.

On Dec. 8, in Coventry, England a 90-year old woman named Margaret Keenan (originally from Northern Ireland) became the first person in the world to receive a fully tested and approved COVID-19 vaccine. The spritely nonagenarian received her shot in the arm a week away from her 91st birthday.

But, trust and believe it’s going to be a minute before 90-year old Bessie Jackson of West Baltimore receives her COVID-19 vaccine.

As we endure the onslaught of winter, Black people should realize we more than likely won’t be receiving a coronavirus vaccine en masse until the weather makes the transition from warm to hot in 2021.

And once the vaccine is readily available in the United States (some say the time is imminent) well, we, Black people are generally very distrustful of vaccines. In fact, only 42% of Black Americans said they would trust the COVID-19 vaccine according to a recent Pew poll. And for good reason. Most of us have learned at least in part about the heinous Tuskegee experiment from 1932 to 1972, and in Baltimore specifically many of us know about the plight of Henrietta Lacks (if you don’t know about these two chapters of Black American history I encourage you to read about them).

In other words, for the remainder of the fall and the duration of the winter we’re pretty much on our own. And we should act accordingly.

Wear your damn mask. Wash your damn hands. Stay in the house if you can.

As we wind down 2020, in this most perilous of years, we who are in the number (as the church folk say) need to count our blessings perhaps like never before.

Take care of yourself and take care of your people, because things eventually are going to get better.

Prayerfully, after the last four years they can’t get much worse.

Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Senior Reporter and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor