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Black prominence threatened by Harvard ouster


Conservative right attacks Claudine Gay

By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

One of the most in-your-face and undeniable moments that shows the direction most Republicans and so-called conservatives are attempting to take America is the utter witch hunt meant to destroy Claudine Gay, who is now the former president of Harvard. Make no mistake about it; it was a witch hunt.

A Black woman leading one of the most prominent educational institutions in the United States of America? The powers-that-be couldn’t stand too long for that. A Black man, in their racist eyes, desecrating the White House and having the audacity to place his name on the very health care that has rescued countless people from complete and utter misery and even death, including the majority of white people, is, in their view, as repugnant as anyone else.

With racist conservatives repeatedly trying to repeal Obamacare, we are reminded of a scene from the popular sitcom The Jeffersons, which aired in the 1970s. In the scene, George saves the life of a member of the Ku Klux Klan. When the racist realized that it was a Black man who had performed the lifesaving act, with bitter and resentful eyes, he declared, “You should have let me die.” They’d rather white people die than choose a life-saving health plan under the Affordable Care Act.

While President Biden continues to trail in popular polls and hopes that the MAGA movement will help make America realize its mistakes, Black America must remember that it is not Biden or the people who look like him whose lives and livelihoods are in jeopardy. Black Americans have everything to lose, and African Americans can’t help but feel they’re losing.

And who has pretended not to know the true meaning of Make America Great Again? It implies that Claudine Gay must know her place. It means that George Floyd deserved a knee in his neck, though they’d just assumed the police officers had used a noose. It means women have no say over anything, including and especially their own bodies. It means that affirmative action is the slave master grabbing the whip—affirmatively acting, if you will—when the African American is out of line.

An event that took place in 2020—and no, it had nothing to do with George Floyd—highlighted all of this. The video is infuriating. A Black woman was hogtied and forced to sit headfirst, legs up,  and behind her on the floor of a police cruiser in Aurora, Colorado, for more than 20 minutes.

It becomes more abhorrent when, as she desperately calls out that she can’t breathe and begs for mercy from the white officer, she resorts to calling him “Master.” The bodycam footage of Shataeah Kelly was released a few months before Floyd’s murder. Officer Levi Huffine was fired and, of course, appealed his termination because, after all, the Black woman who called him master was just a slave.

A brand-new board game honoring the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, which started New Year’s weekend, once again highlights the brazenness of white supremacy. On the third anniversary of the Capitol attack, a game called “Storm the Capitol—TrueAnon Edition” hit stores.

To win the game, you need to collect 100 ballots and reach the last room, where Trump awaits players. He plans to use a helicopter to change the 2020 election results in his favor “or ratify the real results of the 2020 election,” so he can claim victory.

Consider also that, over the last three years, 18 states have adopted laws restricting what teachers can say about race and the U.S. history of race relations. White fear of losing power has jeopardized not just democracy but also the plight of African-Americans. Defining African nations as “sh*thole countries,” Trump also attacked Mexicans as criminals, demanded a ban on Muslims, and dubbed Charlottesville white nationalists “very fine people.”

Trump displayed no remorse for the deadly violence he incited during the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021. Impeached twice during his presidency, Trump’s been indicted four times, bragged about sexual assault, and a judge ruled he committed massive business fraud. All of this has left the Black community uneasy as the political situation changes, causing concern for both ordinary people and prominent figures. The potential return of Trump and his administration’s policies may worry many African-Americans. However, people are starting to consider a wider range of perspectives.

Many Black citizens have concerns about Trump’s promise of authoritarian rule, fearing a loss of more civil liberties and an uptick in racial tensions. That concern may also lie within the ranks of wealthy African-Americans and celebrities. Despite their wealth and influence, any apprehension from that crowd should stem from the realization that, historically, racism has spared no one.

Shataeah Kelly called a white cop “master” because she felt desperate, showing the power that Trump and his supporters aim to have. The wealth and influence of a few Black Americans won’t mean anything to racists who, just like after the Civil War, seized all they could from Black people and will undoubtedly be positioned to do it again.

After all, they have the Supreme Court in their favor, with laws being written and other protections struck down. If you’re not yet awake, you may as well keep sleeping because the freedoms that you now enjoy might end a year from now when Trump is sworn in.