Identity Politics?

Having a seat at the table and being offered a meal is different. It is becoming harder and harder for me to watch the dream of the American melting pot being turned into a bad stew. While President Trump spreads his veiled racist message of fear and loathing to every cul-de-sac and suburb in America, the pot of discontent continues to boil. Yes, things have changed, people no longer patrol the streets of America in white hoods they now do it in red caps. Am I accusing every Trump supporter of being a racist? No. Oddly though, whenever you see incendiary race-based statements like that of Congressman Clay Higgins who wrote and then deleted a Facebook post that read, “One way ticket fellas…Have your affairs in order…I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand,” it is from the mouth of a Republican. The photo that accompanied his post was of an unidentified black militia group. When the group that showed up was a group of white paramilitary toy soldiers, Higgins deleted the post.

Michael Caputo former Trump surrogate in the 2016 campaign and now a top spokesperson for the Department of Human Services warned of “sedition” and alerted Trump supporters that if the President is successful in his bid to be re-elected, The drills that you've seen are nothing. If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies, and gentleman — because it's going to be hard to get.” The once libertarian based Republican Party has been reduced to a fawning group of Constitutional subversives in a  game of following the dear leader. For weeks, Mr. Trump has been using the fear of a gang of Willie Horton(s) clad in Black Lives Matter t-shirts waving Antifa flags to plunder and pillage the suburbs.

When in fact, the city of Portland is not on fire, and dwellers of the white suburbs are not hiding in their basements, hoarding cans of Spam.  What this attack on anyone not subservient to Mr. Trump is really, is what conservatives say they hate—Identity Politics. When members of the rainbow of America exercise political intelligence it is called identity politics. Courting the black vote, in conservative circles, is somehow frowned upon as divisive politics. In contrast, deference and legitimacy are paid to those in search of the white working-class vote. Identity politics is only referenced when talking about the Latin or  Black voter and is generally a euphemism for fear.  A lot of attention is paid to the so-called flyover country and the coastal elites. As a member of a marginalized community, I can tell you the radar has purposefully been turned off like a bodycam when it comes to searching out black people [politicos] in America.

Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva issued a challenge to basketball player LeBron James. ‘Step up to the plate’ and match the $175,000 in reward money to find the cowardly and heinous criminal who ambushed two police officers. “I know you care about law enforcement. You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African American community. And I appreciated that. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across professions, across races, creeds, and I'd like to see LeBron James step up to the plate and double that,” said Villanueva.

On its face, one might look at his statement and say, ‘yeah LeBron, how about that?’ I cannot speak for Mr. James but I pray for the full recovery of the two officers and that their assailant is caught, and punished to the fullest. The  African American community knows the most dangerous persons in our community are those who would shoot a cop.  This does not, however, place the onus on black men and women to pay a surrogate penance. If that be the case white America; where do I line up for my check?  Do not perpetuate racism with misplaced anger, fear, and resentment.  

Vote in 2020 for Change.