What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 15, 2017

T-Minus 5 days Until The Beginning Of The Trump Presidency (Race And America)

Donald Trump will be sworn in in a under a week.  As we ponder that panic, let's look back at a few episodes from the past 8 (or so) years - all with the understanding that Trump would never/could never be able to accomplish any of it.

After the panic, we should ponder what we're losing.

A few months before the 2008 election, then-Senator Barack Obama felt it necessary to explain his relationship with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Seems that the good Reverend Wright preached a few things that caused all who heard them to be seized with trepidation and dread (or at least they acted like it).

Obama went beyond and used it as a frame to talk about race in America.  He said:
"We the people… in order to form a more perfect union…."

Two hundred and twenty-one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars, statesmen and patriots who had traveled across the ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed, but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution—a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part—through protests and struggles, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience, and always at great risk—to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this presidential campaign: to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for president at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together—unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction: towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren.
We may not come from the same place but we all want to move in the same direction, right?

And yet, from the Washington Post we read:
The idea of a so-called Muslim registry or Muslim database has been back in the news in recent days after a pair of high-profile Donald Trump supporters rekindled it.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — formerly rumored to be a candidate for Trump's attorney general — talked to Reuters on Tuesday about the Trump administration implementing one. By Wednesday, Trump surrogate Carl Higbie cited Japanese American internment camps during World War II as “precedent” for doing such a thing.
But it can't happen here, can it?

Perhaps it can - now we should ponder what we're losing in a week.