“Juneteenth”—June 19th—is celebrated by many African Americans as “Independence Day.” On June 19, 1865, the Union Army reached Texas, the last corner of the former Confederate states, and announced the end of slavery. While on July 4, 1776 most black Americans were enslaved, on June 19, 1865 they were all officially free.
Juneteenth is normally a time for rejoicing, but this year, Demos has chosen to consider the rights, opportunities, and commitments to racial redress that black people are losing because of the Trump administration. (Of course, numerous communities, including all of the American working class, are being harmed by Trump administration policies, but for Juneteenth we are focusing on the impact on African Americans.) Repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump appealed to black voters by asking, “What do you have to lose?” A year and a half into the Trump administration, we have enough evidence to answer the question definitively: everything. In nearly every major federal agency, the Trump administration has pursued policies harmful to black people. Here, we highlight some of the more egregious instances. The discussion below also illustrates the practice of social exclusion by the Trump administration. As Connie M. Razza states, “Social exclusion is a set of decisions and actions” by the “economically and politically powerful” to “[deploy] white supremacist and racist ideas to further concentrate their wealth and power. They have deputized others—including people who are not white—to enforce the social exclusion of black people through simple and seemingly individual acts, as well as through sweeping rules.”1 While the Trump administration has fanned the flames of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism, convincing many white, Christian Americans that they need to fear immigrants, Muslims, and African Americans,2 the richest 1 percent of Americans continue to amass wealth at a rapid pace.3
By Algernon Austin/DEMOS/fullarticle
Posted by The non-Conformist