What If President Obama Had Been President-Elect Donald Trump?
Jeff Sessions, Mike Pompeo, Betsy DeVos, Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus…it’s hard to say if President-elect Donald Trump is building a cabinet or creating one impressive Legion of Doom. Either way, most folks appears to be cool with it. In fact, there was even a segment on CNN recently in which panelists casually debated whether or not Trump should denounce some of his supporters more interesting philosophies.
Yes, this actually happenend. And I guess the normalization is to be expected. I mean, Trump is our president-elect. Folks did vote for him. And there is a significant amount of the county who agrees with him.
And if it was our side (the radical Left) who had been elected to office, we would do the same. Right?
We already know what would happen if President Barack Obama had been a brash, unapologetic “nationalist” like Trump and his crew.
We already know what the national response would have been if President Obama had run on a Black Lives Matter platform – and miraculously won?
We know what Republicans, the media and ordinary citizens would have said if he nominated someone like the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and The Nation as his head of Homeland Security? Or had he filled his cabinet with some of his other alt-Left friends like Al Sharpton, Quentin Young (the most radical single payer healthcare advocate in the country), Bill Ayers or George Soros.
We don’t need a crystal ball to know what could have happened if there was no beer summit. And President Obama had righteously stopped at his condemnation of the Cambridge police department officer who, without cause, harassed Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home. Nor do we need to read tea leaves to know just what would have happened had President Obama yelled back, “Your daddy is a lie” instead of playing it cool during the State of the Union address when Rep. Joe Wilson screamed “You lie.”
And although we are no expert, we all could make a pretty good guess at what would have happened had he stood up to the Republicans and not accepted Environmental Czar Van Jones’ resignation, after it was revealed that, in the past, he had affiliations with the 9/11 conspiracy “truthers” (and once called Republicans “a–holes”).
We didn’t have to imagine what would have happened if during his 2012 interview with Black Enterprise Magazine he said, “I’m Black, proud and here for Black folks” instead of what he actually said: “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.” Or if he’d skipped lecturing Black folks at Morehouse and instead went to Wisconsin or Iowa to give the same sort of “pull your pants up” speech to poor disgruntled white folks.
We don’t have to imagine any of it because, for eight years straight, we saw exactly what happened to President Obama, even as he was doing his best to compromise and make peace.
But of course, we were never in danger of anything radical ever happening anyway – and not just because President Obama is a centralist. And it’s not just because the alt-right would have stopped him, even if President Obama would have been the kind of Black radical politician we were hoping for. But because some of President Obama’s biggest obstructors were folks who claim to be on our side. Like remember what happened when President Obama’s pastor of 20 years Rev. Jeremiah Wright went viral after video surfaced of him talking about chickens coming home to roost and how God should not bless America but instead, “Got-damn America”?
Here’s a refresher if you need one:
It wasn’t just the alt-right who condemned the then-Senator Obama for his affiliation with Rev. Wright. Instead it was the Democrats and progressives – our allies – who told President Obama he had to choose between Black radical thought and the presidency. More specifically, Hillary Clinton who on the ’08 campaign trail said: “Given all that we have heard and seen, he would not have been my pastor.”
And yet President-elect Donald Trump was free to seriously consider his pastor – the Liberty College President Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr – for the position of head of the Department of Education (before deciding upon the equally-bad DeVos).
And no one is threatening to burn the country down…
And it’s not just the ability to appoint whom you like to cabinet positions and it all be treated by many in the media as normal that’s problematic. It’s not just because the collective of Black folk have to work twice as hard and be twice as good as our mediocre white counterparts in order to even be taken serious. It ain’t just that because Black folks – even those among of us who have ascended to the highest office in the land – often have to be respectful to people who don’t want to respect us. And that we have to assimilate and buy into beliefs that are contrary to our pursuits of freedom and even survival. And we have to be poised, graceful and docile even as white folks have the audacity to be blatant about their beliefs – no matter who they offend or even oppress. The worst part of watching Donald Trump select his cabinet is realizing that even when we – our supposed side – had the chance, particularly when we had a Black man in the White House and House and Senate full of Democrats, we could never have pulled off a radical political agenda, even if we wanted too.
For those who actually needed proof, this is what White supremacy already is and looks like.
Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and the reigning queen of unpopular opinions. She is also from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.