Last week we didn’t have a podcast, but our respective teams made some noise, good and bad, in our absence. The Saints blew out the Bucs in their house on Sunday Night Football. They followed it up with another win against the 49ers. Unfortunately, Drew Brees went down with a rib injury and a collapsed lung, and will now be on injured reserve for a minimum of three weeks.
Batman’s Titans took care of the Bears only to follow it up with a 2nd half spanking against the Colts. Gostkowski missed YET another field goal that could’ve given the Titans momentum for a comeback. He has 8 misses on the year. But don’t look now, Tideking’s Raiders are looking like a playoff team. You can tell him his team is impressive all you want, but even HE won’t believe it.
During this hiatus, my Grandmother, Mildred E. Brown, passed away at the age of 90. She had a real bad stroke in December 2018, and after a lengthy rehab, it was determined she would need full time help for the remainder of her days. My family put her in a nursing home where my Aunt worked, and she was visited and taken care of just as if she was at home. Luckily, much of my family was able to celebrate her 90th birthday with her before the pandemic struck. When it hit, Mildred could not have visitors.
I can imagine how lonely she felt being in that room, and not seeing or touching her family. As we all have been doing during this pandemic, we Zoom called her to keep her spirits up, but my Aunt could tell she was becoming depressed. So last week, she was called home. Mildred had 9 children, 26 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren with 1 more on the way, and a great great grandchild was announced of being on the way as well.
She was a God-fearing woman. When Steve Harvey famously joked about growing up in the church, that was how my Mom, Aunts & Uncles grew up. She left a legacy on her family to have faith in the Lord and let him get you through whatever struggles you are going through. These memories and lessons came flooding back to me at her funeral. I didn’t expect to lose my composure and break down in the manner that I did, but there I was, lowering her coffin into her grave with God’s strength getting me through this task. My family may have lost a part of its foundation last week, but Mildred has given each of us our part in her mission to continue on her legacy.
The Donald Trump supporter was a sleeping giant we didn’t want to believe existed anymore. We got to a point in time where racism still existed, but it existed covertly. Since the Civil Rights Act, the nation moved with a momentum that consisted of an air of progressive unity with undertones of bigotry and prejudice. For some white folks, racism is the only card that they have left to play, and ever since Trump announced he was running for President, some folks felt reinvigorated to put their card on the table. It almost felt like we were on a pathway back to the pre-Civil Rights era.
While we can say that not all Trump supporters are racist. The question that has to be asked is how can one tolerate racism? White America has benefited from an institution of systemic racism that has firmly planted its roots in our nation for centuries. How are you going to correct a centuries old institution? Minority communities don’t get the same amount of government funding, the same low interest on bank loans, even if they do qualify. One group is poised to prosper out of the gate, while the other has to overachieve to just be the same as their counterpart.
White America is taught that the suburbs are safer when there are only a handful of minorities residing in them. Statistics show that when a predominantly white neighborhood approaches a 25% minority occupancy, you start to see signs of “white flight.” The first predominantly white neighborhood I lived in, I literally saw the majority of my white neighbors on my street alone, move away within 2 years. More minorities moved into the neighborhood and the same quality of life stayed consistent.
This same attitude reached the national stage once Trump was elected President. He literally saw this country as one big white suburb, and with the influx of immigrants coming into our country, there was no white flight solution. So he drums up the old race card and tells his base that Mexicans and Muslims are coming into this country and there very presence are bringing down the “property” value.
What I was always taught was that when you leave a bad situation, don’t turn your new situation into the same situation you just left. Much of the ancestors of White America left their home country to escape religious persecution, poverty, and to simply find a better way of life. Instead, the White America power structure of today is another version of 19th century Europe approaching the Industrial Age with only a handful of wealthy white men controlling nations.
Trump was successful at tapping into his base’s sense of nationalism, only he disguised it as Patriotism. He promised to keep the auto industry in America, and provide tax breaks to these companies who have the majority of their manufacturing plants overseas, to lure them back home. Outrageously, he promised to bring back the coal industry. The coal industry! A source of energy that we have progressively moved on from because we have found cleaner and healthier options, was poised for a comeback under the Trump administration.
Climate control policies that were put in place my President Obama, were rolled back and certain protected areas in our country were no longer protected by big business. If he wasn’t concerned about climate change, it was inevitable that we were pulling out of the Paris Accord. But the move I didn’t see coming was pulling the U.S. out of the World Health Organization (WHO) simply because we shared a high percentage of its budget with the rest of the world. I could understand if the WHO actively didn’t do shit, but they’ve vigorously contributed to rid the world of its most infectious diseases.
These tactics used by Trump awakened a part of our nation that long for the good old days where America depended on no one. With our dependency on foreign oil and many of our corporations using cheaper labor overseas. The misinformed and often uneducated Trump supporter was finally being heard.
We knew what Trump was capable of, but we were not looking forward to it. His goal was to get those memories of the old days flooding in and called his base into action. While the country for the most part has moved passed those days, these past four years have taught us to not think that we have moved so far ahead from our past. Just as my Grandmother’s memories and lessons came flooding back as I laid her in her resting place, I realized that there are changes to be made in my own life. There was a part of this nation feeling those memories and lessons coming back, and they decided to make changes to take their country back. Remember these Trump years and hope that the Biden administration can make the pivot, and began the process of healing. Don’t ever take for granted how divided we are as a nation.