On June 12, 1987 President Ronald Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall in Germany and said to the head of Russia: Mr. Gorbachev “Tear down this wall”. The Berlin Wall was built to keep his people in. Now we have a presidential candidate in Donald Trump preaching how he is going to build a wall to keep Mexicans from coming into the United States, which, in essence, will also prevent us from going to Mexico. Reagan also told Gorbachev that if you seek peace and prosperity then this wall would not get you there.
I have seen walls built in America to make sure Blacks did not come in contact with Whites in the form of rail road tracks, highways, interstate freeways and other barriers — all man made. In San Bernardino, those barriers that physically separated the Westside’s Black and Latino population from the rest of town were recently torn down when the freeway was rebuilt to create safer on and off-ramps.
Republicans love to claim President Abraham Lincoln; they say they are the party of Lincoln because he freed the enslaved. Lincoln warned the South in his inaugural address: “The government will not assail you…. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it."
Lincoln, whether he wanted to or not, was saying I took an oath to defend the civil rights and freedom of every citizen regardless of race, gender, religious belief, or who they chose to love. What is frightening about presidential candidate Donald Trump is his lack of understanding of that ideal. Like many of you, I’m not too sure what he will do after he takes the oath of office if his campaign rhetoric is any indication. Its hard to believe he can “make America great (again)” when his rhetoric would return us to the days of Jim Crow laws and legal discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and religion and his own business practices would return us to the days of slave labor.
Now Donald Trump, as a politician-type, is not new. The Democrats had Governor George Wallace of Alabama running for president and the voters had to decide what to do. The voters rejected his rhetoric of segregation yesterday, segregation today and segregation forever. Now we are faced with that same kind of rhetoric and the majority of Republicans have to decide on what they should do.
I personally know many Republicans who do not share the beliefs of Mr. Trump and will quietly not support him just like many Democrats who will do the same against Secretary Hillary Clinton. You must elect a president and other officials who are inclusive in their policy making. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Muslims, the LGBT community, and women regardless of race cannot afford the luxury of not choosing a side.