A serious question

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

During the rise and fall of Donald Trump both political parties developed Trump derangement.

The Rise

The American Spectator, a conservative publication, first used the term Trump derangement during the 2016 presidential primary to describe “ruling class Republicans” who found Trump uncouth and unfit for the presidency. Then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters “deplorables”, which meant racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. This encouraged derangement toward Trump’s growing base.

After Clinton’s 2016 presidential defeat, Trump derangement intensified.

Days after the election, ABC reported: Tens of thousands protest Trump’s victory — 124 people were arrested. “Not My President” demonstrations were in 15 major cities across the United States. ABC stated these demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but ABC also reported damage, vandalism, highway shutdowns, fires, and injuries to police and protesters. …

Looking Back

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jéan Béller on Unsplash

After the Baltimore riots in 2015 I wrote a piece called — Baltimore: When the future looks back. I stated the following.

Imagine. In 2020 a headline reads — Baltimore: Its impact five years later. The article retells the story: Black man died in police custody (Freddie Gray), police were suspended, there was an investigation, riots broke out, the investigation was completed, the police officers were charged with felonies, and the people of Baltimore cheered.

Then the article described the past five days in 2020 after another black man was killed by the police in an American city. Riots erupted during the course of a police probe to determine whether or not to indict the officers involved. After several clashes between protesters/rioters and the police, gunfire was exchanged. The result: protesters/rioters and police officers were dead, a state of emergency was declared, and the National Guard entered to enforce a curfew. …

Can this education tragedy be blamed on racial discrimination or the legacy of slavery?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Walter E. Williams, professor, economist, author, and syndicated columnist, died at the beginning of the month. He was 84-years-old. His last column was called: Black Education Tragedy is New. Williams listed the following BET episodes.

1). Several years ago, Project Baltimore investigated Baltimore’s school system and their findings were tragic. In 19 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, out of 3,804 students only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 5 Baltimore high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math or reading. Despite these deficiencies 70% of the students graduate. …

Between reforming the baton and reducing the bullet, there’s been an extreme problem that barely gets attention

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Recently, Former President Barack Obama said, “I guess you can use a snappy slogan like defund the police, but you lost a big audience the minute you say it … If you instead say let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s being treated fairly … Suddenly a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you.”

Obama’s comments didn’t discourage proponents of defunding the police it disappointed them.

Proponents of defunding the police know police departments have undergone reform for decades, but unarmed black people are still being killed by the police at disproportional rates. …

What’s accomplished by having an administration that looks like America?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

President-elect Joe Biden told the American people, “My administration’s going to look like America, not just my staff, the administration from the vice president straight down through cabinet members to major players within the White House and the courts.”

That sounds good, but what’s accomplished by having an administration that looks like America?

The President-elect’s statement reinforced a previous pledge — to have an unrelenting commitment to diversity. Diversity is multifaceted, but Biden was referring to Title VII diversity. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. (Today the diversity doctrine includes other groups.) However, prohibiting discrimination was the easy part. …

Descending from ideas to insults

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Reno Laithienne on Unsplash

Before the turn of the century the term “controversial” was reserved for daring individuals that injected the public discourse with original or contrarian ideas. Whenever a US President selected such a person for an executive position it started a controversy that put two very simple but fundamentally different questions on a collision course.

1). Are the ideas actually controversial?

2). Are the ideas too controversial for the public?

In 1993 President Bill Clinton selected two black women, Lani Guinier and Joycelyn Elders, for positions in the Clinton administration. …

Does the Laquan McDonald cover-up permanently disqualify Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel from future public service?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Nuno Silva on Unsplash

Democratic president-elect Joe Biden didn’t promise a post-Trump “return to normalcy”, but he did promise to return professionalism and expertise to the executive branch. Therefore, Biden considered former Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, for a cabinet position. Emanuel has a mixed track record, but a mixed track record isn’t a bad report card, unless there’s a scandal.

Emanuel’s detractors insisted his handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting disqualified him from the new administration that has pledged to combat systemic racism. (McDonald was a black teenager with a knife and he was shot by a white police officer.)

The Chicago Sun-Times reported, “Attorneys for the city fought against the release of the video that showed the 17-year-old’s murder, only to have a Cook County judge order it release months after Emanuel had secured his second term in a runoff election.” After the video was seen the New York Times reported, “Cover-ups of misconduct had rarely been made so plain as in the discrepancy between the officers’ account of the killing and what the video later showed.” (Sixteen officers provided false statements, exaggerating the threat posed by McDonald.) …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In 2011 Kamala Harris became a triple first. The first woman, the first African-American, and the first South Asian American to be sworn in as California’s Attorney General. Those aren’t my labels for Harris. That’s how California’s Department of Justice described her on their website. Actually, Harris’ mother is Indian and her father is Jamaican. Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 and decided to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. However, as a presidential candidate, her personal and professional identities were attacked by different camps during the primary.

The first camp acknowledged Harris as a woman of color, who identified with the “black experience”, but since Harris didn’t descend from black American slaves, she wasn’t a representative of what’s traditionally known as the black community. This camp stated they rejected identity politics for agenda politics. Their agenda (which had everything to do with identity) was reparations for slavery and they weren’t going to support Harris just because she was a woman of color. …

Will shifting the focus of “The Talk” eliminate “The Question”?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

The Talk

After the 2014 police shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the mainstream media devoted a lot of time covering a specific speech black parents give their children called — The Talk.

The media described The Talk as a list of “do’s and don’ts” black parents must tell their children in order to prevent them from being harmed or even killed during a police encounter.

However, after two deadly police encounters in 2020 involving a black man and a black woman — George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — CNN’s John Blake, asked what preventive lessons can “The Talk” instill now? …

Trump or Trend?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

During the presidential campaign season, Democratic nominee Joe Biden made a distinction between the Hispanic community and the black community. Biden stated the Hispanic community was “incredibly diverse” unlike the black community.

Biden explained, there’s a range of conflicting priorities among Hispanics from Florida to Arizona, and he had to sell his agenda to individual Hispanics to get their vote. Meanwhile, polls showed President Trump had — record-high — black support, but Biden felt he didn’t have to sell anything to individual blacks. Biden was convinced the black community, i.e., …



J. Pharoah Doss is a columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store