Yesterday, I started a fictional letter to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar regarding her statement that Donald Trump was this nation's absolute worse President. In that letter, I ended with the 17th President Andrew Johnson, who was only 1 vote from being impeached because of his racist actions that were directed at the recently freed slaves.
It was Johnson who could be considered the President who took it upon himself to deny our black ancestors a fighting chance of economic opportunities by taking back land that was given to those ancestors as a result of Field Order #15. The edict that leads to the term 40 acres and a mule. So, in my mind no doubt Andrew Johnson is number on the hit parade of worse Presidents.
You would have to say that our black ancestors had at least moderate success under the presidency of Ulysses Grant. Why, because the was during the time of black reconstruction. The election of 1876 was the beginning of the end of black reconstruction. If you read the book The Facts of Reconstruction by Congressman John R. Lynch it will detail how the presidential administrations of Rutherford Hayes, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Howard Taft were no friends of our black ancestors. I mean Theodore Roosevelt actually invited Booker T. Washington to the White House for a meal. The southern legislators were so up in arms that Teddy never attempted that feat again.
The reality of those presidential administrations was that they virtually ignored the mob violence that was being inflicted on our black southern ancestors. They ignored in many cases convict-leasing, peonage, sharecropping abuses, and lynchings that were running rampant in the former confederate rebel states by whites on the black citizenry. The executive branch of government literally closed the eyes of justice and allowed the enslavement of black citizens throughout the nation. I would ask that you read The Capitol Men to get a sense of how our rights were being snatched from us from the halls of American government.
The worse President in the 20th century, in my opinion, was one of the most educated of our nation's presidents, Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was a dastardly individual who created the atmosphere of hate that still exists in his nation up to this day. It was Wilson who segregated federal buildings, it was Wilson who supported the KKK's rebirth, it was Wilson who had the audacity to show D.W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation movie in the people's house. I mean Trump is a terrible president but he isn't anyways close to Wilson, who was supposed to be a brilliant, articulate individual. Wilson used his brilliance to oppress and belittle black citizens. Trump may fiend intellectual brilliance but he hardly can fool any conscious person of that fact. Woodrow Wilson was brilliant but he was a race-baiter, a race-hater, a pure bigot with a bright mind. If you read Red Summer you will understand the atmosphere that Wilson created that lead to the race wars of 1919.
The presidents that followed Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover were no supporters of our black ancestors either. The country was still abashed in public lynchings and mob violence. The Civil War Amendments were still only paper tigers with no true enforcement by either the legislative or executive branches of government. I mean you need only read from the writings of Dubois, Johnson, and other leading voices of that period to get the sense that the negro problem was a straight out invisible problem to these men. I would say that ignoring lynchings and mob violence is worse than anything Trump does by his speeches.
I could say this that Trump is the worse President for black Americans since the end of the Hoover Administration. Yet, FDR didn't create the Social Security System initially for black Americans. The vast majority of blacks at the implementation of Social Security worked as farm laborers and domestic workers both groups of workers were not a part of the system. Truman integrated the Armed Forces but he was no true friend of black Americans. Because even during his administration black bodies were being murdered and not one white person was ever convicted of the crime. Eisenhower was in office during the period where Emmitt Till was savagely murdered. Did he or his administration step in to support the conviction of Emmitt's murderers? You should read the book The Blood of Emmitt Till to get a better understanding of the atmosphere of racial hatred that created privilege whites enjoyed in 1955.
I will say that Kennedy and Johnson had civil rights agendas but neither had a sense that reparations were needed to solve the race issue in America. Wasn't it the Reagan administration that flooded our black communities with drugs and weapons to fund there illicit foreign policy adventures? Don't you think those actions were far more dangerous than Trump's? I don't give any president a pass in relation to supporting the black agendas. I respect Jimmy Carter who at least had a moral compass. Yet, how can anyone forget that Bill Clinton created the legislation that made mass incarceration of black men a commonality? This nation has had numerous presidents far worse than Donald Trump. He is simply the last in a long line of presidents who have been unresponsive to black issues. That is simply my opinion. One thing is for sure we cannot allow Trump another 4 years to implement his failed policies. So I ask that we go out and do something about it, VOTE HIM OUT IN 2020.