This past Friday in America's home, The White House, a sacred symbol of this nation's democracy, a home built with blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice of an enslaved people. The current president, Donald J. Trump addressed a group of 300 young black American citizens whose ancestors over the past 400 years were maligned, ignored, terrorized, stomped on, murdered, yet through all that abuse this nation heaped upon them. Our ancestors never receive the credit due to them for the massive contributions of building this nation. No United States President has ever stood before an audience and said what Trump told this group on Friday. Trump who seemingly would be the last person to make such a pronouncement told these young black men and women that their ancestors built this nation.
More specifically Trump said the following:
“African Americans built this nation,” the president said to applause. “You built this nation. You know, you’re just starting to get real credit for that, okay? I don’t know if you know that. You’re just starting to get — you built the nation. We all built it. But you were such a massive part of it — bigger than you were given credit for, but through generations of blood, sweat, and tears and — you deserve a government that defends your interests, protects your families and cares for our own citizens first.”
No Democratic President including Obama, Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Kennedy, Truman, Roosevelt, and Wilson had made such a pronouncement giving due credit to the millions upon millions of our black ancestors who delivered service without reward in building this nation. No Republican President including both Bushes, Reagan, Nixon, Taft, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland has ever stood before an audience and made such a pronouncement. It took the President least likely to make such a statement that honored the sacrifice that our ancestors endured in building this nation.
Did Donald J. Trump just open a door that every one of the preceding presidents before him refused to open? That door of course if the door to economic reparations for the children of our maligned ancestors. Did Donald J. Trump's statement taken in context announce to the majority of white citizens of this nation what they have refused to comprehend for over 4 centuries. That the United States of America wouldn't have ever reached the pinnacles of wealth without the sacrifices endured by our black ancestors while they built this nation without any true acknowledgment by the majority race of our ancestor's contributions. "African Americans built this nation" those five words could change the path of reparations for children of our black ancestors.
Why because no matter how maligned Donald J. Trump is right now he is still the President of the United States. That certainly carries some weight. The only President who stood before an audience and made a statement that powerful was Lyndon Johnson who stood before Congress and demanded that the Civil Rights Bill be passed in 1964. Yet even Johnson never acknowledged the fact that African Americans built this nation. Was Trump playing to the audience on Friday? Quite possibly. Was Trump attempting to divert attention away from his current impeachment troubles? Most likely. Is Trump simply off his rocker and made a statement that every United States President knows but is sworn to never publically acknowledge? Well, that must be taken into careful consideration. However, no matter the reason the door to reparation acknowledgment has been opened by a sitting President.
Never before in the history of this nation has these words be uttered; African Americans built this nation, by a President of this nation. For it to come from the lips of Donald Trump is damningly amazing. What do our black communities do about it? Do we ignore this opening or do we force those Democratic party leaders to dissuade us into believing Trump's crazy? I don't know but Donald J. Trump said it and we need to act on it quickly.