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Est. April 5, 2002
February 16, 2017 - Issue 686

Trump’s Invisible Man

"Donald Trump governs as if only
white males exist.  Just take a look
at his department cabinet heads
he’s selected.  Nothing about it
remotely represents this country’s
populace nor does it represent any
semblance of Black America.  But
of course, that’s his intent."

Donald Trump has been president now for about a month. In that short time, he has effectively wrecked the perception of the office of the presidency and flustered the world. The worst part of all of that is that no one can stop him. Being that he’s riding with Republicans as they’ve gerrymandered a majority in both chambers of congress, he’s engineering a gas-filled train full of dog sh#@% speeding downhill with hair on fire and it’s crashing through the dazed and confused poor people of the United States. The under story that we are intentionally ignoring (collectively and otherwise) is the invisible man at the bottom of that hill.

In an administration less than 30-days old, Donald Trump has drawn the ire of just about everyone imaginable. Aside from his clumsy attacks on the mainstream media industry, he’s shown a disdain for the tech Industry, constantly insulted the entertainment elite, disrespected the Jewish community and assaulted the working class while confusingly claiming to be a friend to each respective group. But there’s been one constituency he’s yet to run roughshod over, if only because he’s effectively ignored them: Black Americans.

In his history, he has enacted great affronts upon Black America and is doing so today; he’s effectively done so without even specifically mentioning them. It is true that he took a hot second to recognize Black History Month - by insulting its existence - by referring to the annual observation as “African American History Month” (though, I’ve learned The White House always has). In speaking his preferred terminology of the cultural and historical recognition, he effectively stripped Black people of their power of self-determination. He ignorantly referred to the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass as if he was still alive! “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice,” the so-called president said.

Trump made an unwittingly insensitive comment that demonstrates how irrelevant Blacks are in his worldview. The publication The Atlantic asked, simply: “Does Donald Trump actually know who Frederick Douglass was?” and said that Trump’s remarks were “transparently empty.” I watched him read his Black History recognition statement from a cue card which clearly demonstrated his lack of passion for the annual event and lack of compassion for the people for which it’s intended to honor.

I’ve got to wonder, who briefed Trump? Or even more concerning for me, can you truly brief an idiot? The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank joked that Trump “raised the dead.” From his attempt to ban Muslims from immigrating to America to his covert support for Russia, he’s shown himself to be no more than a reactionary and imbecilic figurehead.

It’s been proven clear that the Office of the President is occupied with an often contradictory plethora of incoherence. Donald Trump has presided over an administration pockmarked with publicly tendered falsehoods, unprovoked attacks and defensive mischaracterizations, while all along positing to the American people that all is well and that this is what the American people want, when nothing can be farther from the truth.

Aside from the fact that a majority of the voting populace of the United States’ citizenry did not vote for this so-called elected leader, Donald Trump governs as if only white males exist. Just take a look at his department cabinet heads he’s selected. Nothing about it remotely represents this country’s populace nor does it represent any semblance of Black America. But of course, that’s his intent.

If you are of the mind that the country is going in the “wrong direction,” and that the culture of America is counter to all that is right and good, then you probably blame the diverse band of characters that have administered policies over the United States’ recent 50 year progression. Women and people of color—including Black people—are responsible for that progressive change. Only when white males exclusively take the reins does the country slip into recessions, fiscal crises, or economic downturns. When we look back at the eras of Nixon, Reagan and Bush II, we see corruption that destroyed stability and grew collective anxiety. The saving grace has consistently been the inclusion of minority minds.

Trump’s cabinet has a smaller percentage of women and nonwhites than the first cabinets of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush. When Mr. Trump’s nominees are confirmed, women and nonwhites will hold five of 22 cabinet or cabinet-level positions. Only one of those people are Black. If that’s not telling you something (without saying a word), then check your pulse…you’re probably dead. And if you’re not dead, you will be after Trump “invisibles” your [explicative].

Oh, speaking of those five women and non-whites in Trump’s cabinet, they’ll also be in some of the lowest-ranking positions. None of them are in the so-called inner cabinet, the four positions in place since George Washington’s presidency: the attorney general and the secretaries of state, Treasury and defense (formerly called the secretary of war). If that doesn’t demonstrate how little he regards your ability to negotiate the difficult, nothing will. There was never even published Black people on his long list! Now that’s what invisible looks like…do you see it?

For years, Black Americans have been, at the least, invisible to Donald Trump, unless the context was centered on crime and punishment. You might recall some years back when real estate mogul Trump was at the front of the pack calling for the literal blood of Black folk. Four black teenagers and another Latino teen were charged and jailed on shaky evidence after confessing to the crime under intense and suspect questioning, and within two weeks following the attack, Trump took out a full-page ad in four city newspapers advocating for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

But what we know, is that, these five young men, known as the Central Park Five, were vindicated in 2002, when their convictions were vacated after a convicted murderer and rapist confessed to the crime — a confession that was corroborated by DNA evidence. (DNA was never found connecting any of the Central Park Five to the crime.) The Central Park Five were eventually awarded a $41 million settlement from New York City in 2014. Trump? Loser…

As a matter of fact, during Trump’s campaign for the presidency, his sole recognition of Black America zeroed in on gangs, drug dealers and deteriorated urban communities that needed a strong dose of Trump-led federal intervention. Executing police powers upon the most vulnerable people in this land is a dream come true for supporters of Donald Trump. Law enforcement is a sure means to making any chosen class of people invisible.

This so-called president has chosen racists, rogues and liars to lead your interests, and its doubtful that you are resisting. Going along to get along is a sure recipe for becoming invisible. Just look at the National Security adviser he chose: Gen. Michael Flynn, one of Trump’s strongest supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign, was forced out after a controversy involving his communications with the Russian government. According to Fox News, Flynn did not inform administration officials about the fact that he was in frequent contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period, including on the day that President Obama slapped sanctions on the Russian government. Then he lied about it. These are “the smartest guys in the room?” Well, at least he wasn’t Black, right?

Hopefully you get my point. If you don’t, I just hope don’t wait until you’re made invisible to do so. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Tweet him @socialspeaks. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers