I was unaware that Malia Obama is closely associated with Faith Mission Missionaries. I usually don’t follow the soft news. But I learned about it when she shared a post I shared, that my daughter shared first on her Facebook page. The post featured a New York Times article about Trump’s obsession with Barack Obama. My post, with a comment, was shared by someone in the mission on the mission’s page, to Malia’s President page. And Malia shared it again from her President page. Of course I replied with an emphatic thank you,
But this musing isn’t about Malia, her mission, or her dad. It’s about the article written by the Times speaking to what the African American community has been saying since Donald Trump started his march to the White House. The Times article argues, rather convincingly, that President Trump’s obsession with Obama, and anything related to Obama, is driving almost every policy decision this president makes. It’s an obsession that is quickly causing our allies across the globe to shake their heads and wonder what’s going on in this country.
It’s almost as if Trump will not rest until the name of Barack Obama, and anyone or anything related to him, is written out of the annals of history. What makes this so disturbing is that it’s also as if he has associated anything to do with Obama, which is all bad, with all blacks in this country. If not, then why is he desperate to convince us that our lives are so deplorable? And who do we have to thank for that? Obama. That’s like saying all white people are among the wretched. Just look at what’s going on in the Appalachian communities. Blame it on Obama.
As a black person, I can only feel empathy for those in the mining communities. They now know what it feels like to be among the forgotten. We, as African Americans have known what it’s like to be forgotten for centuries, because we were written out of the history books from the very time the settlers started recording this country’s history. And it’s not that we’re out to take anyone’s jobs. Instead, we know what it’s like to lose our own jobs to technology. We understand what it’s like having to go without a meal as parents, just so we can make sure our children eat. We know what it’s like to see businesses shut down in our communities because the profit in doing business in those communities is no longer there.
Contrary to popular belief, for the most part, we don’t feel like this country owes us anything. If anything, we’ve decided that we owe it to ourselves to reverse the course of history this country appears to be taking. Just like the coal miners in Appalachia, and the displaced auto workers in Detroit who feel the need to right those wrongs they have been subjected to.
And if you don’t believe me, take a second, and third look at Detroit. A city that went into receivorship, and is now experiencing growth. Detroit. A city that is 82% African American. A city with the largest ratio of blacks than any other city in the US, but it’s experiencing a long awaited revitalization.
And why is this renaissance occurring? It’s because of the people. Detroit is a city that is proud if its heritage. Family and community come first. Detroit is a city that embraces those from other countries and cultures. And those same immigrants, that Trump is so anxious to rid this country of, are what is helping to spur that growth.
As one of my Yemenese students told me,”We don’t see race, Miss. We don’t speak of people by color. And if they build a wall between here and Mexico, we will all tear it down!” Those are the ideals that President Obama and his family represent. And those are the ideals we, as an African American community, will uphold and fight for. We, as a people, will continue to work cooperatively to make this already great country of ours even greater.