When I wore the uniform, I was appointed to be the Chairman to the White House for the Department of Defense’s One America – President Bill Clinton’s initiative to unify the country and improve race relations. In this duty, I saw the best of what a President could do to solve the problems that we witness today. Over 20 years I worked special projects to President’s Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and not until I retired was I invited to the Obama White House under the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce and the US Black Chambers, Inc. People have asked me “how have you been able to work on both sides of the political parties?” Simple, I have always been able to focus on the mission assigned or of importance. Today, I am challenged as US President Donald Trump has launched an all-out campaign against Black people.
As we know by the President’s own twitter feed, he is very well known for insulting people who criticize his leadership. I am very disturbed African-American women who challenge the president and his administration are both very likely to be singled out for revenge and more likely to face a wave of racially-tinged insults and threats from the extremists among Trump’s voter base.
As a retired officer, it saddens me deeply to see the President target Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of US Army sergeant, La David Johnson killed in Niger this month. As a person who led two casualty assistance programs while on active duty in the US Air Force, I know how sensitive it is to help and support a grieving family as they come to grips they have lost their loved one. As Myeshia Johnson appeared on Good Morning America on Oct. 23 to confirm earlier reports that the president had seemed unsympathetic and forgotten her husband’s name during a condolence call, Trump quickly implied that Myeshia had lied about the infamous speaker phone telephone call.
If the standard bearer, the Commander-in-Chief, degrades fallen soldiers and their widows, what is the new standard for those who serve that report to him every day? Retired Army General John Kelly, who now serves as the Chief of Staff also attacked Frederica Wilson, the African American congresswoman from Florida who made the details of Trump’s phone call known public. Kelly on October 19 took the White House podium and delivered scathing lies, and called the Black congresswoman an “empty barrel”. General Kelly was later exposed by the real video of Wilson’s speech showing she told the truth concerning the funding of an FBI building in Florida in 2015. Doubling down even after being exposed, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders repeated the “empty barrel” phrase in a press conference; former Sheriff David Clarke, a spokesman for a pro-Trump political committee, called Wilson a “buffoon;” and Trump himself has called her “wacky” three times on Twitter.
As president, Trump continues to use the vast resources of the White House to target black women. Surprisingly the only Black woman he has left alone is former first lady Michelle Obama – even after she spoke on the campaign trail supporting Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton. Oprah - another Billionaire has not been in Trump's agenda. I suppose Omorosa is also safe from attack...all for the wrong reasons.
What other Black Women has suffered because of Trump’s far-right supporter attacks?
See the growing list of Black women under attack online...
Myeshia Johnson - Joe Walsh, a pro-Trump former Illinois Congressman because Johnson had criticized the president, “we have a right to attack her.” He said Johnson is an “opportunist” who is being “paid to degrade her husband”.
April Ryan – as published in Essence magazine, “a seasoned Black woman journalist from Urban Radio and a current CNN political analyst— asked the president whether he planned to include a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus as part of his agenda during a press conference. He promptly asked her to set up the meeting. Ryan reminded him that she is a journalist. Trump seemingly seemed to think that Ryan could function as a secretary and she knew all Black people.”
Leslie Jones - during the presidential campaign, one of the underlings of Trump adviser Steven Bannon led a deliberate campaign of hate against Leslie Jones, a black actress, that drove her from Twitter. Since the White House criticized Wilson, her office has been overwhelmed with threatening phone calls and one man in Illinois was visited by police after he said on Facebook he was looking for “ten good men to help carry out a lynching.” Pro-Trump discussion groups are mocking her, and now Johnson.
Maxine Waters - a black US Congresswoman from California, has been calling for Trump’s impeachment since he took office, and has faced a host of threats as a result. She recently asked the House Financial Services Subcommittee how Congress should deal with the “the KKK, the white nationalists, the extremists, the alt-right.” “If you look at the YouTube, you see how much they want to kill me and others,” she said.
Jemele Hill - called Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter. Trump said she was the reason ESPN’s ratings were slipping. Sanders, from the White House press room, said Hill should be fired, and Trump supporters took to social media to harass her. Hill was later suspended by ESPN for two week.
We must stand-up and protect our Black women who are being singled out and ostracized for standing up for the rights and the issues important to us all!