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Reflections on the Election 2020 Part 15

President Trump makes History Impeached Again

On January 13th, 1931, I, Herbert Daniel Daughtry was born to Bishop Alonzo Austin Daughtry and Mrs. Emmie Cheatham Daughtry in Savannah Georgia at 1007 W 43rd St (Victory Drive) and on January 13th, 2021, the House of Representatives in the United States of America vote to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of inciting an insurrection.

Some humorists and cynics and wits said that Mr. Trump’s impeachment was God’s gift to me on my 90th birthday.

It was the fourth time a President had been impeached - Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, for Mr. Trump it was the first time a President was impeached twice. It all started with Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept defeat in the Presidential campaign. Throughout the campaign, whenever he was asked, if would he accept the results of the election? He never said yes. He would either dance around the question or clearly state, that he wouldn’t accept the results unless he won. Also, he had demonstrated his connection with white racist, terrorist militia groups. So, when he lost, he and his staff and supporters saturated the nation with the message the Democrats had stolen the election.

He used every conceivable tactic, legally and some say illegally, to have the election results overturned. He was not successful. The State electors gave Mr. Joe Biden the victory with 306 electoral votes to Mr. Trump's 232 and the popular vote that went to Mr. Biden at 81,283,098 votes, or 51.3 percent and Trump had 74,222,958 votes, or 46.8 percent.

It was left to the U.S Congress to accept the elector's votes- a simple piece of business woven into the Constitution and historically happens without drama or resistance. But Donald Trump had other plans. He played what he thought would be his trump card to prevent the Congressional action.

On January 6th, 2021 as Congress was meeting in the Capitol building, Mr. Trump and his followers were holding a mass rally not far away. For weeks, he and his supporters had been sending a message that something important would be happening on that day. At the rally he along with his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and his lawyer Giuliani excited the crowd with highly inflammatory language like, “This gathering should send a message to them: This isn’t their Republican Party anymore! This is Donald Trump's Republican Party!” said Donald Trump Jr. Eric said, his father “has more fight in him than every other one combined. And they need to stand up. And we need to march on the Capitol today. And we need to stand up for this country. And we need to stand up for what’s right.” Mr. Trump in his statement said, “Now, it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. And after this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down, we’re going to walk down.” Let me emphasize that after they spoke, they got into their cars and hastened away and according to the reports Mr. Trump enjoyed watching the mayhem which was to follow.

In the aftermath of the unforgettable acts and images, verbiage and violence, among the most vivid for me and I think at the core of it all was a man carrying a huge confederate flag or a flag similar. It was conspicuously, proudly carried by a mean angry looking large white man defiantly striding through the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill. In his mind, he was winning, especially since the Congress members and their staff were being rushed to hiding places. Even as the invaders were vigorously screaming out the names of some Congressional members. I wondered if in his mind he was reliving the Civil War only this time the South was on the march to victory as General Sherman had marched through the South. He was marching against the North which represented Democrats, immigrants, leftists, radicals, socialists, nigras, etc.

The flag with all of its monuments and memorials across the country is an attempt to revive with even greater force, the old South. Searching through my files I found an old calendar that describes the history of the confederate flags, monuments, and memorials that were/are pervasive across America. The authors write “though confederacy was defeated in 1865, many prominent memorials were dedicated generations later, sometimes with express opposition for racial equality. The Equal Justice Initiative has documented ‘since 1838 confederate monuments nationwide, including dozens in the North and West.’ Most remain in prominent, public locations like town squares, courthouse lawns, and State Capitols. Scores of confederate monuments ensured at the turn of the 20th century attempted to recast Confederate Secessions as a sense of liberty rather than to preserve slavery and white supremacy. By 1950, the South had more than one thousand confederate monuments including at least one in every state capitol and three hundred on courthouse grounds.”

“In 1955, one year after Brown v. Board of Education ordered an end to school segregation, Robert E. Lee High school in Montgomery Alabama erected a bronze statue of the confederate general at its entrance. Texas installed twenty confederate monuments in the 1960s. In 1964 alone, sixteen different monuments were erected across the South. As civil rights activists gravely agitated for change segregationists opposed to racial equality adopted the confederate battle flag as a symbol of defiant resistance to racial integration.

Today Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina*, Tennessee, and Virginia have passed “heritage laws” to prevent the removal of confederate monuments, nearly all of these monuments stand in communities with no public memorial to the history of slavery and lynching or any public acknowledgment of what confederate ideals meant for millions of disenfranchised Black people.”

*Respecting the removal of flags and monuments. In recent times, I marched and rallied in South Carolina and other places at the Capitol building for the removal of the Confederate flag and statue and of recent times for the removal of Confederate monuments, flag, and the naming of military installations, ie. Fort Braggs. At the press conference, President Biden issued his support for the removal of monuments and reinstating Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill in place of slave-owning- President Andrew Jackson.

Clearly, the mindset or the spirit of the old confederacy with all of its evils has not died or not been put to death. Throughout the history of people of African Ancestry in the USA whenever we have made progress, the old racist confederacy comes roaring back with a vengeance. Especially is this true in the equality of the electoral process is concerned.

In my book, My Beloved Community published by Africa World Press, 2001 in the chapter Threat from the New Right; Tracing the History of an All Wrong, I wrote “all forms of racism were manifested in the political system. Black people had been excluded from the political process for most of America’s history. What America claimed to have fought for, no taxation without representation was not extended to Blacks. Recall Thomas Jefferson’s lofty words ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident that all people are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain and alienable rights. Among these, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Significantly Thomas Jefferson changed the last word, originally it had been property. These lofty sentiments were not extended to Black people. But a particular development occurred. Black people did not count; they did not exist as far as many white people were concerned. But some white people said, ‘Oh, yes, they exist. We have them on our plantation and we want them counted. But you cannot count them,’ other white people said, ‘because they are your slaves. Yes, they exist but they belong to you.’ ‘Alright,’ they said, ‘let us compromise we will count them as 3/5 of men.’ So today, right there in the Constitution, it is recorded; ‘Representatives and direct taxes should be a portion among the several states which may be included in this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, 3/5 of all other persons.”

“After the Civil War.... it seemed that at last America would be an open society. Black people would be recognized as human beings. Representative Thaddeus Stevens and Senator Charles Sumner were leading the way. There were attempts to redress inequalities in the Constitution, and the 13th Amendment adopted in 1865 ended slavery. The 14th Amendment in 1868, conferred citizenship; and the 15th Amendment adopted in 1870 extended enfranchisement.”

On March 2nd, 1867, Congress legislated that the former slave States should have a convention and all male citizens were entitled to participate. (Notice here at this time women were treated less than human, and I might add that one of the foremost protagonists for women’s rights was Frederick Douglass - it wasn't until 1920 when the 19th Amendment was adopted, that women were given suffrage.)

To be continued...

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