Martin Luther King Jr. Day Comes in 2021 a key moment in the United States. It is sandwiched between the assault on Congress by a mob made up partly of segregationists emboldened by the four years of Donald Trump and a new administration that arrives to restore the values of civil rights.
The Trump administration represented big business, evangelists and the political extreme right. To some it gave tax cuts and deregulation, to other conservative judges, to the latter the legitimacy to express racial resentment.
The populism of the New York millionaire is based on the premise that Anglos, especially men, are a majority besieged by multiculturalism, that civil rights and anti-racism laws have hurt their opportunities.
Racism does not disappear in American history. It is a latent feeling that comes to the surface when it is protected. Trump began his work by declaring our country’s first African-American president as African and Muslim. It opened the door for racism that came to light with the complicity of the Republican Party.
The protests in Charlottesville, Carolina, a few months after Trump took office was the sign of things to come. In the eyes of the president among the neo-Nazis and supremacists there were “good people.”
Regulations that were built for decades to protect minorities were dismantled. In some cases aided by the courts, in the majority through presidential directives and regulations within federal agencies.
Trump backed police violence as a joke. The explosion a few months ago against racism in several cities triggered by the assassination of George Floyd was the reaction to the lack of attention of the authorities in the face of these events that were olympically ignored by the White House.
The president was more concerned with defending the statues of the military that lost the Civil War defending slavery than with the violence of white police officers against African Americans. For the former, prison sentences were issued for those who attack the stone, for the latter, Trump was the first president to receive overwhelming support from the police unions.
The election was a failed Republican effort to reduce the turnout of African American voters especially in the South. In the face of Trump’s electoral defeat, he declared the votes against him by an African-American majority as illegal. Those votes gave the victory to the Democrats in the state of Georgia.
It is no coincidence that the aggressors forced their way into the Capitol waving the Confederate flag, symbol and nostalgia for the slave era.
The next president Joe Biden has the difficult task of replenishing what was destroyed and trying to ease racial tensions. Open wounds must be healed. There is a vast majority of Americans who want it. It is time for the ideal of Martin Luther King Jr to return to the White House.