Donald Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act… So what?
I don’t say that to diminish the significance of what’s going on — a former president who was impeached twice is under investigation for being a traitor to the U.S. government. It is a big deal. But our problem as a country isn’t solved with a Donald Trump conviction. By problem, I mean what white supremacy and systemic racism are fermenting in the country.
Trump is a manifestation of those things; he’s not the originator. Whiteness and racism precede the establishment of the U.S. and will remain after Trump dies. Yet the obsession is with Trump. Cable news thrives off Trump for ratings and politicians in both parties thrive off Trump for votes.
Many conservatives believe Trump is the answer to the belief that white people are getting left behind. Many liberals believe that Trump is the reason for the chaos in the U.S. and removing him from areas of power and influence is all that’s necessary.
The reality is that other racist politicians like Trump are in positions of power and influence with the potential to do even more damage including governors, Congress members, judges, and state legislators. Trump may have made it more acceptable for these folks to crawl from under the rocks where they were hiding. But rest assured they existed prior to Trump’s ascension to power.
The problem isn’t Trump per se. Nor is Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, meaning that removing them from power and influence won’t make America great again.
Removing them will open the door for another one like them to take their place. Why? It’s the racism, stupid.
January 6 was proof that some white people are against a shared democratic republic with people of color, specifically Black people. Some marched to the capitol while others stayed at home hoping the election would be reversed. Make no mistake, it was Black people—specifically in the cities of Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia—who were responsible for clinching their states and swinging the election Joe Biden’s way.
But conservatives aren’t the only people worthy of critique. Liberals are also.
The long game for liberals is to facilitate the illusion of a multicultural coalition (rather than have an actual one) in order to keep the U.S. in their image and maintain a level of western (white) domination of the world order. To do that, concessions are in order.
Such concessions include representation in government, participation in the market, and the illusion of access to places and spaces reserved for the wealthy and the powerful. Even with representation and participation, power and influence across various sectors are still very white and male.
This is the war being waged in America, a cold civil war of sorts over ideology where Black people still get the dirty end of the stick. Black people are still being murdered by law enforcement. Black people continue to struggle for voting rights. When it comes to housing, medical care, education and socioeconomics, Black people continue to strive toward justice.
A Trump conviction doesn’t solve any of those problems. It only offers the end of a nightmare, while living in a nightmare. The desire to return to a pre-Trump America assumes pre-Trump America was the shining city on a hill. To be that, America must shine its light on injustice so we can see how to address those injustices. Four years ago, America settled for Trump. It’s too bad America continues to settle for less
Photo: Former President Donald Trump departs Trump Tower, Aug. 10, 2022, in New York, on his way to the NY attorney general’s office for a deposition in a civil investigation. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
Rann Miller is the director of anti-bias and DEI initiatives as well as a high school social studies teacher for a school district located in Southern New Jersey. He’s also a freelance writer and founder of the Urban Education Mixtape, supporting urban educators and parents of students in urban schools. He is the author of the upcoming book, Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids, with an anticipated release date of February 2023. You can follow him on Twitter @UrbanEdDJ .