President Biden’s town hall meeting was different from his predecessor, Donald Trump, in tone, language, vision. The Delaware Democrat admitted the United States is facing major problems and shouting “Make America Great Again” and wrapping oneself in the flag isn’t going to ensure this country’s survival.
“When I went to this G7, all the major democracies, I walked in … and I said, ‘America’s back,’ and they go … ‘Are you really back? I mean, how can I—we believe you, Joe, but will the country ever get it together?’ ” recounted the president July 21 during a CNN town hall moderated by Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph University in Delhi Township, Ohio.
“I talked to Xi Jinping in China, who I know well. We don’t agree on a lot of things. He’s a bright and really tough guy. He truly believes that the 21st century will be determined by oligarchs, by—not a joke—democracies cannot function in the 21st century, the argument is, because things are moving so rapidly, so, so rapidly that you can’t pull together a nation that is divided to get a consensus on acting quickly. So autocrats, autocracies. I had a long meeting with Putin, and I continued—I know him well. These guys actually are betting—I’m not joking—on autocracies. Democracy has to stand up and demonstrate that it can get something done.”
Unlike Mr. Biden, who exudes a perpetual willingness to champion bipartisanship with Republicans, U.S. allies and foes see a wounded America. They see a great nation unraveling and the continual decline of the world’s only superpower.
Just months ago, they saw an attempted coup as supporters of then-President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol seeking to nullify a presidential election.
And there are fears coup supporters and true believers in Trump dogma may include officers inside the U.S. Capitol Police sworn to protect the legislative seat of the country as well as the Defense Department, and federal agencies, not to mention local police officers, military personnel and ex-military members joining the fray.
What was seen as the problem of so-called Third World countries and Banana Republics was on full display inside the “world’s greatest democracy.”
They see Mr. Trump still on the political prowl, his devotees bowing at his altar, repeating his alternative version of history and rallying his forces. They see gridlock at the federal level and local schemes designed to stop Black voting or to blunt the power of the Black vote and subject much of the country to White minority party rule.
Oh how the mighty have stumbled and continue to fall, unable to find the light and walk therein. Or, better yet, they refuse to heed a voice of truth and light in their midst in the person of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. The end of this country was foretold in scripture and inevitable with the taking of our forefathers into slavery.
This is the Day of the Lord spoken of in the Bible and the Day of Judgement spoken of in the Holy Qur’an, the book of scripture of the Muslims. We, Black people, are the choice of God today, and the future of this country—or its doom—is inextricably tied to its treatment of us and acceptance or rejection of a divine warning in their midst for over 90 years.
In his book, “The Fall of America,” the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, explains in plain language America’s place in scripture and her doom because of her evil. If other nations were destroyed for evil done in the past, can America escape?
So the time of trouble is a divine period of time and America is in that time today. While Mr. Biden seeks to appeal to all Americans and held the town hall in a state that he lost, millions do not see him as a legitimate president. Many of these angry White people are armed and dangerous. They refuse to retreat. Mr. Trump freed them to speak and do all they want in the name of White survival, White interests, and White pride.
Experts say the country is as divided today as it was during the Civil War. Are we listening? There was no guarantee the Union would survive when Southern states decided to secede. Today the call for succession may not be a full-blown, popular demand to break away from America—at least not yet—but this nation is radically divided. Black people, as in the Civil War, are at the center of the drama. Expanding and protecting Black voting rights is a problem; admitting the truth of this nation’s racist, genocidal history is a problem; policing Black people is a problem; denying the reality of racism and its destruction of Black people is a problem.
Doing anything to actually address and try to resolve the race problem and racial disparity is a major problem.
So six months into his presidency, Mr. Biden seeks to pull his country together. But at what cost? He has said the right things and done some right things. But he will not use a heavy handed approach to try to force his party to fulfill his vision of a major public works program. He hopes for a miraculous rise above politics. We will see if that happens.
But he also has not squeezed White Democrats in the House and Senate, where his party holds a slight majority, to protect Black voting rights at the federal level as state legislatures nullify the Black right to vote. Nor has he applied pressure to pass a federal police reform bill in response to the trauma and crisis that enveloped the country and reverberated around the world with the videotaped murder of George Floyd, a Black man, on the streets of Minneapolis under the knee of a White cop.
Consider this question and response: “Last week regarding the GOP’s efforts to restrict voting rights, you said those efforts were, quote, ‘the most dangerous threat to voting in the integrity of free and fair elections in our history,’ end quote. While you have condemned these attacks, you and congressional members of your party have done little to actually stop these assaults.
If these efforts are really the ‘most dangerous in our history,’ isn’t it logical to get rid of the filibuster so we can protect our democracy and secure the right to vote?” asked a Black woman; and town hall host Don Lemon followed up with similar questions during an exchange with the president. The filibuster is a tool any senator can use to basically stymie legislation. Mr. Biden’s party, the Democrats, can kill it and use ramrod tactics to push through some of their agenda with their party’s one vote Senate majority.
The president’s response? “I want to make sure we bring along not just all the Democrats. We bring along Republicans who I know, know better. They know better than this,” said Mr. Biden. “I’m trying to bring the country together. … There’s no reason to protect (the filibuster) other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”
Days later, by July 23, it was reported that White House officials told civil rights and voting rights groups they could “out organize voter suppression.” This after a “group of 150 organizations signed onto a letter spearheaded by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging the President to do more to ensure the passage” of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
“Aside from being inaccurate, this takes for granted the black and brown communities that bear the brunt of voter suppression, and who worked to elect leaders who would protect them. The White House should change its strategy and push for filibuster reform before it’s too late,” tweeted Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.)
So Congress is doing nothing for Black people who saved the country, put Mr. Biden in office and gave him the House and Senate—and the White House is just watching. This is the system and the people you trust and want to stake your future on?