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By: Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News & Issues & Author of column series We MUST Understand

At the root of the issue that African-Americans faced in 2017, is no different from the main issue that has always plagued the nation. Hatred sums up the entire discussion. Because there is no way that you can just willingly mistreat a person or groups of people, for the hell of it. There has to be some underlying motive in sight somewhere. We MUST Understand that people are not born with hate. Hatred is something that is taught and instilled in the hearts and minds of people. It is because African-American News & Issues is a publication that thrives off of addressing and highlighting current and historical realities affecting our communities; that I felt the need to elaborate on the basis of the problem that Africans living in America face.

As we reflect back on the number one issue, I think that it is important to denote that the continual hatred for African-Americans became blatantly obvious on several platforms throughout last near. It is complete hatred when people who are sworn to serve and protect the public use their authority and position to murder innocent people with no regard or expectation of suffering the consequences. In the year 2017, there were mass shootings by gunmen filled with hatred for one reason or another. These acts of hatred cost families and communities to suffer because of the instability of others. There are many ills which exist today in the lives of African-Americans that are imposed simply because one group has hatred for another. This is why I have labeled this editorial as hatred being the root of the issues. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is, when something has negative results then, more than likely, there is some hatred involved somewhere.

This year marked one of the most publicized levels of hatred that exists for African-Americans in the nation with the inheritance of a leader who not only condones White supremacy but appears to be one of the greatest enforcers’ thereof. In 2017, we presented a piece sharing to our readers that, “The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” This particular editorial dealt with ties that Donald Trump and his father had with the KKK decades ago. Not to mention the fact that they built their financial empire on racism. In fact, Donald Trump was sued twice by the Justice Department, for not renting to African-Americans. Once Trump took office, his chief advisors and staff was compiled of known racists, undoubtedly those who share his viewpoints.

The American people caught a brief glimpse at the type of leader that Donald Trump would be prior to his election. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “There were nearly 900 hate incidents across the United States in the 10 days following the election.” Incidents such as: vandalism; a brutal attack against a gay man while the assailant yelled the “president says we can kill all you faggots now”; and students harassing other African-American students on the school bus by requesting that they take a seat at the back. The report further found that in nearly half of these occurrences, Donald Trump’s name or campaign slogans were voiced. Thus I believe that it is safe to say that Donald Trump sits in the seat of being the chief inciter of hatred. As far as that is concerned, upon taking office he immediately began preparing an executive order to restrict Syrian refugees and travel by immigrants from seven Muslim countries. Although the executive order was blocked it still depicts the true character of the president.

Of all the hatred that we have witnessed committed by Donald Trump, his biggest display of racist hatred has been the continual attack of the legacy of former President Barack Obama. Apparently, it wasn’t enough that he taunted President Obama, during his presidency, by claiming that he was not an American and continued to request his birth certificate. At the present, it seems Donald Trump’s primary four-year administration main objective will simply be to destroy his predecessor’s legacy. This agenda is fueled by racist hatred.

Concluding I would like to echo the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said, “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.  Nonetheless, we have to realize that we Africans living in America cannot conquer hate with hate. However, we do have two of the most powerful tools that any person can have and we can utilize them in ways to make them count and allow our voices to be heard. “Our vote” and “Our money” are our greatest forms of power. Therefore, we should be careful who we give them to, because whoever we freely give them to, are amongst those that we empower. So, when someone seeks or solicits your vote, business or support and you sense hate within them, then do not patronage them. We MUST learn to support those that support us, because when people hate you, they are not going to support or help you and your families.

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