By Aswad Walker
Some call it karma. I call it the work of the ancestors. Trump’s route to and from Fulton County Jail where he was arraigned took the accused felon through literally the Blackest neighborhood in the country, rolling down Joseph Lowery Blvd and Bankhead Hwy (Hootie Hoo). You couldn’t get Blacker than that if you were cruising with Dick Gregory, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou and Malcolm X with “diamonds in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene with a gansta’ lean, oo-oo.” The neighborhood that dude who tried to throw out Atlanta’s 2020 Presidential Election votes rode through was home to Black icons MLK, Julian Bond, Maynard Jackson, Lowery and others; with streets named after folk who bled and died for Blackfolk’s right to vote. Watching the coverage of Trump being arraigned in that jail notorious for its brutality against Blackfolk put America’s two-tiered justice system on blast. Not the BS one Trump references, but rather, how any of us would have been thrown under the jail had we done 1/1000th of what Trump did. It also showed the power of Black women.
With all his tough talk, when soul sister Fani Willis said “Jump,” that “scared little [Trump]” replied, “How high?” Think about that for a moment; a sister did what no other human on the planet has been able to do — put Trump in the crosshairs of potentially being held accountable for his misdeeds. And while that twice impeached former president rode through the same So So Def streets as Jermaine Dupree, Goodie Mob and OutKast, I swear I could hear ATLiens chanting, “You need to get up, get out, cut that bull[stuff] out.” Donald Glover couldn’t have written a better episode of “Atlanta” than that.
In the 1980s, conservative politicians demonized hip hop, blaming it for all the nation’s ills. Today, 40 years later, rappers are being arrested for their lyrics—for their art. I need to know why Democrats and progressives in 2023 aren’t using that same energy to criminalize everyone who 24/7 promotes the “Big Lies” (the stolen election lie and the “All Blackfolk are savage criminals” lie). Those lies continue to feed bigoted haters who already existed but feel more emboldened with each repeated “Big Lie” to inflict violence (physical and political) on us. The evidence is overwhelming. Most recently, we saw it in Jacksonville. Every year since 45 hit the national political scene, demonizing immigrants, Muslims, Asians and Blackolk, hate crimes have skyrocketed. Every month there’s a new Jacksonville, a new Buffalo, a new Charlottesville. Big Lie pushers, whether they’re politicians, media networks or everyday citizens, have blood on their hands.
Quid Pro Quo
Anyone looking for Black votes needs to make something happen. Period. Voting rights protection. Criminal justice reform. Environmental justice. Equal pay for women. Checks and balances on a SCOTUS gone wild. Young folk are turned off from voting because they see the majority of Americans wanting these things, yet, a minority of rich, entitled lawbreakers successfully blocking everything. They say, to hell with gridlock; make something happen! And Dems, when you do make things happen, but tell nobody, young voters equate that with doing nothing. Hell, Republicans do a better job of taking credit for wildly successful laws that they voted against than the Dems who made them happen. Do better. Democracy is literally on the line.