A Second Trump Term Would Make War on People of Color and the Racial Justice Movement

MAPA Newsletter October 2020

Black Lives Matter protesters face off against NYPD officers after George Floyd's death last May. picture-alliance/newscom/C.Sipkin.
Black Lives Matter protesters face off against NYPD officers after George Floyd's death last May. picture-alliance/newscom/C.Sipkin.

Racial Justice Would Be Under Fire

by Rosemary Kean

What would another four years of Trump mean for the cause of racial justice in this country? Trump has done more to foment and feast on racism than any previous president. As a New York developer and landlord, he worked to keep people of color from his buildings; he urged the death penalty for the Central Park Five, later proved to be innocent; he launched his political career as a birther, denying that our first Black president was born in the country. He has used the office of the presidency to refute, undermine, and dismantle every accomplishment of that president. He has openly supported white supremacists, calling them “very fine people.” When asked directly, he has refused to condemn violent racist groups such as the Proud Boys, instead telling them to “stand back and stand by.” He has sent Border Patrol and other federal troops to attack peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters. The damage he might do in another four years is boundless.

Some likely scenarios include:

  • increased intimidations, physical attacks, and killings by pro-Trump militias and other right-wing nationalists, implicitly or overtly encouraged by the president;
  • imposition of martial law;
  • increased deportations of non-citizens, especially anyone who is not white, perhaps including people with green cards;
  • increasing violence at the border;
  • reversing of progressive changes in the criminal justice system;
  • takeover of the legal system and judiciary by right-wing judges and pro-Trump government officials;
  • more funding for military equipment for police as well as military, all to be used primarily on Black and Brown people, Latinx, Muslims, LGBTQ, women, Black Lives Matter activists, and anyone demonstrating in the streets;
  • voiding remaining protections for Indigenous sovereign nations, especially for purposes of fossil fuel extraction, undermining of Indigenous rights to land;
  • ending of the ACA, Medicaid, and food programs for the poor, who are disproportionately Black, Brown, Indigenous, and women;
  • ending of public education and transportation as we know them, which disproportionately serve the poor;
  • prosecution and prison time for peaceful demonstrators, Black Lives Matter, and Indigenous water protectors;
  • increasing wealth gap: more Americans – especially Black, Brown, Indigenous, and women – will be impoverished, made homeless, and condemned to shorter life spans.

 —Rosemary Kean is co-chair of Mass. Peace Action’s Board and of its Racial Justice and Decolonization working group.