When Donald Trump made his campaign pitch to African-American voters in Michigan, he clung to an image of black America that’s as racialized as it is entrenched in the minds of many of his supporters. “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs,” the then-candidate told a crowd that was overwhelmingly white, only to end with a question: “What the hell do you have to lose?”
That question, rhetorical though it may have been, answered itself time and again during Trump’s first year in office, a period marked by not just destructive policies for black and brown people, but also by the biggest assault on civil rights and the rule of law as any I have seen in my three-decade career as a civil rights lawyer. If Charlottesville gave the public a glimpse into the president’s moral failure in the face of white supremacy, his administration has, by word and deed, made it plain that it has no interest in advancing racial justice and pushing America toward the more perfect Union that our Constitution envisioned.
Read the full op-ed here.