We Need Service From Leaders, Not Sarcasm
Americans do not need or want sarcasm from its leaders.
This country needs politicians dedicated to serving the American people.
We want our satire and comedy on the big screen or the stage of a comedy club, not the halls of Congress.
This week on Instagram, comedian and former late night talk show host Arsenio Hall blasted a joke that President Donald Trump made about former Vice President Joe Biden’s age.
President Trump basically said that Vice President Biden was running for a resident (at an assisted living facility) and not President of the United States.
Hall called Trump’s remarks sad, and said that back in the day he got his crude humor from comedian Richard Pryor and not former President Richard M. Nixon.
When Trump says something that makes no sense like suggesting people inject disinfectant to get a good internal cleansing in order to prevent or cure coronavirus, his allies say that Trump’s comments should be viewed as sarcasm.
However, Trump is not the only politician using the sarcasm excuse in 2020.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) found himself in hot water on Wednesday when he mentioned the “good old days of segregation” at a hearing for Supreme Court Justice nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Sen. Graham called the comments about segregation, “deep sarcasm.”
Forbes.com reported, “Graham asked Barrett about various Supreme Court precedents and if she was confident the 1954 Brown v. Board Of Education decision making school segregation unconstitutional is a ‘super-precedent,’ meaning it would not be overturned unless legislative bodies push to challenge it, because she is ‘not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation via legislative body.’”
To be honest, Lindsey Graham might have indeed made that statement in a sarcastic way.
But in 2020, after four years of a racist and divisive presidency, I hope Lindsey Graham knows that African-Americans are not in a sarcastic mood when it comes to racism, segregation or discrimination.
Over the last few years, African-Americans have watched many in the Republican Party seriously try to take the country back to the “good old days of segregation” by suppressing the African-American vote in any way possible.
African-Americans have seen the president seemingly condone White supremacy, while chastising the Black Lives Matter movement, and iconic champions of the movement like Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James.
African-Americans have seen the president tell female congresswomen of color to go back to their “s-hole countries.”
African-Americans have seen the president retweet his supporters shouting, “White power.”
African-Americans have seen the president reluctantly disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, David Duke in 2016.
African-Americans have seen Trump’s track record on race relations going back to the 1970s when he discriminated against potential African-American tenants.
African-Americans have seen Trump ask for the death penalty a decade later for five African-American and Latino teenagers falsely accused of beating and raping a White jogger.
African-Americans in New York City saw and read the advertisement Trump placed in the local newspaper asking for the reinstatement of the death penalty just for the Central park Five, now appropriately known as the Exonerated Five.
African-Americans have read about the DNA evidence and confession that exonerated the group formerly known as the Central Park Five.
Yet, Trump refuses to back down from his belief that they are still guilty.
African-Americans have read stories about how Trump did not want to do prison reform.
However, when his White House aides told him that passing a prison reform bill would improve his standing in the African-American community, he went along with it for political gain.
But when his popularity amongst African-American voters did not improve, he got upset that he even signed the bill.
African-Americans have heard Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen say that the only reason that his former boss hated former President Barack Obama so much was because as an African-American he had ascended to the highest office in the land.
African-Americans heard how Trump said that only African-Americans could live like this when he traveled through an impoverished neighborhood.
African-Americans had seen how Lindsey Graham always possessed that maverick spirit, often going against his Republican colleagues when he believed they were wrong.
People from across the aisle had respect for Lindsey Graham’s common sense and independent streak in the same way that people from both sides of the aisle respected the late, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
African-Americans saw how Lindsey Graham criticized Trump’s clownish campaign strategy in 2016.
But then, African-Americans saw how Lindsey Graham got in bed with Trump and became one of his most vocal supporters, either out of fear of upsetting Trump and his base or the fact that he has more in common with Trump than many first thought.
So when African-Americans look at the White House, the current Republican Party and Lindsey Graham’s transformation over the last four years, forgive us for not wanting to entertain his so-called sarcasm.
Graham’s Democratic opponent for the Senate seat from South Carolina Jaime Harrison said, “Even if there was sarcasm in it, you know that’s a period of immense pain, particularly in South Carolina for African-Americans.”
All Americans, not just African-Americans, do not want politicians to entertain us or show their comedic, sarcastic or satirical side while in office.
This country needs real leaders dedicated to serving all Americans, not just a racist base that truly wants to go back to the “good old days of segregation.”
People with that mentality are the reason why Trump succeeded President Obama in the first place.
To them Obama represented the bad old days when African-Americans could possess the same job or power as the most powerful White men.
Trump tried to take us back to those days of racial division over the last four years.
Luckily, on Nov. 3, real Americans will take back their country.
And they might take back Lindsey Graham’s Senate seat too.
And that prediction is not sarcastic at all.