(Todd A. Smith)

In 2008, when Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) won the presidency against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), I knew that there would one day be some sort of White backlash.

How could there not be when history has shown that to be the case in so many other instances?

However, I never expected America to bite off its nose just to spite its face.

That is what happened when Donald Trump defeated Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential election of 2016.

Sure, on the surface it did not seem that bad at the time.

Clinton was a seasoned politician and Trump was a bombastic clown.

But deep down, any sane person could see that Trump was much more sinister and eviler than his buffoonery suggested.

He was a vindictive and hateful man that cared nothing about his country, its people or its norms.

With the July 1 U.S. Supreme Court decision granting presidents partial immunity, the backlash of President Barack Obama’s historic tenure has come into full bloom.

Unfortunately, the fully-developed flower is one of those flowers that stink like hell and not the ones that give off a refreshing aroma.

The high court said that presidents are immune from crimes committed as official acts while in office.

However, they are not immune from unofficial acts.

The dilemma is what constitutes an official act from an unofficial act?

Even when deciding whether an act is official or not, judges cannot look to motive or use certain pieces of evidence to determine that reality.

In essence, America has a king.

And ironically, that decision comes the week of July 4, which is significant for every American because that is when this once-respected country chose individual freedom over the crown in 1776.

The Fourth of July once symbolized a nation that cared more about the people than the people governing them.

It represented a government of we the people.

Now, that is likely gone forever.

Even if President Joe Biden wins in November, what is to stop a future president from putting him or herself above the Constitution and the will of the people?

But let’s look at the July 1 ruling and how it might affect Black Americans.

Since former President Obama’s historic election, right-wing racists have vowed to take their country back.

That is why Trump appealed to so many people in the first place.

Some of his supporters have even admitted that they believe this country could benefit from a having a dictator for a few years.

Even worse, some Black people have even questioned how have Black people benefitted from democracy in the first place?

No form of government is ever perfect.

And America has been far from perfect in its treatment of Black people over the years.

But under a racist White dictator, Black people will have no rights if that dictator chooses.

The freedom to speak out against the dictator would no longer exist.

The freedom to live where we want to live might not exist anymore.

The freedom to vote in actual real elections might not exist anymore.

Dictators do what they want to do.

So, how any Black person could believe that type of scenario would work in our favor is beyond comprehension.

Remember, Trump is the one who called for the death penalty for innocent Black and Brown boys wrongly accused of raping a White female jogger in New York’s Central Park in the 1980s.

If Trump was dictator-in-chief, the Exonerated Five would all be dead by now.

Many racist White Republican politicians have long sought to shut down Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

Just ask the students at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. during the early 1990s when David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, almost became governor of the “Pelican State.”

I know what people are saying.

If a dictator shuts down HBCUs, then Black folks could just attend predominantly White colleges (PWI).

Black professors could then just work at those PWIs.

But that might be a little difficult, when right-wing justices and politicians have ended affirmative action and diversity, equity and inclusion policies.

I know, I know.

Some people are probably saying that if all that happens, Black people will just use our collective voices to protest racism like we have done in the past.

But with a former president who wants to strip licenses from broadcasting companies that hold him accountable, will it even be possible for Black activists and civil rights workers to get their messages out via mainstream media?

After all, leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. used the media to change the hearts of bigots across the country when the news showed angry White mobs and police officers attacking nonviolent civil rights protestors.

What about social media?

It was social media that brought the light to acts of racism and police brutality like it did for the death of Trayvon Martin and the murder of George Floyd.

Unfortunately, even social media has become infiltrated with right-wing propagandists like Elon Musk at X.

Therefore, who is to say that he cannot stifle the voices of Black activism on his platform?

Not to sound hyperbolic, if America has a king, there is nothing stopping him from setting Black people back hundreds of years if he so chooses.

They would only have to say that subjugating Black folks was an official act of the presidency.

Are you willing to deal with all of that just because President Biden is a few years older than Trump?

Are you willing to lose your freedoms because you want milk to be temporarily cheaper?

In fact, it might be higher under a second Trump term because many leading economists say that Trump’s plans for tariffs, etc. would increase inflation.

Are you willing to give up on all our ancestors died for just because Biden had a bad debate performance and Trump was better at lying on live television?

The last time this country experienced major Black political success, our ancestors had to deal with a century of Jim Crow laws and its residual effects.

If you are willing to sign up for that again, so be it.

Just know that you volunteered to lose your freedoms and probably will not get them back in our lifetime.

Todd A. Smith
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