By: Roy Douglas Malonson
When President Obama was elected in 2008, and took office in 2009, history was made as he was the first African American President that couldn’t be too Black. After all, he did have a White mother. America thought they were ready for a Black president, and when it happened, some people couldn’t handle it. After his time was served, the U.S. elected President Trump, and it seems that this era brough out the worst in many people regarding hatred and racism. However, it should be noted that Trump did some things for Black people, by letting a few out of jail or even taken off death row. Now it appears that if a Black person is to be elected to a high standing position, there must be some White stipulations to it for it to be accepted. We are now seeing the expectations of society when it comes to Blacks in politics.
Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush and succeeded Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the first African American to serve on the court. Thomas is known for leaning more towards “right” than any other justice serving on the bench today. Some would say that Thomas is nothing more than a Black sellout or should be called Uncle Tom. With the recent uproar regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and his White wife’s (Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas) interaction with Trump, some individuals are asking for him to be impeached. The crazy part is that Justice Thomas was not always like this. At one time in his life, research noted that he wanted to be a priest. However, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Justice Thomas left seminary because he did not think the Catholic Church did enough to fight racism. Justice Thomas wasn’t always an Uncle Tom. He understood the struggle and suppression that Black people went through. Now, he is just a Black person who is a puppet to the White man.
Vice President Kamala Harris made history by being the first woman to serve in this role as well as being the first African American and Asian American to serve in that position. Vice President Harris has done phenomenal work in her career and has always been “for the people.” She is a strong leader and so many girls and women look up to her as a role model and a sign of hope for the future. Her husband is White (Douglas Emhoff). History was also made when the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson was recently sworn in as the first African American woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. She has also done great work in her career and serves as a light of hope as well, but her husband is White (Patrik G. Johnson) as well. Do you see what I see? If you look at the current pattern, each of the individuals previously named have some White identity that has surrounded them. It is almost as if politics doesn’t want anyone or anything that is “too Black,” but every time they marry up, it dilutes the Black Genes. The question that remains is if they didn’t have a White spouse or White within them would things be different? Would they still have been given the opportunity to serve in those esteemed positions? Having a White spouse or White within may signify to others that they may have more of a White mentality than a Black one, which is acceptable. Is this the route Blacks will have to take to get in these positions? This is a trend that is starting to be obvious. Since we have these individuals in office, can we trust them to truly be “for the people.” Will they fight for those that can’t fight for themselves, or for Black people? Can we trust them to do what they say they’re going to do and keep the needs of “the people” to heart?
We elect these politicians at their word being “for the people,” but instead, they get in office and let their “White influences” sway them from their intended goal. Having that White influence, it is justification for them to allow “us” in those high positions to begin with. But at what cost? Stop supporting Black folks just because they are Black! Especially if they aren’t doing anything for the Black community.
So, are we balanced now? Are there enough White people and Black people in office? Is this sufficient for us to move forward and have the diversity we need, the people in place to fight for “our people?” If we don’t do it, then who will?