“When the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.” Richard Nixon
The New York Times has obtained a 20-page memo from the then Trump lawyers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, indicating Trump “could not possibly” have committed Obstruction of Justice because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations. His lawyers, Jay Sekulow and former attorney John Dowd, also asserted his ability to use Presidential pardon powers, even saying he has the power to “terminate the inquiry.” They also disputed the authority of the Special Counsel to subpoena records and to compel Trump to testify. In other words, the laws that apply to every other American, do not apply to Donald Trump. He has made the legal assertion that he is above the law!
Many of the points raised in the memo have already been decided by the Supreme Court. The United States v. Nixon decided a President can be compelled to turn over records. Clinton v. Jones showed a President can be forced to testify. Trump’s constant golf trips to Mar-a-Lago, show he’s just not that damn busy. The memo also verifies that Donald Trump himself dictated the famous Air Force One press release, lying about the Trump Tower meeting including Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump, Jr.
This President has acted as if he were above the law his entire term. He failed to divest himself of business interests, flaunting his conflict of interest by his constant use of Trump properties to conduct government business. He has ignored ethics laws, security clearances, and many long-standing protocols. His Cabinet reflects the ethics of the man himself as they feed at the public trough. It’s time Trump learns that he too is governed by the law, he may even need an introduction to our penal system.
Trump’s memo suggests that no other witness can testify to the President’s intent when considering whether or not he obstructed justice. All the reason to drag him to court and question him under oath. Of course, there’s no reason to believe he won’t commit perjury? That’s another law he should become acquainted with. All the steps Trump’s legal team are taking seem to be in anticipation of Impeachment. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy!
When I was seven or eight years old, I attended Field Elementary School in Minneapolis, MN. Back then we had recess periods to let kids exercise and blow off steam, one day at recess I looked down and saw a shiny Kennedy half-dollar coin on the ground. I picked it up and put in in my pocket. At the same time I noticed a white boy about my age scouring the ground looking for something. We looked each other in the eye.
He said, “Did you find something?”
We looked at each other for a few seconds, I moved on and he kept searching the ground. I knew he had lost the fifty cents, he knew I had found it.
There were several hundred students at Field Elementary and I have no memories of the other kid, we weren’t friends, didn’t share classes, maybe we never spoke again in life? Across the street from the school on 46th and 4th Avenue was a corner grocery store called, “Dave’s.” When kids had money, they’d go over and buy candy. When school let out, I bought some red licorice coins with my fifty-cents. I never gave the most-recent owner a thought, finders keepers and all that. He probably never forgot me, the black kid that got his money. Maybe he appropriately singled me out individually for having took what was his? Maybe he held a grudge against all black people? I don’t know. I do know that even though this story isn’t inherently about race, it’s a perfect metaphor for what one aspect of racism looks like. Somebody got something that belongs to you, denied they have it, they benefited and you lost. If the boy had brought it up again I might even have gotten an attitude about it?
Fast forward a bunch of years, racism in practice doesn’t seem that much different although attitudes have changed. Racism is universally decried as a bad thing in the abstract, yet the benefits and costs are perpetually denied. It has also been redefined such that almost nothing qualifies any longer. In the aftermath of the Roseanne controversy. I’ve had discussions with multiple white people who condemn Roseanne Barr’s individual racism yet get very uncomfortable discussing its systemic nature. They are shocked… shocked to read her vile tweets, which are little different than her tweets gone before. They laud ABC for doing the right thing yet forget they knew who she was when they originally picked up her show. Roseanne says, “I am not a racist, I have never been a racist.” More likely true is that she has never been not been racist as an adult but it’s not of her I wish to speak.
Many white people are uncomfortable speaking about racism other than in an individual because they know they got the fifty-cents but can never admit it. Instead of red licorice, their fifty-cents went toward generational wealth, property ownership, and policies intended to protect those who have benefited from the rules that they put into place. There’s a class aspect of this as well as and poor white people have much to argue about regarding their treatment as well. Often those with the least are pitted against each other to keep them from joining forces but that’s another discussion.
I choose voter suppression as an example of how racism works today. The goal of voter suppression has always about maintaining power. Historically the Democrat Party has practiced it more openly and violently than the Republicans who have made it a mainstay of their current political strategy. It is also their strategy to say voter suppression doesn’t exist… “I don’t have your fifty cents.” I don’t mean to single out modern day Republicans, voter suppression cannot exist in a vacuum. Its tolerance in an allegedly Democratic society is because Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the courts, up to and especially including the Supreme Court allow it. Ultimately, all of their interests lean toward protecting the rich and making sure power remains in the hands of those deemed worthy to wield it. As the steady trend of demographics make America less and less white. All the more important becomes voter suppression along with a targeted immigration policy. America is looking more and more like South Africa trying to maintain minority rule.
Some of the arguments from white people I’ve heard recently include; “Racism ended after Jim Crow, why don’t you just get over it?” or “Wouldn’t you be better off focused on black on black crime or the illegitimate birth rate?” To the first question I reply, “Tell me when you believe racism ended so I can bring you up to date?” To the second, it’s an opportunity to talk about the racist policies that help create or perpetuate those real issues. People often say, “We need to have a discussion about race, yet there is the concern that the discussion will get back to, “What about my fifty-cents?” so mostly that discussion won’t be had.
As I write this, there are discussions about bringing back a spin-off of “Roseanne” without Roseanne Barr. By canceling her show and removing her individually, racism in America has once again been stamped out and life can return to normal. The problem is, it’s normal that needs to be fixed. #RacismAliveAndWell
To the little white boy on the playground, I apologize that I didn’t return the money I found. While I actually feel sorry about it and wish I had acted differently then. It is of no more consolation to you than thoughts and prayers. You may never have forgotten and I certainly haven’t, I owe you fifty-cents… plus interest.