My maternal grandmother had an intense dislike for Herbert Hoover. She believed that Hoover was too much of an aristocrat to have empathy for the average American.
She knew fascinating details about all of the presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. She was married the year before Hoover came into power. Her first child, my mom, was born six weeks after Hoover was elected.
Although the family lived in the segregated south, there were always sufficient seeds to plant crops, and bountiful land to fish and hunt for food.
As a child, I did not understand her disdain for Hoover. After all, the world had changed quite a bit by the time I was born at the genesis of the Eisenhower Administration. A world war had been fought leaving an atomic dread hanging over the world. Much of the pre-depression policies enacted under Hoover had been blunted by Franklin Roosevelt’s new deal.
Her disregard for Hoover would continue until the presidency of Reagan, when she found someone whom she felt matched Hoover’s disconnect to the common citizen. After Reagan, in her 9th decade, she lost interest in politics. It was time to pass politics onto her grandson who by now was armed with degrees in political science and jurisprudence.
I wonder what she would think of the Donald Trump presidency.
Clearly, Trump is the President of white America. He does not pretend that he has a healthy respect for people of color. His very presence in the White House breeds white suprematist contempt for the nation’s non-white population.
More than 48 hours have elapsed since a white domestic terrorist shot up a Nashville Waffle House, which services a section of Nashville’s people of color, and neither a peep nor a tweet has come from Trump expressing condolences to families of the four people senselessly killed by an AR45 welding white extremist.
I’m sorry, fake placcitidues from Sarah Sanders, allegedly coming from the White House, do not cut it.
Meanwhile, before the public could wrap its collective head around the carnage in the Nashville Waffle House, in Saraland, Alabama, a bedroom community near Mobile, several overweight Saraland cops mauled a Black woman inside a Saraland Waffle House.
The lady’s crime was asking for plastic flatware for her take-out meal. She was not only tackled to the floor, but had clothing torn away from her body exposing her intimate private parts.
The mistreatment of this lady in Saraland is standard operating procedure when American law enforcement officers answer a call from a white establishment regarding a disagreement with a colored patron. The cops, without full details, rush in and subdue the colored citizen whether man, woman, little boy or little girl.
This is the way it has always been and if something is not done to stop this outlaw behavior on the part of law enforcement, it will happen tomorrow when the next disagreement occurs between a white shop owner or manager and a colored shopper.
In late 1959, my mother sent my brother and I to the communal water well to fetch water for cooking and cleaning the dishes. After we arrived at the water well our white neighbor’s son came up behind us to fetch water for his family. He shoved me away from the well, but before he could commence to draw his water, my brother pushed him from behind, whereupon I dropped my bucket and began to fling away with my two fists landing upside his head. He turned red as a beet, blood gushed from his nose and the right corner of his lip. He ran off Sobbing Niggers this and Niggers that.
Before we could get in the house, his mammy had nearly beaten us back to our home. She threatened to have Gerald and I locked up in the reform school.
Surely, two colored boys, who were not afraid to stand up for their right to draw water in the order in which they had appeared at the well, had to be some dangerous Negroes. So dangerous they surely needed to be reformed.
Perhaps spending the remainder of their adolescent and their teenage years locked away from society would be the perfect antidote for their aggressive behavior; notwithstanding the fact, the white boy had started the altercation because white privilege and the social mores of the segregated south dictated he did not have to wait his turn.
Fearing our next stand against white aggression would land Gerald and I in the reform school, my mom finally convinced my grandfather to sell the farm and move into the city.
By 1959, Gerald and I had been taught the Supreme Court had outlawed segregation in America. What Negroes had endured in the past did not apply to us, we thought.
Whites we encountered in the south five years after Brown v. Board of Education were not willing to follow the supreme law of the land.
When we look at Saraland and the manner in which the Waffle House shooter was apprehended, we must report in 2018, whites are still not prepared to concede colored people have a basic right to human decency that a white person is required to respect.
The young Black woman arrested in the Saraland Waffle House has more bruises on her torso than the cowardly Nashville Waffle House murderer. It may be a cliche, “but something is not right with this picture.”
And not so much as a tweet from the president. No condemnation of the dastardly deed that ended the life of four people in their 20s. Not a single word of praise for the good Black man without a gun who stopped a bad white boy with a gun.
Granny, if she were here, I’m sure, would say that Trump is too pompous to service the needs of the American people.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org