7 Ways Trump Is Sabotaging America And Attacking Black People In The Process
Trump has been neglecting his duties to protect the American people while pursuing pet projects that threaten the basic principles of the country.
November 24, 2020 at 7:48 pm
Even though President-elect Joe Biden will take office next month, President Donald Trump has refused to recognize Biden’s win. The outgoing president has been trying every legal – and several illegal – methods available to overturn the election. Beyond being petty AF, this obstruction is preventing the type of orderly transition that is both normal and extremely important for the functioning of our government. Though Trump has barely performed the duties of the president since the election, he and his team have been ending, changing or implementing policies that seem designed to sabotage the incoming administration. These policies are hitting Black America especially hard.
Here are seven of the worst ways Trump is screwing over America on his way out.
1. Giving up on the fight against COVID-19
Trump has continued his policy of downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19 and doing virtually nothing to fight the disease, which is spreading across the U.S. faster than ever. Even Trump’s inner circle and family continue to contract the coronavirus. While Trump tries to take credit for several promising vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus, his inactions will likely contribute to hundreds of thousands more people dying of COVID-19 before a vaccine can be widely distributed. The worst-hit community in the U.S. remains Black Americans, due to continuing healthcare disparities. Biden lamented in September that one in 1,000 Black people had died of COVID-19, and the numbers have only gotten worse – now, one in 875 Black people have died because of the virus.
Beyond his lackadaisical attitude towards COVID-19, Trump has also been refusing to coordinate with Biden’s team on the future distribution of the vaccine, which will take a massive logistical effort to reach hundreds of millions of Americans. This lack of coordination with the incoming Biden administration may further allow the coronavirus to spread across America.
2. Cancelling emergency COVID-19 economic support
U.S Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin is ending several lending programs related to the CARES Act, which was put in place to provide economic support for American workers and businesses during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and pandemic lockdowns.
Mnuchin is demanding that the U.S. Federal Reserve give up billions of dollars that are meant to be loaned to businesses and to city governments to keep them afloat and pay their workers. Although Biden could renew these programs next year, many people are in need of these funds now. Black-owned businesses have been almost twice as likely as white-owned businesses to close because of COVID-19. Meanwhile, about 20% of Black workers are employed in the public sector as teachers, transportation workers, postal workers, and more.
3. Failing to negotiate a new stimulus deal
Before the election, Trump attempted to strike a deal on a new economic stimulus bill, hoping that it would boost his reelection chances, but he was unable to come to an agreement that both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and their respective colleagues would approve. Now, with the election over, Trump has shown no interest in making a deal, and Congress has gone on vacation. With unemployment benefits for millions of Americans set to expire before the end of 2020, Biden has appealed to legislators in both parties to get a new stimulus deal done. Pelosi and McConnell seem willing to pass something, but hold very different preferences on the size of a new aid package. Trump, meanwhile, has been pretty much uninvolved in the negotiations since losing the 2020 election.
4. Pulling troops out of Afghanistan without a plan
A major principle of Trump’s foreign policy – to the extent that he’s had any principles – has been the idea of ending America’s existing war in Afghanistan. Trump has been attempting to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban, but, as the Economist reports, continued attacks against American forces have largely prevented this from happening.
Now, however, it seems that Trump is happy to just straight up leave, deal or no deal – he’s pledged to withdraw nearly half of the American force from Afghanistan by the time his term ends in January. Such a move, without a peace deal in place, creates the real possibility that the Taliban will simply reconquer Afghanistan. The last time they were in charge, they allowed Al-Qaeda to operate in their territory, facilitating the September 11 attacks. A new era of Taliban rule would likely create a crisis that would require President Biden to send troops back in – and Black and Latino personnel could make up 1/3 of those forces who would be risking their lives because of Trump’s shortsightedness.
5. Attempting to eliminate birthright citizenship
While ignoring important crises such as the exploding pandemic, developing economic recession and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Trump has shown interest in finally pushing through a pet project of his: eliminating birthright citizenship. Enshrined by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed after the end of slavery, birthright citizenship automatically grants American citizenship to anyone born within the United States, regardless of who their parents are. Donald Trump has been obsessed with this idea in one form or another for years – his birther conspiracy against President Barack Obama, for instance, was based on the false idea that Obama was born outside of the United States and thus did not inherit citizenship at birth. Now, Trump is considering issuing an executive order changing the birthright citizenship policy.
Anti-immigration conservatives have argued that undocumented immigrants take advantage of the law to gain citizenship for their children and have sought to challenge the principle. Some opponents of the current policy have even argued that, because the 14th Amendment was intended to guarantee that former slaves were recognized as citizens, birthright citizenship was only meant for them, not for later immigrants or other people born to non-citizens. Despite these conservatives attempting to use America’s history of slavery to now deny others of their citizenship, there is legal overwhelming consensus that birthright citizenship is guaranteed by the Constitution and can only be changed through a constitutional amendment. Nonetheless, if Trump attempts to issue an executive order on the subject, it will set up a court battle that could, in theory, threaten the citizenship of the children of both undocumented and documented immigrants and visitors to the U.S. For instance, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would not have been born a U.S. citizen if the 14th Amendment provision did not exist.
6. Ramping up federal executions
As Blavity previously reported, the Trump administration has scheduled five federal executions for its last days in office. The condemned include four Black men, as well as a woman who would be the first woman executed by the federal government in 70 years.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration won a narrow Supreme Court ruling that allowed it to resume executions, which had not been conducted by the federal government for 17 years. And is all that is not enough, the Justice Department is implementing rules that will re-authorize alternative methods of execution such as firing squads, electric chairs and lethal gas.
7. Undermining American democracy
Trump’s obsession since losing the election has been to overturn those results, or at least discredit them. His team has filed dozens of lawsuits, seeking to throw out thousands of votes or even overturn the results of entire states that he lost in 2020. Though he has lost nearly every legal challenge, Trump’s attack against the election – including his constant tweets falsely claiming widespread vote fraud – are undermining confidence in the American electoral system and even in democracy itself.
Trump’s legal attacks and accusations also have a clear racial dimension – the cities and counties that he and his team have been attacking are largely areas with majority or very large Black populations, such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Indeed, Trump’s targeting of Black communities through his lawsuits seems less about actually winning – courts still require evidence, thankfully – and more about a strategy of scapegoating Black people and other minority voters by blaming his loss on them.
In these and other ways, Trump seems committed to leaving a chaotic situation for president-elect Biden when the latter takes office in January. These apparent efforts to sabotage the incoming administration are hurting millions of Americans, and particularly hitting the Black communities that voted Trump out in November. As more Republicans accept Trump’s defeat and the transition to the Biden administration has finally started, hopefully the rest of the government can prevent Trump’s temper tantrum from causing more irreparable harm to the country.