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Applied lessons from history

Melvin B. Miller
Applied lessons from history
“Man, we better watch our back.”

Carter G. Woodson, a black alumnus of Harvard University, established Black History Week in 1926. The objective was to record the history of blacks in America, many of whose roots had been lost in the experience of slavery. He stated, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition. It becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” In 1970, Woodson’s idea was expanded to the whole month of February. This gives blacks time to consider the consequences of the recent impeachment process.

Over the years, African Americans have continuously campaigned for full protection of the laws. Their losses have been mollified by the American principle that no one is above the law. Now Republicans in the U.S. Senate have clearly established that they consider the president to be above the law.

Trump has been asserting this claim for some time, but most people dismissed his assertion as boastfulness. However, the failure of Senate Republicans to decide in favor of Trump’s impeachment has exonerated him from offenses that could lead to imprisonment for others. Trump is now above the law.

Trump has already shown great empathy for racists. His exoneration from impeachment could empower him to be even more openly supportive of white supremacy. With the record of history so antagonistic to black rights, those in positions of leadership have to be even more attentive to civil rights violations.

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