Black patriotism is not blind loyalty
American democracy now suffers severe challenges. Donald Trump has refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden defeated him in the presidential election. In fact, Trump’s conduct suggests that he plans to launch a coup to retain control of the levers of government. An impotent U.S. Senate has so far failed to exercise its authority to restrain Trump’s deviancy.
But even after Trump’s defiance is curtailed, he will have induced members of his base to refuse to accept the leadership of the new president, Joe Biden. Blacks are intensely patriotic, as is Joe Biden. Blacks are not likely to disrespect the president or a national hero summarily.
When Trump insulted Sen. John McCain, many Blacks thought that Trump had destroyed his chance of being elected. McCain is viewed as a hero by many Blacks, but Trump’s insult did not seem to upset whites.
Indeed, the disparate views on patriotism will continue to divide Blacks and Trumpites, even while a sense of patriotism increases the relationship between Blacks and President Biden. In an earlier statement Biden said “I think about what it takes for a Black person to love America. That is a deep love for this country that has for far too long never been recognized.”
Blacks have long been inspired by the language of the Gettysburg Address at the time of the Civil War that stated in part that this is “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Despite the fact that there is much to do in order for the status of Blacks to be equal to others, Blacks have maintained a strong sense of loyalty to America.
When Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black gloved hands on the winners’ stand at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, their objective was to induce America to live up to the commitment to provide equality for Blacks and others. When Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016 while the national anthem was playing, he put his career as an NFL quarterback on the line. His objective was to point out that the nation was being derelict in its commitment of justice for all when the police were permitted to terrorize Black men.
Some Trumpites seem to believe that there is a legitimate reason for conflict. However, those responsible for managing elections in every state, red or blue, have confirmed the legitimacy of the results. Now, according to President-elect Biden, “We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country, the spirit of being able to work with one another.”
The goal in America is to obtain a spirit of unity consistent with the nation’s motto — E pluribus unum!