Newswire: Donald Trump views people of color as ‘infestations’

He uses the word again in attack on Baltimore and its Black Congressman
By Hazel Trice Edney

Congressman Elijah Cummings

( – President Donald Trump has repeatedly used a form of the word “infested” as he refers to Black and brown people, clearly expressing his view of them as something less than human.
This was the observation of an emotional CNN anchor, who happens to be a Baltimore native, as well as activists, civil rights leaders and the general public in response to Trump’s latest racial insult. This time he was referring to Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, which has heavily monitored Trump and his administration, including on their treatment of immigrants.
“Cumming’s District is a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore maybe he could clean up this very dangerous and filthy place…No human being would want to live there,” Trump ranted in an angry tweet Monday morning.
Baltimore-born CNN anchor Victor Blackwell, clearly fed up with Trump’s insults of people of color, issued a live, on the air rebuke, quoting the times the president has used a form of the word, “infested” in descriptions of people of color or where they live:
“Infested: That’s usually reserved for references to rodents and insects, but we’ve seen the president invoke infestation to criticize law makers before. Do you see a pattern here? Just two weeks ago, president Trump attacked four minority Congresswomen: ‘Why don’t they go back to the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came?’ Reminder: Three of them were born here. All of them are American.’”
Blackwell continued, ‘“Infested’. A week before his inauguration, January 2017, Congressman John Lewis should spend more time fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart; not to mention crime infested. Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people. Many different types of people. But when he tweets about infestation, it’s about Black and Brown people.
He continued, “Sept. 2014 at the height of an urgent health emergency: ‘Why are we sending thousands of ill-trained soldiers into Ebola-infested areas of Africa. Bring the plague to the U. S.? Obama is so stupid.’”
Finally, “There’s a revolution going on in California. So many sanctuary areas want out to this ridiculous crime-infested and breeding concept,” Blackwell quotes before speaking directly to Trump from his anchors chair.
“The president says about Congressman Cummings’ district (emotional pause) ‘That no human would want to live there. You know who did, Mr. President? I did. From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college. And a lot of people I care about still do. There are challenges, no doubt. But people are proud of their community. I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there. They care for their families there. They love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of Congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans too.”
Blackwell wasn’t alone by a long stretch. The President’s latest racist remarks drew ire from Black Republicans and Democrats alike. Trump’s latest tweets comes on the heels of the U. S. House of Representatives’ condemnation of his Twitter attacks on four Congresswomen of color as ‘racist’.
National Action Network’s Al Sharpton, Trump’s fellow New Yorker, in Baltimore for a meeting and press conference that had been planned weeks earlier, blistered the president for his attacks on Cummings and Baltimore.
“Little did I know that Mr. Trump was going to, on the eve of this, attack the Congressman from this city. And not only the congressman, but the people of this city in the most bigoted and racist way,” said Sharpton at the early morning press conference. “He attacked everybody. I know Donald Trump. He is not mature enough to take criticism. He can’t help it. He’s like a child. Somebody says something, he reacts. He’s thin-skinned and not really matured that well.”
Sharpton concluded, “But he has a particular venom for Black and people of color. He doesn’t refer to other opponents or critics as infested. He does not attack their districts. He attacks Nancy Pelosi, he attacks Chuck Schumer, he attacks other Whites. But he never said that their districts or their states are places that no human being wants to live.”
Republican businessman and political operative Elroy Sailor, co-founder, CEO and Managing Partner of the Watts Partners, named for former Republican Congressman J. C. Watts, opened the press conference by describing a partnership in which Sharpton had reached out to the Bank of America to begin discussions on ways to develop Baltimore; especially its housing stock in the wake of the demise of Black homeownership across America. Jimmy Kemp, the son of former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp, also at the press conference, is a leader in the project.
Also, at the press conference, former chair of the Republican National Committee and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, called Baltimore a “wonderful city” and was highly critical of Trump’s remarks.
“Mr. President, your reprehensible comments are like water rolling off of a duck’s back when it comes to this community. It just washes over them. It doesn’t stick to them. It doesn’t stain them,” Steele said. “Let’s walk this community sir. Let’s talk to them face to face. And you’ll begin to realize and appreciate the hard work and the commitment they have made. The resources that they need, you can help with. The energy that they have, you will benefit from.”
Steele pointed out that three million people lost their homes in the 2008 housing crisis and a million were evicted. Their Baltimore meeting had intended on fixing issues that still stem from that crisis. He urged the public to keep their eyes on the potentially powerful outcome of the project and not on Trump’s tweets.
“We got side-tracked, but we should not be distracted,” Steele said. “Because the work that need to be done that will then benefit and flow out in education, in business and health and other things, it matters. It is the time now to do this. That’s why we were gathered here…Don’t get distracted by the Tweet. Don’t get blinded by the noise…You do that, and this all gets lost.”

Newswire : Martin Luther King, Jr. was a champion for equity in education

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, at march in Selma, with children of Rev. Ralph Abernathy
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s influence on the Civil Rights Movement is indisputable, but his fight for equity in education remains a mystery to some. That fight began with his own education.
“He clearly had an advanced, refined educational foundation from Booker T. Washington High School, Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston University,” said Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., the founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “His education in his speeches and sermons and writings were apparent and he wanted us all to have that type of education.”
King completed high school at 15, college at 19, seminary school at 22 and earned a doctorate at 26.
“Dr. King laid down the case for affordable education for all Americans, including Polish children—from the ghetto and the barrios, to the Appalachian mountains and the reservations—he was a proponent for education for all and he believed that strong minds break strong chains and once you learn your lesson well, the oppressor could not unlearn you.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, the founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), said that NAN works with Education for a Better America to partner with school districts, universities, community colleges, churches, and community organizations around the country to conduct educational programming for students and parents.
“The mission of the organization has been to build bridges between policymakers and the classrooms by supporting innovations in education and creating a dialogue between policymakers, community leaders, educators, parents, and students,” Sharpton said. “We’re promoting student health, financial literacy, and college readiness in our communities, just like Dr. King did.”
King was a figure to look up to in both civil rights and academia, Sharpton told the NNPA Newswire.
“Then, when you look at his values, he always saw education, especially in the Black community, as a tool to uplift and inspire to action,” Sharpton said. “It’s definitely no coincidence that a number of prominent civil rights groups that emerged during Dr. King’s time, were based on college campuses.”
Sharpton added that King routinely pushed for equality to access to education.
“Just as importantly, he always made a point to refer education back to character—that we shouldn’t sacrifice efficiency and speed for morals,” Sharpton said. “A great student not only has the reason and education, but a moral compass to do what’s right with his or her gifts. It’s not just important to be smart, you have to know what’s right and what’s wrong.”
Dr. Wornie Reed, the director of Race and Social Policy Research Center at Virginia Tech who marched with King, said when he thinks of King and education, he immediately considers the late civil rights leader’s advocating that “we should be the best that we could be.”
“King certainly prepared himself educationally…early on he saw that education played a crucial role in society, but perceived it as often being misused,” Reed said. “In a famous essay that he wrote for the student newspaper at Morehouse in 1947, he argued against a strictly utilitarian approach to education, one that advanced the individual and not society.”
Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who remembers running home from church on Sundays to listen to King’s speeches on radio, said King had a tremendous impact on education in the Black community.
“Dr. King worked tirelessly to ensure that African Americans would gain the rights they had long been denied, including the right to a quality education,” said Cummings. “His fight for equality in educational opportunities helped to tear down walls of segregation in our nation’s schools.”
Cummings continued: “He instilled hope in us that we can achieve our dreams no matter the color of our skin. He instilled in us the notion that everyone can be great, because everyone can serve and there are so many great advocates, who embody this lesson.”
In support of education equality, civil rights leaders across the country are still working to ensure all students, regardless of color, receive access to experienced teachers, equitable classroom resources and quality education, Cummings noted further.
For example, the NAACP has done a tremendous amount, across the country, to increase retention rates, ensure students have the resources they need, and prepare students for success after graduation—whether it be for college or a specific career path, Cummings said.
During his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway, King said: “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”
The need for high quality education in the Black community is universal and the route to get there may be different, but education does matter, Jackson said.
“Dr. King told me he read a fiction and a non-fiction book once a week. He was an avid reader and, in the spirit of Dr. King, today we fight for equal, high-quality education,” said Jackson. “We fight for skilled trade training, affordable college education and beyond.”