President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Conference Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Official White House/ Shealah Craighead

Trump says he may pardon January 6 rioters at Texas rally

Explosive, ongoing Trump rhetoric may be contributing to nationwide division and violence. Apparently, little has changed since 2016. 

On Saturday, former U.S. president Donald Trump, held a rally in Conroe, Texas to drum up interest in a possible 2024 presidential run. During the “Save America” rally, he addressed thousands of his Lonestar state supporters, as well as endorsed the state’s Republican leadership including Governor Abbott. If reelected in 2024, Trump expressed he would seek fair treatment for January 6 insurrectionists; many of whom were his supporters. 

“[I]f I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly,” Trump asserted to the cheering crowd. “And if it requires pardons we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly.” 

More than one year later, the FBI is still looking for 350 individuals involved with the coup, even offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. To date, more than 700 people have been charged with federal crimes in connection to the treasonous episode.

Among other chief points made, the former U.S. president criticized the Biden Administration’s handling of foriegn policy, citing the August departure from Afghanistan. To pour more salt on Biden’s sore spots in leadership, Trump also took a jab at the poor oversight in supply-chain management and even the noticeable spike in the cost of living. 

Spewed Trump. “What Joe Biden and Pelosi-Schumer Congress have done to our country in just one year is a travesty of the highest order. Inflation is skyrocketing. Gas prices are soaring. Supply chains are crumbling.” 

To which White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki retorted, “[Trump] defended the actions of his supporters who stormed the Capitol and brutally attacked the law enforcement officers protecting it . . . I think it’s important to shout that out and call that out.” 

What’s beef?

Explicit right-wing, white supremacist sentiments have increased in different forms since the civil unrest and nationwide protests during summer 2020. For instance, racist trolls bombarded professional development conferences like that of the 16th Annual National Black Pre-law Conference and Law Fair in November 2020. The opening days of the virtual sessions were hijacked by Dixie music and pornography while a cocophony of unknown voices yelled “nigger” repeatedly to the majority Black attendees of the closed event. 

“Racism is alive and well in 20[20]. Learning the law provides access to power and the ability to create change. That is the issue here. There are people who don’t want to see more Black people become lawyers.,” said event organizer Evangeline M. Mitchell, Esq., Ed.M. in an email correspondence. “Your response: Do everything you can to become lawyers. Please understand that the coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop us from hosting this year’s event and racist trolls won’t stop us either. We will stay the course despite any adversity, harassment, or intimidation.”

As Black History Month creeps on us, the typical Dr. King pacifist, Jesus-like rhetoric about turning the other cheek will be regurgitated ad nauseum–especially for Black people. Sometimes, merely minding one’s business is not sufficient. Even worse, it could possibly contribute to the problem. In reflecting on the 28 day commemoration, old patterns are extremely telling. 

Yolanda Aguilera focuses on culture, policy, domestic, international relations, and the African and Latin Diasporas.

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