What Do We Have to Lose? A Lot.

Freddie Gray protest at the Baltimore Police Department Western District building at N. Mount St. and Riggs Ave. Photo credit: Veggies, Wikimedia Commons
Freddie Gray protest at the Baltimore Police Department Western District building at N. Mount St. and Riggs Ave. Photo credit: Veggies, Wikimedia Commons

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. In far too many cities in our nation, there are children who are in desperate need of guidance. Many are living and/or suffering in poverty.

Every now and then, something happens to remind us that they are there. However, too many are invisible to the majority of those whose lives are absent of their presence.

The nation’s prisons are filled with them. A combination of bad schools and bad luck have the jails teeming with them.

At one point in our history, politicians really cared about these children, and during their regular stump speeches, references were made about their plight and the need to address their systemic destruction.

Alas, no more. Now, politicians cynically use their plight to appeal to a truism for their own selfish gain.

It was President Donald Trump who famously and rhetorically asked African-Americans, “What do you have to lose?”

The Republican candidate for president of the United States said to African Americans and Latinos:

“Our government has totally failed our African-American friends, our Hispanic friends and the people of our country.”

He then said something that paralleled what Malcolm X might have said. Donald Trump said:

“For those hurting the most who have been failed and failed by their politician -year after year, failure after failure, worse numbers after worse numbers.

Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. no homes, no ownership. Crimes at levels nobody has seen.”

Then Mr. Trump said,

“What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out. What do you have to lose?”

As we approach his one hundredth day in office, here is the answer to Mr. Trump’s rhetorical question, “What do you have to lose?”

President Trump’s Justice Department is attempting to get out of consent decrees around the nation, including Baltimore, which were designed to reform systemic bias in those police departments.

President Trump met with presidents of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), promising them more funding, and then presenting a budget that will actually reduce funding for these institutions.

He claimed that he would give everyone healthcare coverage, yet his proposal would leave 24 million people without health care, many of them black and brown people.

As we approach his 100th day in office, the question should not be what has the Trump administration accomplished, but rather, “How can a candidate for president do so much harm in such a short period of time?”

“What the hell do you have to lose?” A lot, Mr. President, and every day you are proving why the vast majority of black and brown people said, “hell no” to you and your candidacy!

Information is power. Justice is indivisible. Be careful of those politicians who claim that you have nothing to lose.

A Luta Continua!

Carl Snowden is a political and civil rights leader in Annapolis. 

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Carl Snowden and Associates were founded in 1985. It is a private consultant firm that specializes in addressing bias and institutional racism. Its founder Carl Snowden and the company have been featured in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore Sun. The company working with the ACLU in Maryland have won cases involving voting rights, employment discrimination and sexual harassment.