Having survived three-quarters of a century, I’ve learned a few things about the United States of America.
Being a student of our history has served as my road map.
With that in mind, I’m convinced the presidential election this year will be decided by one factor: can white racists in America be out-voted?
As for the current president, Donald J. Trump, I chronicled his virulent bigotry in previous Sidney Daily News articles.
Suffice it to say, I consider Trump to be a Ku Klux Klansman in the White House.
Trump has more in common with past racist demagogues, like former Alabama Governor George Wallace and former Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor, than he does an American chief of state.
Only a man or woman completely ignorant of American racial history would be unaware of Trump’s malignant appeal to tens of millions of us.
Following is Americana you may not recall of know.
The year 1968 was every bit as tumultuous as 2020 — even minus a health pandemic. It included the assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert Kennedy. There was racial unrest and violent protests (as well as peaceful) against the Vietnam War.
Incredibly, the 1968 presidential election was the first in American history when some type of functional apartheid — either slavery or segregation — didn’t exist.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 finally provided some legal remedies to African-American in particular.
So, what did American voters do in 1968? They awarded 55% of their voters to either Richard Nixon (the winner) or the aforementioned Wallace. Both ran “law and order” campaigns targeting especially white racists in the south.
Wallace actually won five states and 13.5% of the vote.
Trump, meanwhile, has been on a “law and order” tear with walked racist messages that “the suburbs will disappear for housewives” should a person of color move next door.
Caucasians Americans remain a majority at approximately 62%.
America has always harbored racism.
The question really is, how much of it exists?
We’re going to find out again this November.
The writer is a former Sidney Daily News sports editor (1973-75), was a Logan County Schools truant officer (1979-2005) and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force in the Vietnam era (1965-69).