By Najee Ali
Much respect to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, who for decades has fought tirelessly on behalf of her constituents and been a voice for human rights nationally.
No one can dispute that she is fearless and a champion of the people, but the comments she delivered at a rally last week outside the federal building demanding that the immigrant children currently being held hostage by President Donald Trump and the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement be released and returned to their parents were troubling for me.
Waters did not urge or encourage violence against Trump, his cabinet or supporters. She instead called for them to be shamed and confronted in public and to push back on them to let them know they are not welcome.
Now that’s fine if you are the owner of the restaurant or establishment they are in but if you aren’t, getting into a public confrontation isn’t going to change or solve a damn thing. If you confront a Republican or someone who works for Trump, they are not going to agree with you and you aren’t going to change their views.
In every public confrontation there is the potential for violence. We have already seen enough violence when Trump ran for president and there were public confrontations.
Trump is the one who called for violence against his protestors, telling his supporters to “hit them in the head and he would bail them out.” And some of his supporters complied, attacking unarmed black people who spoke out against Trump at his campaign rallies.
After Trump won the presidency, the violence his supporters used didn’t stop. They became emboldened with their own racist rallies, the most infamous was in North Carolina last year wwere numerous black anti-Trump protestors were attacked with tiki torches.
Since then we have seen phone calls made to the police against African Americans nationally. It’s as if African Americans can’t sit in Starbucks, can’t have cookouts or walk in a different neighborhood to visit friends. Our children can’t swim in a community pool, cut lawns or sell lemonade.
I’m not making this up. In the last few weeks. African Americans have had the police called on them for no justifiable reason by racist white people for all the above-mentioned acts.
The reality is if you’re not the owner of an establishment that Trump staffers and supporters are in, it’s very ill advised of you to confront them or anyone else. I say leave those clowns alone and ignore them.
We can’t play and engage in politics by the dozens with Trump and his cronies. Waters is already getting death threats and has had to cancel speaking engagements and increase her security. So yes, we must stand with Waters and help keep her safe. But African-Americans are not monolithic. We don’t have to always agree with tactics called for by our leadership.
You and I don’t have federal protection security paid for by our tax dollars. We can’t afford to caught up emotionally with those that don’t share our political views. Former first lady Michelle Obama once said at a campaign rally “When they go low. We go high.”
That’s what I suggest. Waters is to be commended for her courage and conviction. But that won’t win a campaign. The reason Trump is sitting in the White House right now is because the out organized the Democrats. We are good for marching and protesting in high numbers, but Republicans vote in record numbers.
The best and only way to make true lasting change is to vote Trump and his allies out of office. Let’s out think and organize against them. Anything else is useless and a waste of our time.
And finally, a huge thank you from the Los Angeles Muslim community to Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price and staff member Bryce Rosaauro, who made it possible for the Muslim community to have a great kick-off for the city of Los Angeles Muslim Heritage Month celebration that was observed on the floor of last week’s city council meeting.
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