America has chosen its new president. The fact that it was a very UN-unanimous vote is staring us in the face through huge protests marching down the streets of the biggest cities in the country.
However, despite these acts, the truth remains, the Republican Party is going to run the country for a while and Trump will take the office. Everyone else will just have to deal, and different parts of the US society find their own ways to do this.
Grassroot Movements and Civil Rights Activists Stay Unsure
After the shootings of black men by the police in 2014, civil rights movements, like Black Lives Matter, have been on the rise. The Obama administration provided them with constant support, which resulted in the strengthening of the reform in troubled cities.
Judging by the Trump’s campaign, this policy of the federal government will undergo severe changes. It seems that they won’t be for the best as the president-elect has made numerous claims about the return of stop-and-frisk-style policing (which has been considered non-constitutional). In the face of the ‘law and order’ Trump claims to establish in the near future, civil rights activists are trying to figure out what to do.
On one hand, there can be no doubt that any policy of the new administration cannot change the anti-racist movements gathering force all over the planet. Our culture takes care of that, as you can every time you decide to buy tickets for a concert or watch a movie. The only mentions of racism in the pop culture are aimed to discredit this ideology as a whole, and we gladly accept and admire talented people regardless of their race, nationality, and religious persuasion.
However, on the level of the local criminal prosecution, the matters look far more troubling. This latest political change has concentrated the majority of political power in the hands of Republicans. This party has never been known for their acts of kindness towards the black and Hispanic population of the States. Civil rights activists fear that their communities will become militarized zones and there would be nowhere to seek any help from.
Remember that it were the federal consent decrees that made any positive changes since 2014 and helped uncover constitutional violations by the police department in Baltimore.
The question people ask today is whether the practice of investigating the law enforcement over the matter of civil rights abuse will continue now that Trump is in power?
The prognosis seems to be quite unsatisfactory at the moment as his front-runners for the Attorney General are believed to be Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani (the evangelist of stop-and-frisk). In general, one could assume that the federal intervention into the local matters will be drastically reduced. With the Republican lawmakers in control, neither courts, nor Congress may offer a recourse for the civil rights activists.
Would Have Democrats Been the Better Choice?
The logical answer seems to be ‘yes, of course’, but the truth isn’t that simple. History teaches us that nothing is black-and-white when it comes to politics. It was under the reign of the Democratic president Clinton who signed an extremely tough-n-crime bill in 1994. It was during Obama’s reign that Eric Holder (Attorney General) has vowed (read ‘threatened’) to enforce drug laws vigorously.
On the other hand, Trump and his administration currently have a golden opportunity to institute reforms and win over the wholehearted support of the liberals. They have the power and determination where Democrats might have lacked the drive to enact meaningful changes.
Whether the Republicans will use this chance to settle the Latino and African-American communities that are currently being over-criminalized is something the future will show. One thing we can be sure of is that this situation will not remain unchanged for long.