This morning I have to address the disturbing fact that our federal government has now been shut down for an astounding 19 days.
Starting on Friday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees, including many of our listeners right here on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, are going to miss their first paycheck and many of you have already told me privately that this is going to put you in a world of hurt where you aren’t going to be able to pay your most essential bills, or get groceries – because you, like most of us, need every single paycheck you get to be able to make it in this country.
We call that living paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes it’s said like it’s a bad thing, but the truth is that the overwhelming majority of us need every paycheck we earn to support ourselves and support our families, and that’s always been how this country operates.
And Donald Trump clearly has no sympathy whatsoever for how this shutdown is about to impact 800,000 people because he’s been rich his whole life. His father was a racist billionaire and now he’s a racist billionaire and they’ve never even had to rely on a hard day’s work to get by. Not only that, but Donald Trump flippantly said just two weeks ago that he believed that the majority of employees impacted by the shutdown were Democrats – so he didn’t care as much.
This is all a political game for him.
And he’s boxed himself into an impossible corner. Days before the shutdown began he boldly claimed on national TV that HE would own the shutdown, that the shutdown should be called the Trump shutdown, and that HE was proud to shutdown the government in the name of building a wall on our Southern border. And now he wants to take those words back because he looks like fool who has no idea in the world what he’s doing here.
Our national parks are being shut down and have been damaged in horrible ways because of lack of oversight. The Smithsonian, including the Museum of African American History and Culture, is shut down. TSA lines are growing out of control as employees are beginning to call out and even quit in record numbers. And tens of thousands of government contractors have been told that they won’t even be paid their backpay for the work they’ve missed, which is going to cause so many of them to miss their rent and mortgage payments, and so much more.
And I have to unpack why all of this is rooted in racism.
This is all because Trump wants to show his racist base that he still wants to build the wall, but here’s the thing, Donald Trump literally had two full years in office where Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency and he literally waited until the last week of 2018 to then say it was an emergency.
It’s not an emergency, it’s a political stunt. His horrible speech on TV, which many historians have now said was the worst, most pointless televised speech in presidential history, was a political stunt – and it was full of lies.
Last week the White House was caught in a lie saying that 4,000 suspected terrorists tried to enter our country through the Southern border, when the number turned out to be 6. The other 3,994 people tried to enter through our airports, which are actually now less secure because of this shutdown. In fact, more people on America’s watch list came through our Northern border with Canada than our Southern border with Mexico.
None of this is about safety – it’s about bigotry – and making it look like brown people are the cause of white people’s problems and woes.
In Trump’s televised speech this week he then blamed America’s drug crisis on us not having a wall, but less than ½ of 1% of America’s illegal drugs are smuggled across the border. In fact, most are now either prescribed by reckless American doctors or even shipped over illegally from China. The rest are driven over in cars through America’s ports of entry. They aren’t being smuggled through deserts across the border. Period.
And lastly, over 95% of America’s undocumented immigrants came to this country legally. They aren’t sneaking across the border in the dark of the night. They flew here, or drove here, and simply overstayed their VISAs. A wall doesn’t change that. It won’t change that.
And I’ll close with this thought, this wall is no different than white folk wanting to build Confederate monuments, and then claim that it’s because they love their history. Those monuments were never about history or heritage, those monuments were always about bigotry and intimidation, and that’s exactly what building the wall is all about as well.
We must stand against it. I support the Democrats in this fight. The wall is immoral. And not a single penny should be spent on it.