Welcome to the America Black People Have Always Lived In

By Michael Harriot, The Root

Good morning!

It is so great to see all of you gathered here on this lovely day! From the looks on your faces, many of you seem disturbed to find yourself in this meeting, but trust me, you should be thankful. I thought that by the first month into Donald Trump’s presidency, we’d be 0n 0ur 28th day of nuclear winter or at least two weeks into the race war by now. But praise light-skinned Jesus, we’re all still alive!

The reason we are gathered here is that many of you are confused about how you became a stranger in a strange land. You’ve found yourselves in unfamiliar territory since our dim-witted orange overlord took his throne. We see the befuddled looks on all of your faces every day as you lament about the state of the country since we elected an authoritarian orangutan as our leader, and how it’s affecting you.

Now that he’s bumbling around the Oval Office, you’re worried about your health care, the economy, education and even your security. Everything seems so uncertain, and the world just seems so harsh, but don’t fear—that’s why you’re here today. We wanted to settle your doubts and assure you that nothing is wrong.

Welcome to America.

This is the America that black people have seen every day for 398 years. I know for most of you, this country has always been a shiny beacon of hope and freedom, but now that our pulp-faced president has smashed all of your rose-colored glasses, we figured you might need an orientation session on how you should react and what you should expect now that you get to live in the sweaty armpits of Lady Liberty.

I know that many of our Caucasian citizens thought Trump was going to make it rain jobs as if you were onstage in the strip club making it clap. Since his inauguration, it seems like the only segment of the population that has gained employment is the sliver of people who are in the least-experienced presidential Cabinet in recent history. Trust me, you’ll get used to racist white guys giving jobs to all their underqualified white friends.

Speaking of unqualified, I’m sure you’re concerned about the state of America’s education system since Betsy DeVos, the half-literate über-Becky selected to set school policy, became secretary of education. When you are troubled by things like this, you must look on the bright side:

Chicago’s failing public schools are almost all majority black. Of the 37,000 students attending failing schools in Alabama, 34,000 were black. Researcher David Mosenkis found that schools with black children get less money regardless of the income level or tax base:

At any given poverty level, districts that have a higher proportion of white students get substantially higher funding than districts that have more minority students. That means that no matter how rich or poor the district in question, funding gaps existed solely based on the racial composition of the school.

Maybe black kids will finally have a chance to compete on a level playing field after DeVos turns all of America’s institutions of learning into failing schools.

Yeah, I know: Sometimes the bright side is kinda shitty, but that’s the America you’re living in now!

Speaking of living, I know many of you are worried about your health care because more white people benefited from the Affordable Care Act than blacks and Latinos combined. Here’s what you’re going to have to do: You need to call your local representative and tell him or her not to repeal Obamacare. I know many of you had no idea that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare were one and the same, but now you know. They’re probably going to call you poor, shiftless people who want to live off welfare. If they repeal Obamacare, mostly poor whites will be hurt, and I know it’s upsetting to realize that they will pass laws with no regard for your health or well-being.

Welcome to the party.

Finally, for all of my immigrant friends who thought that America was the beacon of liberty and justice, I’m sure many of you came to this country to build a better, safer life. Some of you thought you could work hard and stay out of trouble and wouldn’t have to worry about law enforcement, but now that Trump’s new immigration policy has 10,000 storm troopers hunting down any immigrants who haven’t tied their shoelaces, we’d like to welcome you to a world where not committing a crime doesn’t necessarily mean the police aren’t coming for you.

Can’t you feel America getting great again?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say hello to the Muslims in the audience raising money to rebuild their mosques. We have some preachers from all over the South who might be able to give you guys a few pointers on rebuilding after hate groups burn down your place of worship. To the Jewish people in the audience reeling from the rise in anti-Semitism who feel a little upset that the president won’t address your issue, if anyone knows what you’re growing through, we do.

I know this is an entirely different world for you, but you’ll get used to it. As you resist or fight to change this new America for the better, some people will accuse you of hating this country. They will accuse you of whining too much, or of wanting a handout. They will ask you why you are always bringing up race, or religion. When they do this, just point to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty that reads:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Don’t argue with them. Don’t let their hate or disregard dismay you. Just be thankful you got the chance—if only for a second—to “breathe free.”

Must be nice.

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