Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Forget Being Great — Can America Even be Saved?

If you let Donald J. Trump tell it, America will be “Great Again.” Sorry, Donald. It ain’t gonna happen.

What is the more likely outcome in my opinion are the words of abolitionist John Brown, in a note handed to his hangman: “I, John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”

Now let’s be real. Trump is the sitting president of the United States. Brown was hung for treason on Dec. 2, 1859, for leading an attack on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, hoping to spark an uprising among the millions of lowly slaves. It didn’t happen. Brown was betrayed by a free Black man who warned the townspeople before Brown could get his garrison in place.

If they could ever come face to face, this argument would be laughed out of any moot court in the land: a treasonous religious fanatic, a martyr, who sympathized with the plight of the lowly slaves, and who believed he was an instrument of God, versus a president of the United States who courts today’s religious zealots, who support him back because he supports their opposition to abortion. No contest. No regard for justice, but no contest just the same.

But if The God of Justice has anything to say about it, maybe John Brown was correct — the Civil War notwithstanding. It was the bloodiest war in U.S. history, with more than 600,000 dead on both sides. I don’t believe that was the blood purge that will cleanse this guilty country’s crimes against the enslaved Africans and against the native peoples.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” the King James Bible says in Galatians 6:7. The United States was not absolved of her sins after the bloodbath in the 1860s, because the same wicked acts that were perpetrated against innocent Black people then are still being wrought on Black people today.

I mean today — literally, at this very moment — an atrocity is being committed against some innocent man, woman or child, for no reason except the person is Black.

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Austin R. Cooper Jr.

Austin R. Cooper, Jr., is an experienced government affairs and public relations professional. He has over 25 years of related experience and accomplishments working in senior-level positions on Capitol Hill, as a state lobbyist for the City of New York under former Mayor David Dinkins and with Edelman Worldwide and Hill & Knowlton. For several years, he also served as the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) in Atlanta, GA. Austin is currently the President of Cooper Strategic Affairs, LLC, which provides government relations and communications counsel to government and non-government organizations in Washington, DC.

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