In Black History month, we think it is appropriate to reflect on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
We are concerned that the arc is hitting a brick wall. On a nation-wide basis, we think the Trump administration is attempting to dismantle the social and moral fabric of our country.
Trump is guided by Stephen K. Bannon, who has been criticized as representing racist views and is the former head of Breitbart News.
Trump-nominated Betsy DeVos, a person who has shown scorn for public education, has been confirmed as Secretary of Education. He has nominated Tom Price, a person who has vigorously opposed the Affordable Care Act and efforts to expand health insurance coverage, as the Secretary of Health and Human Services; Ben Carson, a person who questions the role of the government in providing affordable housing and providing incentives to end patterns of segregation, as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Scott Pruitt, an ally of the fossil fuel industry, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The list goes on.
Last night the Senate was scheduled to consider consenting to the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, a man who has been criticized for his views on immigration, civil rights, and voter access. In a shameful – and incredible – measure on Feb. 7, the Republicans voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was reading a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King that criticized Mr. Sessions’ record on civil rights.
Really? Is the hearing to consider only evidence favorable to Mr. Sessions?
Trump’s executive orders to build a wall, to bar immigrants or refugees from entering the country, to deport what may amount to more than 6 million people living here, to penalize sanctuary cities, is disheartening at best, and devastating to those whose lives he so blithely would uproot.
At home in Evanston, we have been trying to work toward social justice. The school districts are implementing programs to help all children succeed. Many non-profits are ramping up and refining their efforts to assist people. More than 40 organizations and institutions have joined the Evanston Cradle to Career initiative. On Monday, the City announced many changes to policies of the Police Department intended to promote greater fairness. In the last few weeks, the City and the School Districts adopted a welcoming ordinance or resolutions.
In the face of this affront to our values, let us stay strong as a community.