No surprises in the 2018 midterm election

As of the writing of this column, the 2018 midterm elections are over. The country celebrates the highest voting turnout in half a century: 113 million compared to 83 million in the last midterms. We celebrate Blacks at the top of the electoral pole, whether or not we hear an echo of 2000.

I also celebrate that Minnesota has the first-ever Black winner of a seat on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and an African American winning the 5th Congressional District. I wish both of these women the very best.

As I ask every two years, what is the Democratic Party’s commitment to stand strong and forcefully behind African American candidates across the country? The Trump invitation to African Americans to vote Republican — “what have you got to lose” — is one of the most damning statements about Black leadership in Democratic-run cities.
When the Minnesota tally was completed, Democrats controlled the offices called for in Minnesota’s Constitution. But, as in Washington, Minnesota is also split between Democrats and Republicans.

What will it mean to have an angry Republican president along with angry Democrats and Republicans in Congress? They must tone down their anger. Trump maintains the election of 2018 was a victory for him personally, and for the Republican Party, as he tries to save face regarding losing the House of Representatives.

The new focus: the 2020 elections. Some are worried about the possibility of a constitutional crisis if Bob Mueller, the special counsel investigating whether there was Trump/Russian collusion, is fired, with half fighting to fire and half fighting to prevent firing.

Also, each political side says they’ll be on war footing if the other side investigates them. Both are acting as if they were grade school kids fighting during recess. This would be funny if they were not adults with significant responsibilities to carry out for our kids and their families.

Much needs to be done regarding education, jobs, and housing, not to mention internationally, in general, and along our southern border, in particular. We can handle kids’ recess instability, but not an unstable United States.

Since my last column, another mass shooting occurred, this time in Thousand Oaks, Calif — two weeks after the mass shooting in Pittsburgh, Penn., and the two African Americans shot by a White supremacist in Jeffersontown, Ky.
How much violence will be against African Americans in the United States over the next two years by White extremists, and will there continue to be little coverage by White or Black leaders and journalists?

It is important to remember, as Thurgood Marshall often said: African Americans have the right to be heard, and the right to be equally protected under the Constitution and the laws of this nation.

We cannot be sure such protections will always be provided. Too often, too many ambitious leaders, White and Black, are nowhere to be found or heard when action is required. I wonder what Black leadership will have to say about the negatives in Black neighborhoods, about international interactions, and about the caravans heading toward our southern border.

Will there be peace and comity or scorched earth policies and responses? Opportunity and reform are needed, especially regarding prisons, drugs, education and voting. I offer approaches to achieve solutions in my two Minneapolis Story publications and on my website at theminneapolisstory.com.

Stay tuned.