Morehouse College Panel Says Trump's Presidency Will Increase Community Activism

Date Released: February 1, 2017

Fallout over the election of President Donald Trump and his controversial views on immigration and health care is creating a new sense of activism that could unite people of color and diverse religious backgrounds in the fight against social injustice, some of the country’s leading civil rights leaders said recently at Morehouse College.

In his first week as president, Trump suspended a 0.25 percentage point premium cut for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans that would have reduced the cost of mortgages for millions of homebuyers. Now, Americans with $200,000 mortgages will pay roughly $500 more in 2017 than they would have if the rate reduction from President Obama had stayed in place, according to the FHA.

The Rev. Warnock said that members of the black church who did not vote have to realize their role in that.

In his first week as president, Trump suspended a 0.25 percentage point premium cut for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans that would have reduced the cost of mortgages for millions of homebuyers. Now, Americans with $200,000 mortgages will pay roughly $500 more in 2017 than they would have if the rate reduction from President Obama had stayed in place, according to the FHA.

The Rev. Warnock said the increase by the so-called “blue collar billionaire” was “significant for ordinary working people trying to make ends meet.”

The pastor added that Trump’s unsubstantiated claim of widespread voter fraud by illegal immigrants that he alleges cost him the popular vote; his order to withhold federal funds from cities that refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants; and his mandate that the Department of Homeland Security begin to build a 1,900-mile long wall to protect U.S. borders from Mexican crossings could foreshadow a plan to suppress voter rights with poll restrictions. Such restrictions have historically diluted minority votes.

“It’s a decades worth of damage in five days … I think we have got to prepare ourselves for a fight,’’ Warnock said.

Morehouse College Professor Rice said that people of color must stay informed about what lawmakers are debating in Washington D.C. so that they are prepared to “push back and mobilize.”

“We have to be honest with ourselves about what is going on and not hide and turn off the television,” Rice said.

Ambassador Young shared tales of his days in the trenches with Martin Luther King Jr. He said that King stayed calm in the face of uncertainty despite the trials he faced. Ambassador Young advised students seeking to mobilize against Trump’s politics to control their tempers, study the political process, and to get active in organizations and efforts that effect change.

For example, Rep. Abrams’ New Georgia Project registered more than 200,000 of Georgia’s unregistered voters in the last four years. She said the work of her organization and others like it helped counties growing in their diversity like Gwinnett and Cobb counties go Democratic in a presidential election for the first time in decades. “It says something when people who have been told by their leaders that their voices don’t matter, rise up and respond,’’ Rep. Abrams said.

Nevertheless, for the next four years, Ambassador Young added, civil rights leaders will have to learn how to work with Trump and understand why he won the election. “The world is slipping way from white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. They are desperate. We have to be sensitive to that.’’


Last Modified: June 8, 2017, 14:06 PM, by: Synera Shelton

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