Dr. Lasana Kazembe joined us to discuss a new book he co-edited for the Third World Press Foundation titled, Not Our President: New Directions from the Pushed Out, the Others, and the Clear Majority in Trump’s Stolen America.
“Having spent the past six months—since the stunning election of #45 to the presidency of the U.S.— reading a broad range of analyses concerning “how” and “why,” I am certain about the unparalleled truth-telling of this co-edited volume, NOT OUR PRESIDENT. The veteran writer/publisher Haki Madhubuti and poet/professor Lasana Kazembe have assembled a dazzling array of readings by a multi-racial, multi-generational group who would likely not have appeared between the same two covers under a different set of circumstances. They are professors, poets, politicians, organizers, activists, historians, journalists, rappers, educators, scholars, elders, lefties, nationalists, psychologists, radicals, millennials. They are prolific and award-winning writers…and the sitting major of New Orleans.
While the dominant theme here is the impact of white supremacy and white nationalism, perhaps the book’s most important contribution to our understanding of the 2016 Presidential election is the painstaking analyses of the political terrain that produced #45, including the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980, and of course the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. Especially brilliant in this regard is Professor Gerald Horne‘s “The Reckoning” and Professor Michael Simanga‘s “African American, The Compromise of 2008, and Donald J. Trump.” Throughout and in many different ways, we are reminded of the in-your-face persistence of institutionalized racism. In the words of Professor Aminifu Harvey, we now have “a cabinet that is 86% white, 82%male, and 77% white males. It is the least diverse cabinet since Ronald Reagan.”
NOT OUR PRESIDENT will likely be disturbing to a broad swathe of U.S. audiences. Taking no prisoners, metaphorically speaking, its riveting critiques are hard-hitting, passionate, and unrelenting. Targets include the Alt-Right, mainstream media, the Republican right wing, evangelical Christians, neo-liberals, and yes, the Democratic Party, the U.S. Left, and neo-liberalism.
There is also robust discourse about how, across divergent political locations, we can resist, forge sustaining solidarities, rekindle old ones, and perhaps imagine new possibilities in perhaps the most debilitating national moment in recent U.S. history.”
Beverly Guy-Sheftall is the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College and edited WORDS OF FIRE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMINIST THOUGHT