PBS Compares Obama To Reconstruction, Trump To Backlash

News & Politics

NPR’s Michel Martin welcomed history professor Peniel E. Joseph to PBS’s Amanpour and Company to discuss his latest book where he compares the election of Barack Obama to the passage of the Reconstruction Amendments and to Civil Rights Movement and the election of Donald Trump to the backlash to those movements.

Martin kicked things off by asking Joseph to discuss the book, “So, walk me through it. Your book — your new book, focuses on the period between the historical election of Barack Obama in 2008 and the coup attempt on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. This is a period that you called ‘The Third Reconstruction,’ that’s the title of your book. So, I’m going to ask you, just briefly as you can, to walk me through what was the first and what was the second and why is this the third?”

Before Joseph even began to speak, it was obvious this was going to be a segment more on name-calling than historical analysis. Sensible people understand that you don’t need to approve of rioting at the Capitol to realize there were reasons to support Trump or oppose Obama that have nothing to do with racism and that Trump won in 2016 because we won the same swing voters that Obama did.

Still, if Obama represents the third Reconstruction, Joseph believes that means he is comparable to the first, “from 1865 to 1898 and it’s really a 33- year period after racial slavery where we see the Reconstruction Amendments 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments that end racial slavery, provide birthright citizenship for all Americans. And provide black men with voting suffrage which later will be extended to white women in 1920 and black women in 1965.”

You Might Like

While these were good things about the era, there were also bad things which, following Joseph’s logic, Trump is analogous to, “And the lows of the Klan, the lows of Black Codes, and convict lease systems and sharecropping. So, on some levels, like W. E. B. Du Bois says, the negro has his and her moment in the sun before being relegated back to a kind of slavery by another name.”

The second historical era that Obama is similar to is, “from 1954 to 1968 the Brown Supreme Court desegregation decision all the way through the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and in-between, we see Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Acts, and certainly the urban rebellions of the 1960s that lead to black power.”

Finally getting to present day, Joseph continued:

And this third reconstruction really is pivoted around four different points. One, is the rise of Barack Obama in 2007-2008. Two, is the rise of Black Lives Matter 1.0, after the murder of Trayvon Martin. And the third is the rise of MAGA and Donald Trump, Make America Great Again, and this backlash to the politics of reconstruction. And then finally, 2020, which sees really a juxtaposition, Michel. You see enormous positives with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. More white people protesting for racial justice than ever in the history of the republic. And then we see the disparate treatment between black and whites and Latinx and AAPI because of the pandemic.

Missing the irony of “Latinx,” Joseph would proceed to tie January 6 to racism and while rioting at the Capitol is never acceptable, so is accusing people of being racist for not supporting a liberal president.

This segment was sponsored by viewers like you.

Here is a transcript for the September 21 show:

PBS Amanpour and Company

9/21/2022

1:18 AM ET

MICHEL MARTIN: So, walk me through it. Your book — your new book, focuses on the period between the historical election of Barack Obama in 2008 and the coup attempt on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. This is a period that you called “The Third Reconstruction,” that’s the title of your book. So, I’m going to ask you, just briefly as you can, to walk me through what was the first and what was the second and why is this the third?

PENIEL E. JOSEPH: The first reconstruction is from 1865 to 1898 and it’s really a 33- year period after racial slavery where we see the Reconstruction Amendments 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments that end racial slavery, provide birthright citizenship for all Americans. And provide black men with voting suffrage which later will be extended to white women in 1920 and black women in 1965.

So, that first Reconstruction sees the highs of historically black colleges and universities, black churches, black women and men as leaders. And the lows of the Klan, the lows of Black Codes, and convict lease systems and sharecropping. So, on some levels, like W. E. B. Du Bois says, the negro has his and her moment in the sun before being relegated back to a kind of slavery by another name.

The second reconstruction is from 1954 to 1968 the Brown Supreme Court desegregation decision all the way through the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and in-between, we see Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Acts, and certainly the urban rebellions of the 1960s that lead to black power.

And this third reconstruction really is pivoted around four different points. One, is the rise of Barack Obama in 2007-2008. Two, is the rise of Black Lives Matter 1.0, after the murder of Trayvon Martin. And the third is the rise of MAGA and Donald Trump, Make America Great Again, and this backlash to the politics of reconstruction.

And then finally, 2020, which sees really a juxtaposition, Michel. You see enormous positives with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. More white people protesting for racial justice than ever in the history of the republic. And then we see the disparate treatment between black and whites and Latinx and AAPI because of the pandemic. We see the racial backlash when we think about the election of 2020. And then finally, we see the January 6th insurrection and a coup attempt. That’s really predicating on this notion that black people committed voter fraud. And that idea of voter fraud goes back to the first reconstruction. We’ve heard about allegations of black people committing voter fraud ever since they earned the right to vote through their participation in the Civil War and as being abolitionists.

Articles You May Like

The Fringe with Megan Fox, Episode 103: Up Against the Gender Cult in…Oklahoma?
Arizona Has A SOROS-BACKED Democrat Running For District Attorney In Maricopa County
‘Rolling with laughter at the responses to this tweet’: Dean Cain calls it ‘utterly ridiculous’ that he had to wear a mask while flying to and from Canada
Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline to Germany Loses Pressure Overnight from 300 to 7 Bars – Cause Unknown
Students Finally Winning the School Choice Fight

Leave a Comment - No Links Allowed:

Your email address will not be published.