The government was partially shut down for almost two weeks at the end of 2018. It was hardly noticeable. It seems it has been partially shut down since 2016. First political prediction: The government will reopen … and it won’t matter. Here are a few others.
Republicans will continue to prove they have the darkest hearts imaginable
Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff recently revisited Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” and wrote, “It feels like the work of someone who looked around at America and concluded that it was a land full of angry, spiteful people who would be more willing to burn their own lives to the ground than admit either their own sins or the sins of their country.” Hmm. Yeah, that pretty much sums up Republicans and their supporters. That cabal will continue to produce and support Roy Moores, Cindy Hyde-Smiths, Corey Stewarts, Arthur Joneses, Russell Walkers and Donald Trumps in 2019. They’re a nasty bunch that doesn’t even care about the little ones.
For example, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., recently commented on immigrant children dying in ICE custody: “These are the only two children that have died. Considering what happens in housing projects, I think ICE has an excellent record.” My Morehouse brother and Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. said of King: “Disgusting human being. Period.” True. And please, please, pretty please stop using the excuse that these individuals are Republican anomalies. They’re not — and they have plenty of support. That will continue in 2019.
House Democrats come back to power in 2019 and will once again prove how flaccid and disconnected they are. Demands for transformation of the party will become more urgent as decent people grow less and less tolerant of the Democrats’ half-measures. Of course, traditional party stalwarts will continue to resist this movement. Consequently, the possibility that the party is rotten and incapable of standing up to the stormtrooper tactics of the GOP will be more seriously considered. That will birth genuine long-term progressive conversations about alternatives to the Democrats. Can you say viable third party — finally?
We will move closer to the destiny of demography
A very insightful Hispanic friend calmly told me a few months ago, “As you know, this stuff going on right now isn’t about immigration; it’s about race. But let me tell you something — it isn’t gonna matter in 10 to 20 years, brother. We’re patient and we’re having babies! Plenty of them! It’s only a matter of time before we have the numbers to simply vote in a new reality. That’s what they’re scared of.” Black folks are having babies, too. Some of us are even having them with white people — and the products are a bit … colorful. This will be another year that moves us closer to proving racist Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham right. America’s future is … dark. Do you still wonder why the Republicans are so committed to voter suppression?
Last year saw case after case of black people (men, women and children) publicly harassed by whites across the country for everything from entering their own apartment building to mowing lawns to barbecuing in a park. The cases were nationwide, ranging from Georgia to Oregon to Ohio to California. White folks show no signs of slowing down in their belief that they have the right to challenge blacks for “not knowing their place.” Considering the fact that America rarely works to make black citizens more comfortable, it stands to reason that we will see a move toward forcing African-Americans to secure 19th century Black Codes type passes that they must carry in public. Any white person would be able to demand the blacks in question produce these IDs to prove they have the right to inhabit certain spaces or engage in pre-approved activities in 2019.
Race will remain at the heart of our struggle
Race will continue to be central in America’s social, political and spiritual story in 2019, and much of white America will continue to deny it. Others (politically epitomized by the Republican Party) will ramp up efforts to protect what they feel is rightfully theirs. Whether it’s white supremacists marching in Charlottesville affirming, “Jews will not replace us” or the president of the United States pledging to preserve our “beautiful (Confederate) statues,” we will continue to see more blatantly aggressive white stances, oratory, political policies and social actions fueled by the same mentality that birthed the supremacist ideologies of white man’s burden and manifest destiny. As always, the question is, how many people will have the stomach to fight back?
National news channels will only cover stories related to Donald Trump
Oh, that’s right. They were already doing that in 2018, sucking all the oxygen from every other substantive issue! Oh well.
Happy New Year!
Dr. Ricky L. Jones is chair of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville and host of iHeart Media’s award-winning “Ricky Jones Show with 12 Mr. FTC” radio show and podcast. His next book, co-authored with Marc Murphy, is titled, “Colin, Confederates and Con-Artists.” Visit him at www.rickyljones.com.