Keep the pressure on
7/28/2017, 7:19 a.m.
We don’t know where to begin this week with the crazy that has taken place in Washington.
President Trump on Wednesday revived a ban that prevents transgender individuals from serving in the military, even though up to 6,000 transgender people are now on active duty or serving in the reserves. Senate Republicans are on a marathon to tear down Obamacare. And federal probes of Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election have now expanded to include Trump family finances.
That’s enough to deal with. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as delegates at the national NAACP convention learned during the week in Baltimore. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization finds its plate more than full with an added array of critical justice issues, including voting rights, police brutality, disparate discipline for African-American children in public schools and unequal justice in the courts.
It’s not just about black folks. Daily, more and more groups of people — immigrants, elderly, disabled, sick children, the LGBTQ community and other people of color — find that President Trump and his reactionary supporters in Congress are coming for rights and opportunities they hold dear — health care, military service, education, jobs, justice.
We hope that Derrick Johnson, the national NAACP’s new interim president and CEO, is adept at coalition building. As one official from the organization put it, we need an “all-hands-on-deck” approach. And that means people of all stripes must join forces to beat back attempts to put the nation on a course for disaster.
The bully-in-chief may whip up on members of his own administration and GOP members of Congress, but the American people and Democratic members of Congress continue to show they will not be moved.
Mr. Johnson and other NAACP leaders are scheduled to embark on a seven-city “listening tour” around the nation. While that’s laudable, we believe the time for talk is over.
Action must begin — strategic, focused action that can halt GOP plans to repeal Obamacare and deny health care coverage for up to 32 million people over the next decade.
The situation must be dire when scores of people stand up in the U.S. Senate gallery and shout “Kill the bill, don’t kill us!” during lawmakers’ debate on President Trump’s health care rollback plans.
Use your phone, your email and your presence to let your elected officials know how you feel. Keep the pressure on.