Give Us This Day

The October 24, 2018 newspaper article entitled, “‘Give Us This Day’ documentary highlights a year in East St. Louis,” caught my attention. The documentary will premiere on Direct TV on November 8. Directors Michael Zimbalist and his brother, Jeff, and their crew reportedly invested more than 75 days during 2017 focusing on three younger East St. Louis residents and three police officers. The movie, according to the article, reports that East St Louis “has the highest homicide rate per1,000 residents in the United States, second only worldwide to El Salvador”. Within a few key strokes I learned that two other documentaries also titled, “Gives Us This Day” existed, one dating back to 1949 and the other dated back in 2013. The one in 2013 best reflected the current day East St. Louis, and is similar to the most recent documentary by former NBA Cleveland Cavalier’s superstar, Labron James, 89 Blocks. The 2013 documentary is set in the Del Paso Heights Neighborhood in  Sacramento, California and focuses on the pride of the black community, Grant High School and its football dynasty that made the state playoffs for more than 23 consecutive season. My key strokes couldn’t find the supporting data that East St. Louis has the second  highest homicide rate (world-wide) per 1000 residents, which from all account may probably be true. It is a given that more than 3000 African American homicides occur per year in the United States and that America is ranked the number one “developed” country in the world when it comes to actually homicides per year. Former Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, highlighted this fact regarding Afro-American homicides in America several years ago, citing these annual deaths exceeded the deaths of the New York 911 attack of the Twins Towers and associated acts of terror on that infamous day. Mayor Nutter’s speech was given at the 9th Annual Mayor’s Summit on Race, Culture, and Human Relations in Tallahassee, FL behind the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin Murder. (See post titled, Slavery, Our National Taboo, dated May 22, 2014.)

Mr. Gilbert

After reviewing the trailer for the documentary, I await with anticipation the premiere showing next week. I thought about three seniors who would have been ideal “subjects” for the movie. My surrogate father, Mr,Gilbert, is 96 years of age and first came to East St. Louis in 1942 where he secured employment at the Swift Packing in National City. “When you get to be 93, you can tell me what to do,” he informed me more than three years ago. “G” as I sometimes calls him  frequently gives me an up close and personal view of his life. “I was making $0.62 and hour when I first started at Swift.” He arrived in East St. Louis with $5 he borrowed from his sister-in-law. “I worked from sun-up until sun-down for $0.50 a day” he would tell me, underscoring his decision to leave Marianna, Arkansas where his father rented 360 acres of land to grow cotton. “We didn’t work for anybody else because my father stated we had enough work of our own”. I asked him did they also work on Saturday and Sunday and he replied “No. Hell we had to rest some time.” Mr.Gilbert responded that his father went to the cotton Gin every day and his eldest  brother could pick one hundrend pounds of cotton an hour. Mr. Gilbert, a life long member of True Light Missionary Church in East St. Louis serving as a trustee shortly for more than 30 years. It was Truelight Church that toll the bells to warn black residents during the East St. Louis Massacre of 1917. Mr.Gilbert still drives and can be considered even at 96 a lady’s man. “G” takes care all of his personal affairs and mentally is sharper than I am who happens to be almost thirty years his junior.

I wish the filming crew could have interviewed one sweet senior named “Sadie.” I missed the golden opportunity myself to meet Mrs. Sadie “Auntie” Hardy in her younger days as she was “one-hundred” years young when I first met her at a local skilled nursing facility.” I don’t mean no harm, but I don’t want it,” Sadie told her much younger male certified nurse assistant who was trying to get her to eat her breakfast. My mom and I laughed after hearing Sadie’s warning to the young male CNA. The CNA and I would frequently argued over Sadie and our pursuit for her affection. It was not unusual for the CNAs to come into the dining room” tired” after working with Sadie getting her up and ready for breakfast. She was known to “fight” for her personal space and desires. Behind the backdrop of the Commodores hit “Sadie” I attended her Homegoing Celebration as she went home to glory on February 16, 2018. Born in East St.. Louis on November 13, 1916 Ms. Sadie was a faithful usher at New Era Missionary Baptist Church. One of the five ministers who graced the pulpit reminded us of an African Proverb that says, when “one elder dies, an entire library is lost.” All five ministers, all in the early to mid fifties, told how as children they tried to out smart ‘Sister Sadie” trying to conceal their chewing gum in church. All five lost  these encounters and at times received a smack to the face with a pair of white gloves. “She didn’t drive but always got where she needed to go,” one of the two minister who were Sadie’s nephews stated. “She didn’t have any biological children, yet she had many children,”

And then there Mr. Hogan, age 94, also a life long resident of East St. Louis. I met Mr. Hogan several weeks ago at an auto repair shop. in East St. Louis. Sitting on a chair in the garage, I couldn’t help but notice his cap which he wore proudly with the World War II embalm above the brim. Retired from American Steel Foundry, Mr. Hogan gave me a crash course on his tour of duty in the South Pacific and how difficult it was to get rank during his day. A member of the U.S. Army, he quickly expounded on “five star generals” back then, and talked about General Eisenhower and Patton. I informed him that my father was in the U.S. Navy at the same time period and had also served during World War II in the South Pacific. I could help but wondered how Mr. Hogan and my father survived in a segregated military completely engulf in a racist culture. ‘I remember buying a brand new Pontiac,” stated Mr. Hogan. He told me how he idolized that car and would look out the window to observed it in the parking lot. One day he was “t-boned’ and the car was demolished but he and his wife were not injured. This experience lead to him becoming a faithful deacon at Pilgrims Missionary Baptist Church even to this day.

My, “subjects of interest,” Mr. Gilbert, Sadie, and Mr. Hogan were not in East St. Louis when the founder and first mayor of the city, Mayor John B. Bowman, a German born immigrant, arranged for the purchase of what became National City and the St. Louis National Socks Yards, second only to the Chicago Stock Yard.  In the late 1800  St. Louis and the power brokers used East St. Louis as their personal land field. They were not in East St. Louis when the first mayor was assassinated in 1885 or when the city had “two” police departments and two separate form of government at the “same” time, an issue that later had to be resolved in court. They were not here when the U.S. Air Core at Scott Field (Scott Air Force Base) declared East St. Louis “off limits” to their servicemen due to the prostitution, crime and political graft that flourished prior to the East St. Louis Massacre of 1917.  History record this event as a “Riot,” but the truth of the events of those bloody dark days says otherwise. And “they” were not here when East St. Louis had a very limited tax revenue base due to the company towns like the City of Monsanto, later renamed Village of Sauget, Alorton and National City came into exists with the intent not to be a part of the city’s tax base. If the filming crew had taken  notice riding around in the city they would have observed even” today” that any and all capital development and new business ventures stop just outside of the city limits. But, they were here when an open door of opportunity was extended to the European white immigrants, from Germany, Lithuania, Hungry, Poland and other countries when that same door of opportunity, then like today, was limited and curtailed to the black immigrants and “citizens” who arrived here from the deep south. Limitations due to the socio-political and economic ills and policies of the day. Not too much has changed since East St. Louis first black mayor, Mayor James Williams took the helm of the financial strap city back in 1971.  “Give us this day” requires us all to know the Giver.

 

Stuck on Stupid

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. As I looked at the image on social media showing how the separation of children from their parents is deeply rooted in America’s dark past, the caption and image served as a vivid reminder of the past wounds and suffering of African Americans “before” we were Blacks, Negroes, Colored or any other descriptive adjectives placed upon us by the ruling class. The caption above the image, “Forcibly separating parents from children has a history, it is our history” certainly rings true as “Zero Tolerance” is being pursed by our current president and his administration. The sign posted on the auction block reads “Negroes For Sale At Auction This Day At 1 o’clock.” But I didn’t stop there as I thought about how America separated and tried to annihilate  the indigenous inhabitants of this land before “Columbus” discovered America. I thought about the “Trail of Tears” and how the native inhabitants suffered back then and even now. But I didn’t stop there, as I recalled how America treated our Japanese Americans brothers and sisters and their children and forced them into concentration camps. But there exist no need to chronicle America’s past sins as the aftermath is constantly before us even today. Its has been said that those who do not learn from the errors of their past are doomed to repeat it.

God has a special place in his heart for “widows, orphans and strangers.” Israel was reminded to “never forget” how they were delivered with a Mighty Hand out of Egypt and how to treat the “widows, orphans and the strangers.” And whenever Israel forgot this lesson God was quick to take them to the wood shed for a little corrective chastisement. The Oracle of God’s WORD were first given and shared to His chosen people so they knew what was required by God–“…and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8 KJV. As our president talks about “Two Corinthians” and our Attorney General mis-quotes the Bible we all should remember what is required of us from God’s WORD as we head toward the wood shed. We should also remember that ” …God is Not mocked: whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7.

MLK’S DREAM or AMERICA’S NIGHTMARE

“Segregation today, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever”. It has been more than four decades since Alabama Governor George Wallace shouted out the above infamous words in 1963 as he stood behind the backdrop of Alabama University, denying access for two black student to the segregated university. Some eight months later, also in 1963,  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., using the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. as a backdrop gave his I Have A Dream Speech. Governor Wallace, fanning the fire of racism, wanted America to stay the course and resist effort to usher in a new day of racial equality, fighting the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and the federal government.. King wanted to drown out racism and demanded that” judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” Amos 5:24. As America and the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death, one can’t help but wonder has King’s dream become America’s nightmare?

A little more than four weeks before King’s death, The Kerner Report, also known as the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder, issued it report. which highlighted without corrective measures, the nation would continue on its path toward becoming “two societies–one black, one white–separate and unequal.” The report, commission by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 after four consecutive years of “long hot summers” stated that white American institutions basically “created” and “maintained” the ghetto. King dedicated his life in challenging three evils, the evil of racism, militarism and poverty. President Johnson, also knew something about poverty, hence his “Great Society” and his war on poverty. But it was the Vietnam War which changed his focus from bread and butter issues to the prevailing issues of bombs and bullets. Regarding racism, then Senator Lyndon Johnson once said during his 1960 campaign in Tennessee,” If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.” A Time for Choosing , February 29, 2016 Post). Our current president is well aware of the politics of division.

The last decade, from 2008 to 2018 has been and continues to been exciting ,exemplary, and an enlighten experience. You might be black or white, Democrat or Republican, rich or poor, it has been and continues to be one roller coaster ride of highs and lows, mountain top experiences followed by valley views. From #Black Lives Matter,  #MeToo, and #Never Again, America appears to be at a fork in the road, one directions marked, Martin Luther King’s Dream and the other road marked An American Nightmare. In the words of Dr. King, “we have some difficult days up ahead,”but an ever loud chorus has begun to sing… black, brown, red, yellow and white , all who are precious in God’s sight. May the voices of Emma Gonzales, Jaclyn Corin, Yolanda Renee, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr and countless others continue to warn America that #Enough is Enough.”  

Trump’s Tar Baby

The bumper sticker read, “elect a clown, expect a circus.” It is hard for this writer to refer to #45 as President, but it is what it is. After having eight years of a “mountain top experience” with President Obama, we the people, at least 65% or more, now find ourselves experiencing” views from the valley”. This is not to say that it was all peaches and cream with President Barack Obama, as I disagreed with a lot of his policies. The election of President Obama was America at its best. The election of Trump is well on its way of going down the annals of time as being America at its worse. There exist so much material on #45 that editorials, “breaking news events,” and any other imaginal form of print or video could be done on the hour every day. Trump, like the “baby” in the White House now finds himself following after all the “President’s Men” who once occupied this most sacred ground before him.

From day one in the White House, #45 have made every attempt to “undo” anything that former President Obama did in office. “Tar baby” my wife and a political junkie yells out every time #45 finds himself in a “sticky situations. Remember repeal and replace Obamacare on day one. The more #45 tries to dismantle this legislation the more he becomes more entangled and entrapped in his failing efforts. The same could be said for his executives orders dealing with the “Muslim Ban” or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Like a dark shadow, everywhere #45 goes, everything he attempts to do, the former first African American President’s shadow hoovers over his strange, straight blond hair. The more Trump wiggles, the deeper he sinks in his own political quagmire that he has set in motion. Now the term “tar baby” does have a derogatory sting to Afro Americans as I reviewed the TIME article of August 01, 2006 by Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates, titled, Why “Tar Baby” is Such a Sticky Phrase. One may agree or disagree on the phrase “tar baby” as  being insensitive, controversial or racist in nature but most people will agree that #45 have found himself going from “one sticky situation to another.” Less than one year in the White House it is,Obama 6, Trump,0 ) as Trump continue to counter punch to his and our own hurt.

In a prior post entitled, A Tiger Named Trump, date Aug.31, 2016, I quoted JFK, “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. “President Donald Trump (yes I said it) is neither a Democrat, nor a Republican. He is a Trump and his party is “Trumpism.” As Americans and the world watches as #45 fumble in his effort to meet the needs of over 3 million Americans in Puerto Rico the President tweets about the NFL and make reference to “those people” as SOB’s who need to be fired. In his shadow is President Obama and how he handle Hurricane Sandy compared to #45’s handling of Hurricane Maria. Welcome to the real, live, “Apprentice” show featuring $45 as he attempts to free himself from the sticky situation of Russia as Putin’s engineered election of Trump comes more into focus. President Trump is indeed the “First Baby” in the White House who is both the commander and the tweeter in chief.

Special Note. I introduce to you, Mr. Larry Spencer, the graphic artist of the above cartoon and will be sharing his work with you as time permits. Together again Larry !!!

 

Why We Are Broke

A Jewish Proverb states that “a man who does not teach his son to work, teaches him to steal”. Generally speaking, if a father was a carpenter, his son or at least one of his sons would be taught the skills of carpentry. A wise father may expose his skills to all of his sons and or daughters, but the father will know which child has the DNA makeup to take the spark set a fire in his heart and eventually set the entire world a blaze. After time and space allowed our paths to meet, I couldn’t help but ask myself the question, “Is this why we are broke?’ Carlos T.Vinson, the owner and proprietor of Seven Signs Masonry answers the above question with a resounding “yes.”

Carlos T. Vinson

One could not help but notice the yellow scaffolds at the two story brick business and apartment complex located on one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Like Moses and the burning bush, I drove bye on a regular basis to observed the activity occurring at this site. The scorching heat and humidity of June summer days limited my observations as this tall slender frame of a man would be busy tuck pointing during the coolness of the morning and be gone shortly after noon. You could tell he was working grid by grid as the scaffolds would move gradually until the section of the gridded area had been tuck pointed and eventually the wall was completed. Time takes its toll on everything and a beautiful brick home may end up falling down one brick at a time if the structure is not properly maintained, hence the need for tuck pointing. Tuck pointing is a way of using two contrasting colors of mortar in the mortar joints of brickwork, one color matching he bricks themselves to give an artificial impression that very fine joints have been made. I had already experienced being “ripped off” financially by a previous contractor so this time I was doing my due diligence research before I spent one red cent. After several weeks of observations had passed, I stopped by and made inquiries on the possibility of having my home tuck pointed, or at least the front of the house as this skilled labor intensive work can be very expensive. After being greeted with a firm hand shake Mr. Vinson identified himself as a professional, a master in his craft of masonry work.. He explained how his father, the late Bishop Edward L. Vinson, Sr, had a trowel in his hand before the age of ten and he was now fifty years of age. “I have been doing this for more than 40 years.” Vinson explained. He quickly gave me his business card and let it be known that he had an “A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau” which was proudly noted on his business card that also highlighted him being a 3rd Generation Brick Mason. “This is how I make a living.” replied Vinson.

Less than three weeks after our hand shake, Mr. Vinson placed me in rotation for his demanding craft and started giving the house a  “facial makeover” as he meticulously used his grinder to remove old mortar and made preparations to leave his signature mark upon this one hundred year-old residence.. “I only get dirty once,” stated Vinson, as somehow, like “superman” he changes his work attire and covers himself almost entirely projecting a” Lawrence of Arabia” effect.  I would later learned that part of his work attire and dress down included “long sleeves” shirts that like his business card ,tout that he has “The Best Hands in the Business” on the back of the shirt as well as “ELV Sr. 1929-2016.” The “ELV” initials represent Mr. Vinson’s father, his mentor and teacher of his craft. The senior Vinson, left a legacy behind for his surviving two sons, eight daughters, and host of grand and great grandchildren that included but not limited to his entrepreneurial abilities.  Bishop Vinson at one time owned and operated six dry cleaners, a part owner of a thriving downtown business, own and operated a laundromat as well as a corner store called E and D Market. To summarized that he was a contractor, businessman and community leader would only be scratching the surface of his life endeavors. The old adage, “like father like son,” appears to be a good exit here. The junior Vinson proudly displays his father’s initials and impact upon his life each and every day as he lives and works. “They call me Coach V,” proclaim the man with the “Best Hand in the Business.” He tells how he coaches basketball to the younger generation in the St. Louis Metro Area and proudly shows the championship trophies, rings and past players who he has invested time and energy in.

Vinson is hoping that he can take his grandson within the next four or five years, when he turns ten and begin to teach him the craft that was taught to him by his father. But like other master craftsmen in such professions as carpentry, plumbing, photography, electrical work ( and others), seldom does one fine a young mentee who is willing to “work” and “learn” from the master. As my mentor, James A. Finley  ( read prior post, dated 12/11/16,  From Shake and Bake to the Super Bowl) was told by his mentor, “the hardest problem is finding another one of YOU.”  This is one more reason  Why We Are Broke? 

The Heart of The Problem

Murder and mayhem. Death and destruction. The twin evils of our day that robs hope from the heart and continue to blind our eyes to what we see and deafen our ears to what we hear. The twin evils that tear away the very fabric of our lives regardless of race, religion or region. The stories are the same. The pain and horror is real. The results are predictable, unending suffering in the cities, hillsides or urban and rural communities. The heart of the problem, indeed is the problem of the heart. The sound of gun shots have become unwelcome music to our ears. If you hear the “pop, pop, pop” that means you have survived another day and you pick up your pace and keep it moving. If the sounds are in the night or before the crack of dawn and awaken you from your sleep, you are thankful that the bullets did not come through the walls and strike you or your love ones while asleep. The yellow crime tape, the numerous evidence markers placed where bullet shells are left scattered about. Another life. erased from the anal of time as the newscasters report, “no suspects, no witness.” Be it one, five or ten years later, too many times the homicide goes unsolved and it becomes just “another” statistic. The quite reframe keeps playing in our mind, “no peace, no justice.” Black Lies Matter tends to “Trump” (pun is intended) the truth, as No lives matter, be it in Monsul, Iraq, Chi-Raq, East. St. Louis, Flint, Los Angels, and on.

The eye sores are everywhere. No block is spared as whole houses, half-a -house, houses with no windows or doors and trash scattered all about gives testimony where hope unborn has died.. The news report a body of a child has just been found in an abandon garage. We are later informed that the body is of a young 8-year girl as the body, wrap in blankets had been there for more than two years. Bodies are found in weeded fields, in abandon building, unboarded-up houses, trunks of cars or in the many safe secured homes in gated communities. Make shift memorials are seen throughout the communities, as teddy bears, balloons and ribbons wrap around utility poles inform you of the most recent homicide. Crosses with the victim’s picture have become the instant cemeteries where speeding vehicle driven not by suicide bombers, but someone who don’t give a damn about their own life let alone their innocent victim’s life. Your learn quickly, when darkness set in, you better be in the confines of your home.

The cloud of impeachment hovers over our new president. The U. S. Senate is secretly considering legislation to drive the final nail in the coffin of Obamacare. Russia’s Putin is celebrating his victory as the drum beat of discord, mistrust and cynicism grows louder and louder. Meanwhile the 99 percent continue to have too many problems with little to no solutions. One thing is for certain. The solutions offered in the past are not working. The water is still unfit to drink in Flint, Michigan. Veterans continue to be homeless and without medical care. Unemployment and underemployment have become the new normal. The domestic terrorism (Black on black crime) continues to be a national crisis with no  solutions in sight. There is the Band on Mexican, the Band on Muslims, and there has always been the Band on Black and Poor Americans.

But there are some solutions that have not been tried. As our military advisors and our allies help take back Mosul, Iraq one house at a time, maybe we should employ the same tactic to our devastated communities. After all, that’s how we lost them, one house, one block and one community at a time. As our homicide victims become younger and younger, sooner or later, we must conclude that the solutions to our many problems will not come from outside sources, but from within our weary souls. We indeed have a communication problem. We have yet to communicate that we are tired of being the victims of broken lives, wounded hearts and no peace, no justice. We are “tired” but we are not “sick and tired.” Like Fannie Lou Hammer, until we  “get sick and tired of being sick and tired”, the pop, pop, pop, the devastation and despair  will continue.

Trumpism Being Trumped

“Rich people who don’t read are a**holes and poor people who don’t read are f**ked!”….Sherman Alexie

Donald J. Trump has been our president, without releasing his taxes, for more than 100 days, whether you like it or not. President Trump has brought a level of excitement and resentment to our national consciousness that is impossible to avoid. As president, he has dominated not only the daily news cycle of the United States but the entire world, and there exist little doubt that he is enjoying every moment. The rise of Donald J. Trump can easily be traced back to 1987 with the success of his book, The Art of the Deal, reportedly written by Trump and “ghostwriter”, Tony Schwartz. This best selling book that spent forty-eight weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, eventually gave rise to the television show, The Apprentice, in 2004.

While waiting in the doctor’s office I ran across the July 25, 2016 edition of The New Yorker. Before I knew it I was drawn toward this portrait of the backside of Donald Trump and the story written by Jane Mayer called Trump’s Boswell Speaks .Schwartz reportedly came up with the title, The Art of the Deal but was quoted as saying if he wrote the book today he would call it “The Sociopath.” Schwartz takes credit for writing The Art of the Deal and the former head for Random House, Howard Kaminsky,  the publisher of the book, confirms Schwartz’s claim stating that “Trump never wrote a postcard for us”. Once Schwartz was informed that Trump was running for president, he revealed how the real and true Donald J. Trump was a stark difference from the Trump depicted in The Art of the Deal. Schwartz appeared on all of the major television and cable outlets long before Trump’s ascension to the White House and basically took credit for being the “Dr. Frankenstein” that created Trump.

As America waits on our 45th president to “pivot”, to start acting “more presidential” and dignified as president of the free world, it is becoming  obvious with every passing day that “Trump is Trump” and not only will he not change but it is possible he is unable to changed. Before Trump’s decision to run for president, America “knew” he had the propensity to lie and distort the truth. As he rode the “Birther Train” from Trump Tower to the White House, we are still waiting on his “investigators to return from Hawaii with the goods on former president Barack Obama. Schwartz  stated that “Lying is second nature” for Trump. America has witness this fact for ourselves over the past 20 months as many of the lies that Trump has espoused continue to go round and round as the print and mass media goes from one rabbit hold to another chasing down what apparently is a lie. It has been said that a “lie has wings but no legs” so it just flies and flies unable to land. I prefer Dr. Martin Luther Kings assessment of lying lips, “Truth crushed to the earth, shall rise again”.

President Trump has a penchant for “gold” and several golden nuggets were gleaned from The New Yorker article as observed by Schwartz, who basically had to become a “fly on the wall” in his efforts to produce The Art of the Deal: Trump’s is pathologically impulsive and self -centered; Trump views everyone as a scummy loser, liar, or you are the greatest; Trumps has no attention span; his lack of a vocabulary and not liking to read; and the list goes on and on. Many of the traits “we”((at home and abroad) have observed and can confirm the above character traits and many more. Schwartz’s statement about “lying is second nature” for Trumps goes on to say that Trump “has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at a given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true”.

D. Watkins, the author of The Beast Side, subtitle, Living and Dying While Black in America. called Trump a “hustler.” Watkins reported that his former lifestyle as a “hustler” coming up in Baltimore, Maryland gave him the insight to know a hustler when he saw one. Watkins introduced me to Sherman Alexie who is quoted (with some clean- up) at the beginning of this article. To date President Donald J. Trump has managed to keep America in the “dark” as it relates to his taxes and his domestic and foreign agenda for this country and maybe even the world. The Washington Post quote on it Website is most appropriate, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”