"The State of Black America" Root Article Sidebar: In Washington, D.C., Black Leaders Vent At Frederick Douglass' Church

How scared, anxious and angry has Agent Orange, a.k.a. President Trump, made folks? Mark Thompson, a Sirius XM radio host, said his 14-old-son is afraid to be drafted to go to war.

Such went the Institute of the Black World-21st Century’s 100-day Trump report card town meeting last Friday night at the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C., the one associated with Frederick Douglass. The meeting, co-moderated by Thompson and Verna Avery-Brown of Washington’s D.C.’s Pacifica station WPFW-FM, was one of the first national Black events to examine Black America’s collective health at the 100-day mark.

The leaders and thinkers who gathered there gave President Trump—who they refused to even name, calling him 45 instead—either a F or a F-plus.


Economist Julianne Malveaux, one the panelists, explained that Trump’s election was “a victory for predatory capitalism... Predatory capitalism is the devil, and 45 is wearing horns.”

Another speaker, Ronald Hampton, past president of the National Black Police Association and current board member of the National Police Accountability Project, said that Trump has created a narrative that will “justify a police state in this country.” He said the National Fraternal Order of Police wasted no time in sending Trump its agenda.

So what to do? Panelist Barbara Arnwine, past executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said it’s time to return to the economic boycott. IBW-21 President Ron Daniels called for what he has always wanted: an American political left “third force” that can stand up to both Democrats and Republicans. Both can help, if the collective will is inspired by Black leadership’s endless meetings.

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About the author

Todd Steven Burroughs

Todd Steven Burroughs is the author of "Marvel's Black Panther: A Comic Book Biography, From Stan Lee to Ta-Nehisi Coates" and "Warrior Princess: A People's History of Ida B. Wells."