In his column this week at The Root, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson made his latest launch into hyperbole as he claimed that the Trump administration "wants to return America" to the days of "white grievance, violence and discrimination" against blacks, referring to the Philadelphia transit strike of 1944 in which white workers opposed the promotion of blacks to better jobs.
Johnson also coined the term "White Pride Week" to mock recent decisions by the administration on race-based college admissions and immigration policy changes.
The MSNBC contributor's article from Monday, August 7, titled, "Hey, Jeff Sessions: Remember When 6,000 White Americans Went on Strike to Keep Black People from Getting Promoted?" began by referring to the Trump administration's habit of designating theme weeks to draw attention to selected issues. He then snidely added: "And to kick off August, the administration launched 'White Pride' Week to highlight the plight of the oppressed white American male. "
In parentheses, he then cracked: "Actually, I'm not sure if that was the official title, but it was pretty close."
He then clarified that the targets of his mockery were recent decisions by the administration to act against race-based college admissions, and to change immigration policy:
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With Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing that the Justice Department would start suing colleges for discriminating against white guys, and Trump's senior policy advisor Stephen Miller announcing cuts in immigration from nonwhite countries, the dog whistles were so loud, "the Hound" could hear it with one ear missing.
Johnson then claimed to see "overtly hostile action" against blacks as he added: "This overtly hostile action from the federal government against black education, employment and lives is the perfect run-up to today's critical racial anniversary."
Instead of making a rational, thoughtful case in favor of raced-based admissions like, say, arguing that it promotes racial integration by pushing students out of natural social bubbles to curtail self-segregation, the MSNBC contributor ventured into hyperbole.
Most of the article was devoted to recalling the infamous 1944 Phladelphia transit workers strike in which white workers went on strike for several days to protest the decision to give black workers the same rights to be promoted to better jobs as white workers. The strike -- which hindered war production by shutting down the city -- only ended after the Roosevelt administration intervened and pressured the strikers to return to work.
After recounting this story of actual racism and blatant discrimination against blacks, Johnson ended his column by suggesting that the Trump administration wishes to take America back to those more oppressive times:
It's important to remember that, while all of this occurred 73 years go, with a stroke of a pen, a tweet and a few white nationalists at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trump administration wants to return America to those days of white grievance, violence and discrimination, no matter what legitimate challenges our nation faces.