My new "Black job," baby

Published July 4, 2024

By Cash Michaels

You know, for many years, I’ve had a so-called “Black job” that I’m immensely proud of, namely reporting the news primarily for, and to, the African-American community here in North Carolina. That includes many years in Black radio, covering some of the major local, state and national stories of past 43 years - from AIDS to major elections, and how they’ve affected my community.

I’ve been privileged to also report for many Black newspaper outlets outside of North Carolina as well. My varied experience has led to jobs on television cohosting talk shows, and doing special news features,  always representing my community.

And later, I decided to produce social justice films because I felt deeply that there were stories that had not been fully told about my community and our struggles, and that, through video, I could aptly share them.

Today, now in semi-retirement, I still report for the Black Press across North Carolina - six Black newspapers - but I also write and publish weekly commentaries, because there are issues that I feel very deeply about, and that I may have something important to add to the conversation.

I consider all of the above to be my “Black job!”

And do you know what makes me really happy besides knowing that folks, black and white, have been listening to, reading and enjoying my stuff since 1981?

Knowing that Donald Trump would hate me for every bit of it if he had the chance!

You see, what I do for my community is NOT something the convicted felon and prolific liar would approve of.

As we learned from last week’s disaster of a presidential debate, what Trump considers a “Black job” and who should have one, is very different from the constructive and meaningful work I, and millions of other African-Americans are doing.

And guess what? We’re NOT going to be replaced!

However, the internet is still abuzz over this idiotic Trump remark during his litany of lies about Joe Biden at the first presidential debate:

 “The fact is that [Biden’s] big kill on the Black people is the millions of people that he’s allowed to come in through the border,” Trump bellowed.“They’re taking Black jobs now — and it could be 18, it could be 19 and even 20 million people. They’re taking Black jobs, and they’re taking Hispanic jobs, and you haven’t seen it yet, but you’re gonna see something that’s going to be the worst in our history.”

Earth to Donald Trump - I’ve done the math, and I’ll still have my Black job after you lose this election in November.

Apparently, even at “18, 19 or 20 million” of us, old convicted felon man was just dreamin’ out loud about replacing us. But in the process, insulted the hell out of us!

 Buzzfeed reported that “During a post-debate interview, [Republican] Sen. Marco Rubio was asked to clarify, and he said Black jobs are "jobs that are filled by African Americans in America" that'll be supposedly impacted by "workers [who] are willing to do it at a lower wage..."

Gee, apparently Marco also thinks “18, 19, 20 million” Black folks can only do certain kinds of work.

I asked Black NC House District Rep. Renee Price (District 50 -  Caswell, Orange) what could Marco and Felon Man be referring to?

 “According to Trump, "Black jobs" are low-paying, menial jobs to which he attributes little dignity or worth,” she wrote back. “Indeed, a racist white power structure decided to establish an American caste system based on race and ethnicity, forcing the darker and darkest skinned people to labor in the most arduous and unpleasant situations.”

“That said,” Rep. Price, a professional consultant I might add, continued, “… the jobs historically relegated to and held by Black/African Americans are the foundation of our society. I personally hold housekeepers, porters, caregivers, chauffeurs, maintenance engineers (janitors), ditch diggers, sanitation workers, bricklayers and the like in high esteem...and they deserve our utmost respect.”

 Hmmm. I then asked my Black friend and colleague, North Carolina  Central University Law Professor Irv Joyner, to add some icing to this sumptuous rhetorical cake we’re baking. 

“From Trump’s perspective and that of his followers, a “Black Job” is the one that self-respecting Whites do not wish to perform and engage in and these tasks are left to those people of color who are in this country and destined to serve, entertain, sustain and please white society,” Prof. Joyner cogently whipped up.

But on the flip side, my esteemed legal expert buddy added, “For African Americans, a Black job is any position, role or profession that is available within society for people to capture, control and command. There are no limits on what we can do, have done and will continue to do in this world. Among the jobs that African Americans and people of color presently have is to educate, inspire and organize our people to ensure that Trump’s intended political and economic hustles will not succeed.”

Hmmm, yummy. I like that icing.

And who else but Derrick Johnson, pres./CEO of the NAACP would come along with the proverbial cherry on top.

“Provided the opportunity, Black Americans excel across industries and professions,” he said. We need [political] candidates who are going to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, not attempt to mischaracterize Black workers as anything but American workers.”

Cake’s ready!!!

So according to Rep. Price, Prof. Joyner and the NAACP’s Johnson, a “Black job”  from today’s African-American perspective, is any vocation that a talented, qualified and responsible person of Black heritage acquires and adequately performs that provides a service to the overall community, if not his or her own.

We, NOT Donald Trump, are talking about any job from teacher to minister, from construction worker to elected official and beyond, that quite frankly, any qualified American citizen of any color can perform. 

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms even took to X (formerly Twitter) to ask the rhetorical question, tongue fully ensconced in cheek, “I have a law degree. Does that get me a #blackjob?”

Sadly, not according to Donald Trump, Madame Mayor!

When CNN asked Trump colored buddy Republican Dr. Ben Carson, a world famous  retired neurosurgeon and former HUD secretary, what Trump meant by “Black jobs,” he sheepishly admitted what the convicted felon man said, “…probably could have been phrased in a better way.”

Ya think?

But of course, Ben,  you, Sen. Tim Scott, and other sheephearted colored Republicans would never admit that what Trump said was as racist as the day is long, because your definition of being Black in America doesn’t include any pride in what history reveals has been a generational struggle of our community against the kind of racial bias your “Massa” Trump is infamous for.

Which means every time he opens his mouth about “the Blacks,” he embarrasses the hell out of every simple-minded colored MAGA-bot who supports him.

So what’s all this “Black job” talk have to do with anything?

By now, a week after that “disastrous” presidential debate, it has been baked into our collective memories that Pres. Biden gave a lackluster, uninspiring, stupefying  performance on the CNN debate stage, allowing his crooked opponent to out-talk and out-maneuver him at almost every turn. It looked sad, pathetic, and quite frankly, scary.

Lots of folks, who just happen to be Democrats, are talking lots of yang about Joe getting out of the race saying “it’s over,” “he can’t win” and “Biden looked weak.” 

Even the New York Times editorial board called for Joe Biden to hit the bricks.

“[T]he greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for re-election.” the Times Board opined.

Hard to ignore that heady piece of advice, or from where it came from.

But I do NOT agree with the illustrious “Gray Lady.” 

In my opinion, there’s no need for panic.

Trump can only successfully pull that crap once.

Oh he’ll try it again next time, and I’m hoping that he does.

And if I know Joe Biden, he’ll have something waiting for Convicted Felon Man when it happens..

Attack and lie, that’s all Trump’s diatribe amounted to. Joe and his team are sharp enough to counter that. All they have to do is study the game tape.

You see, Trump is nothing if he isn’t predictable. If he’s gotten away with one lie, he thinks he’s slick enough to get away with a hundred more. That’s what a despicable, inexhaustible thirst for power does to a corrupt man.

In September, he will be just a few weeks away from the election, so his enormous ego will screw up whatever discipline he employed in the first debate.

If Joe Biden realizes this and shows up to win, NOT just appear, he will be victorious, and this calamity of the first debate will be nothing but a rude memory. In fact, the country will be cheering Joe on by then!

Joe is old, yes, but he still has a lot of fight, a lot of Irish in him. He has invested, and lost, too much personally in over fifty years service to this country - a son to cancer, a wife and two young daughters to a tragic accident, and another son to drugs and criminal consequence.

Joe Biden has launched many failed campaigns for president, but he’s always come back.

Yes, many people were disenchanted with Joe Biden on June 27th, and have been yelling their heads off for him to step down from his party’s presumed nomination, so that someone younger and more attractive can take his place.

But Joe Biden is the president of the United States. He was duly elected as such in 2020, and he’s running for reelection. Period!

Say what you want about the wounded man we all saw in that first debate. But one thing we do know despite the torrent of lies coming from Trump and the Republicans, is that Joe Biden has this country on the right track.

An improving economy, tackling immigration, standing strong on social justice - Joe and Vice President Kamala Harris have shown us that they believe in our democracy, and are working hard to make it better!

Trump and his wild dogs only believe in power, and have promised to turn our country into something we wouldn’t recognize, and we don’t want.

All of you folks who threaten not to vote in November, guess what? That’s a vote for Trump. If you hate voting for either old guy, then what is your excuse when Trump wins, and public policies don’t go your way?

And folks who vote for independent candidates like Dr. Cornel West and Robert Kennedy Jr., you’re in the same boat. You know going in that they are NOT going to win, so all you’re doing is helping Trump.

Like it or not, we are limited in our choice for president between 

democracy or tyranny - that’s what’s on the ballot.

Donald Trump already has people in places of influence, like Congress and in individual states, to determine the future of this nation if he wins, so we’re fighting more than just him. The very thought of that should turn your blood cold.

Which means who you also vote for to serve in Congress and state and local government makes all the difference.

So there’s no need to panic about Joe Biden. He’s a true tough guy who’s got a lot left in him.

He’s NOT going to disgrace himself, or his family, or the country by losing to a lying convicted pervert and felon.

“I know how to do this job,” a fierce looking, determined sounding Joe Biden assured a cheering crowd of 2,000 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh the day after the debate.

“And I know how to tell the truth!”

“When you get knocked down, you get right back up!!!

To be frank, all of that incessant lying from Trump made many folks realize just how high the stakes are in this election.

As we get closer to November, I expect that 81-year-old Democrat codger to fight like never before.

And I expect us to root for him!

That’s what we need going forward - a good man as president who fights like hell for us.

I’m gratified to see a lot of Democrats willing to stick with Joe Biden until the bitter end.

If Joe has the courage to continue to fight on, we who realize the great need to help save this country should continue to support him.

That’s my NEW Black job, baby, going forward to November, and no onefrom across the border is going to take it from me! 

Like comedian Jimmy Kimmel said, “Just because you think Alfred is too old to take care of the Batcave, you don’t replace him with the Joker.”

Hear THAT, MAGA-bots? We’ve got Joe’s back more than ever before!