Kevin Powell, Isaac Hayes III discuss race in America, politics in the Trump era

Kevin Powell, Isaac Hayes III discuss race in America, politics in the Trump era
Kevin Powell Photo: A.R. Shaw

Kevin Powell and Isaac Hayes III recently held a town hall discussion at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta. Powell shared insight into his new book, My Mother, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and the Last Stand of the Angry White Man. 

Hayes III, who has remained vocal in Atlanta politics, also shared his vision when it comes to mobilizing when it comes to politics and social issues.

“I wanted to put something out that is really talking about the times that we live in,” Powell said in reference to his book. “Which made me think about what happened in the Black church in Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago. The level of hatred, violence, and division out there, I needed to say something. So that’s why I decided to do this book. I didn’t think of this title consciously, it came to me in a dream. Because you know when I think about it, my mother is more important than anyone else. Then. I thought this is the 10th anniversary of Barack Obama getting elected president. And the rainbow coalition of people that brought him to the white house, that was 10 years ago.”

Powell shared how Trump is working to dismantle Obama’s legacy.

“In 10 short years, we went from the euphoria of Barack Obama being elected president to the ugliness of Donald Trump,” Powell told the audience. “And that’s why I ended it with the angry white man. They’re quick to blame Black people and people of color for all kinds of stuff. But the leadership who are corrupted with power and privilege are the reason why the country is in the situation it’s in.”

Kevin Powell, Isaac Hayes III discuss race in America, politics in the Trump era
Isaac Hayes III Photo: A.R. Shaw

Hayes III countered by saying that he didn’t vote for Trump, but predicted his victory before the 2016 election.

 “I said that Donald Trump was going to get elected,” Hayes III said. “I know that sounds crazy. But you get [George] Bush, then we got Obama. I knew the reaction was we would get someone like Trump. Also, just from a marketing standpoint. Usually in an election, the bigger rockstar wins. The bigger rockstar usually wins the election. I think what we can safely say about Donald Trump is that he’s the best and worst thing to happen to America.”

Hayes explained his reasoning by saying, “The only reason why I think that is because having Donald Trump as President is like going to the doctor and finding out you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. And if you don’t do something about it, you’re going to be out of here. And I think if Hilary Clinton was around, none of these things that are going on right now, we would know about. All this stuff would be below the surface and still clotting your arteries. Still raising our blood pressure. Now that we know, we can pinpoint and eliminate everybody and everything that is causing most of these issues systemically.”

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