Published March 31, 2023 By CCG Editorial
There are similarities between William Henry West, the Black police officer who arrested President Grant, and the current Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, who has filed charges against former President Trump. While these events are separated by time and context, they share significant similarities that are worth exploring.
William Henry West (September 1842 – September 6, 1915) was an African American soldier and police officer in Washington, D.C., who made history by arresting Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, in 1872. This event is notable as it is the only known record of a sitting US president being arrested, and West’s role in it has been widely documented.
One of the most significant similarities is that both events involved Black individuals in positions of power who challenged the status quo. In the case of President Grant’s arrest, the two black police officers who arrested him were acting in a predominantly white law enforcement system. Similarly, Alvin Bragg’s appointment as Manhattan District Attorney marked a historic moment as he became the first Black person to hold this position in the county’s history. Both men faced challenges and opposition due to their race and position, but they persisted in their work.
Another similarity is that both events sparked controversy and opposition from those who were resistant to change. In the case of President Grant’s arrest, his detention by black police officers was seen as a threat to the existing power structure. Similarly, Alvin Bragg’s decision to file charges against former President Trump has been met with criticism from those who argue that it is politically motivated.
Furthermore, both events have larger implications for the justice system and society as a whole. In the case of President Grant’s arrest, it showed that people of color could be law enforcement officers and hold positions of power in the justice system. Similarly, Alvin Bragg’s appointment as Manhattan District Attorney and his decision to file charges against former President Trump is significant because it shows that people of color can be decision-makers and hold those in power accountable.
While the cases of President Grant’s arrest and the charges against former President Trump are separated by time and context, they share significant similarities that are worth exploring. Both involve black individuals in positions of power who challenge the status quo, face opposition and criticism and have larger implications for the justice system and society. These events serve as reminders that progress is often met with resistance, but it is essential to continue pushing for change.
This article was originally published by U.S. Black Engineer.
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