Donald V. Watkins is an American Attorney, Entrepreneur and Banker.
March 26, 2017
Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump
Dear President Trump,
I am a longtime political independent who cherishes America’s form of participatory democracy. Even though my ancestors were slaves who worked on plantations in Mississippi, my parents, siblings and other relatives finally got a chance to vote after Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and President Lyndon Johnson signed it. I have even held elective office within this democracy.
I believed in America when I could not drink from public water fountains or use bathrooms that were reserved for “Whites Only”. I did not sit in an integrated classroom until I entered college at Southern Illinois University in 1966. I attended law school at the University of Alabama from 1970 to 1973 on a desegregation scholarship awarded to me by the national office of the NAACP. I arrived on campus a full year before any black athlete played on a sports team at the University.
When I started practicing law in 1973, a few diehard segregationists in Alabama’s court system openly referred to me as the “nigger lawyer from Montgomery” during official court proceedings. I was not addressed as “Attorney Watkins” or “Mr. Watkins” in these courtrooms until sometime in 1976. A few judges just barked out instruction to me without ever looking me in the eyes or addressing me as a human being.
I got through all of these degrading experiences by focusing on the American flag in each courtroom I entered. To me, Read the rest of this entry »