Trump’s America is coming soon, whether we like it or not. Election Night, I went to bed at 3:30 a.m. the next morning confused, angry and disappointed. After a few days of going through the five stages of grief, I realized this is really about to happen…again.
Van Jones spoke poignantly about it on CNN Election Night coverage calling it a “white lash.” The first chapter of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow documents how politics, media, and race have played a role in the backlash against any progress in black and brown communities. From the black codes’ and Jim Crow’s response to emancipation to the KKK’s response to Reconstruction—- any time black and brown people are believed to have too much progress the same trick is played – manipulate poor white people into thinking they are being left behind and black and brown people need to be kept in line (or according to Trump, kept out by building a border wall, implementing Muslim registries or putting more police in inner cities to control the ones already here).
So Trump was elected on lies, fear-mongering, and a little help from Russia with love.
So how do we deal with the next four years? We mobilize, we disturb the balance, we protest, we challenge, and we tell TRUTH to power!
We receive the message loud and clear. Normalizing is not an option.
America reminded us exactly who she was and we should not ignore the message. Being ingratiated with the dominant culture in Corporate America and being the beneficiary of career opportunities, one would be tempted to normalize what happened and continue to enjoy some black middle-class perks like pouring a glass of Crown Apple while seeing who’s down for Sunday brunch. While mimosas do sound great right now, enjoying our middle-class privilege while the less advantaged suffer CANNOT be an option. Underprivileged and poor people, LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and immigrants are being targeted over the next four years so don’t be fooled. Take Trump and his supporters at their word and hold them accountable for their actions. Period.
We fight apathy with renewed excitement and interest.
Apathy was the clear theme of 2016. Celeb deaths, viral videos of police shooting unarmed black and brown people, and Trump’s election all were designed to leave us mentally confused, spiritually detached, and physically debilitated. This is what you call mental warfare people and the nihilistic threat Dr. Cornel West speaks about in Race Matters is a real thing deserving serious attention and vigilance. The last thing the Trump crowd expects is for us to fight but it’s in our DNA. Surviving and thriving in the face of adversity is what we do! You cannot kill an empowered and educated people!
We read and call BS what it is…BS.
If there was ever a time to commit to learning more as a people, now is that time. When you read, you can respond to bullshit with facts. Politifact did a great job of this over the course of the campaign. Also, committing to learning more to perfect your craft, grow your business, and develop intellectually is a key way to making sure we remain empowered as a people. Remember, there is a reason the dominant culture/society didn’t want us to learn to read during slavery and why funding for public education continues to decline (see Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education). Education (not just formal degree curricula) is CRITICAL for surviving the next four years.
- Book recommendations:
- The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
- The Richest Man in Babylon – George Clason
- The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
- Race Matters – Cornel West
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
The line said in the very first episode of Game of Thrones is the line we still remember and quote six seasons later:
Winter is coming.
This isn’t a fear tactic; this is real. Now is not the time to turn all your efforts to self-preservation. Real people are going to be even more vulnerable than before over the next four years, and it will take a collective effort to fight back against the coming assaults on the poor and marginalized in this country. These attacks will prove futile and impotent but only if those of us who call ourselves conscious and aware do our part.
This is how to Survive The Coldest Winter Ever.
Photo by: Juan Galafa