On November 8th we as a country went to cast our votes for the 45th President of the United States. I think we all knew that this election for lack of a better word would be epic. In an election that has been toxic and brutal from the start we now have to somehow muster up the courage to rally behind Donald J. Trump. Maybe I will get there, maybe I won’t, but who knows what will happen between now and inauguration day on January 20th. This morning on November 9th there are a lot of bleeding hearts and I am one of the many. For the record I could be jeopardizing any career in traditional journalism that I have spent the last 12 years building by releasing this but I can’t sit by quietly. Also on the record, I will say that choosing between Trump and Clinton in this election for me was a difficult decision but I will go on record and say that I was with her. I could not in good conscience move forward with a candidate that attacked people on their looks, economic status, or the atrocious acts committed by the Republican nominee, now President-Elect. For me this was more than a businessman seeking office to try and bring in more jobs. This election was more than his ego. This was about my freedom; this was about the freedom of my young black nephews. This was about the freedom of every person who feels they don’t fit into the fabric of America. This was about preserving the progress we’ve made while trying to bridge the racial divide that still burns as bright as the symbolic torch on the Statue of Liberty.

It’s been 500-plus days since Donald J. Trump first announced he was seeking the highest office of our country and this morning I wake up with a heavy heart. I wake up unapologetically black, numb, and wavering in disbelief that our country has deep-seeded hatred for progression and change. In case you forgot, this is the man who out of the gate attacked Mexicans. This is the man who lumped African-Americans into a small box of uneducated, serial thugs who would have nothing to lose if he was the choice. This is the man who openly boasted about his celebrity status in order to do whatever his hands so desired to women. This is the man who got so caught up in radical Islamic terrorism that he blindly labeled all Muslim people as the enemy. This is the man who for the first time in the history of elections didn’t let the American people know about his financial status by releasing tax returns. It’s like we were just suppose to look at his private planes and luxury penthouse apartment in the sky and just accept that he’s rich. This is a man who dished out attack after attack after attack on LGBTQ people; a woman’s right to do what she chooses with her body and this list can go on and on and on. Yet, at the end of the night he was elected on his promise of making America great again. I’m wondering America, when have we stopped being great? Who was America not great for? Moreover, how could someone who spit out flames of hate be the person we want representing this country on the international stage? Once the numbers were crunched and the votes tallied we found just how divided this country remains. We found out just how many people were willing to sweep under the rug the divisiveness, the slander, the hate speech, the bigotry, sexism and racism. What is very clear is that eight years of a black man in position of power and followed by the first woman president would have been too much for what we have been programmed to know as the “dominance of the white male” So now Trump is positioned with the task of uniting a country of people? A number of the same groups of people he spoke against.

In 2008, this country rallied behind hope, change, and progression. We continued on that path in 2012 and now in 2016 we take a monumental step back. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the Ku Klux Klan but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice.” In this case the ‘negro’ isn’t just about black people, but it’s about those groups of people who feel like they have no place in this country, the same people who Trump chastised, belittled, and spoke so ill about. Trump in his victory speech on last night said he wanted to be the President for all Americans.

So America here’s my challenge to you and the President-Elect take the next four years and be more action and less talk. Use this time to get your candidate on board with a more perfect union for all people. To all of America, the Trump voters, the ones who boasted aloud of their support to the ones who hid in secret because they didn’t want to show the true nature of their character. As the days turn to weeks and the weeks to months and the months into a year we will see just which Trump sits in the oval office. We will see the true colors of the America he hopes to make great again. It’s to late for buyer’s remorse and we still have to see what he’s going to do with his time in office. The time is now for you to actually stand by the Declaration of Independence as we move forward specifically, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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