Trump won the election. Black people (and people of color), it’s time for you to wake the hell up. And because of that win, I have proof positive that I can be any freaking thing that I want in life, even if I don’t qualify.
I’m not exactly sure when America will get out of the Matrix, but for the next few years, we will just have to deal. Now is the time to suck it up, quit crying and complaining, and find a solution. Because although I was not happy with the outcome of this election, there is a silver lining.
Black people can no longer hit the snooze button on life and expect the POTUS to take care of things. It’s time for us to start taking care of our own backyard. Because when politicians talk about making America great again, they aren’t talking to you.
I wasn’t for Trump, but Hillary winning may not have been the solution to what Black America needed either. If she won, it was not going to stop yet another Black man from becoming a trending hash tag after he was senselessly murdered by the police.
How quickly we forget that over the summer, we had at least four Black men murdered at the hands of the police.
Hillary winning was also not going lower those numbers. Her winning was also not going to be what was needed to push the Black agenda that Black America foolishly counts on the POTUS to push.
My question is, is Black America pushing the Black agenda in our own communities as hard as we expect the POTUS to do?
I’ve seen so many complaints and so many questions about how to move forward in Trump era America. It’s an America where people trusted a reality show star and businessman to run America versus politicians with known experience holding office.
The fact is, he played the game, ran the race, and won. Now we have to deal with that.
A few suggestions.
- Keep the Black dollar in our own community. Reference the The Black Wall Street. 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma was a place full of wealthy Black entrepreneurs that circulated the Black dollar within our own community. Black people knew that they could not count on mainstream America to provide their needs, and so we provided for ourselves.
- New Leadership. The civil rights movement of MLK and Malcolm X was only about fifty years ago. For me, that was in my parents’ lifetime. I am one generation removed. Those leaders whose names we’ve heard all of our lives are deceased or aged. Those alive are still fighting the fight. Where is new leadership? Yes, we have Senate seats and hold political office, but we need a grassroots movement every day in our communities with leaders willing to be on the ground with the people, but bring the voice of the people forth to enact legislation. Who is at the forefront that you can easily name? Every organized movement requires leadership.
- Renaissance. As The Harlem Renaissance birthed voices in the Black community that spoke honestly on the Black experience with racism, self image, and demanded civil rights and political rights, we can do the same now. The internet is a hotbed of information. Use it for good. Spread posts that encourage intellectual conversation and incite positive change. But we need to hear voices from people other than rappers- although we appreciate all that they are doing in our communities. Where are the James Baldwins and Zora Neale Hurstons?
- Sweep around your own backyard. Black America needs to stop waiting for someone else to take care of us. This country was never built on that principle. In 2016, we can’t expect that to change. With that in mind, we need synergy. Everyone needs to do something. Attend school board meetings. I’m from Baltimore and the male friends that I have take responsibility for the young Black males around them- coaching sports, taking them on college tours, and in general keeping a tight reign on them and not letting them have idle time. That’s the kind of mindset we need. Call your councilmen and hold them accountable for their actions. There is much work to do and there is enough to go around. Choose something to do.
However you choose to handle the outcome of this election, complaining and Facebook status rants won’t help. Take an active part in the movement. Because whether you like it or not, there is a movement. People of color can no longer take a passive approach. Our livelihood depends on us waking the hell up and no longer hitting the snooze button on life.