By ANTONIA WILLIAMS-GARY
For one instance, we now use the words propaganda, racism, misogyny, sexual assault, and President-elect in the same breath. And those are just the tip of the iceberg of negativity surrounding Donald Trump’s election to the highest office in the Country, nee the world!
As I look forward, I can’t help but cast a small backward glance at what I felt in January 2009 when I attended the first inauguration of Barack Obama.
I made the following observations, published in another news outlet, and titled: “I had to bear witness.”
“…..What the day foretold (with) masses of people from all over the world who had gathered in one spot for the same reason: to raise a joyful noise in the name of renewed hope for common humanity…..it had already been laid down by the beat of the hearts and the unified rhythm of the feet of tens of thousands who converged in the 12th Street Tunnel; a surging mass of people so thick that the exit to the tunnel was darkened by their numbers. When the opening was finally breached, a loud cheer lifted from the crowd – so glad to be closer to the mark (to see the swearing-in platform).
The tunnel was our Cathedral. The murmurs from the crowd were soft, and people were filled with such high energy that it felt as if a religious ceremony was underway- powerful. The police reported no arrests during the inauguration.
We were there to witness a new day for the country. Oh happy day, oh happy day.”
Oh, but you won’t find me longing for the return to any good old days under Obama; I’m not plagued by nostalgia. Nor am I in mourning since Donald Trump was elected to lead the nation.
But I find it impossible to imagine I’d feel the same degree of reverence and respect on January 17, 2017, when Trump takes his oath.
And I can’t help but wonder how many arrests will be made by the capitol police.
Alas, we cannot and should not expect a comparison. Even to suggest that the tone and tenor of the new President will match any that has been set by Obama, well, is an overreach, to say the least.
Apples to Oranges. Intellectual to impulsive. Manners to oafishness, etc.
I’m not fond of name-calling, but we had better brace for the loss of the nuances and subtleties under Obama; apparently lulling many of us into an eight year sleep-walk.
In the words of filmmaker Spike Lee, it’s time to “Wake Up!”
This election has caught Black America with our pants down. We have been left with all our vulnerable parts hanging out to be picked apart by political analysts, sociologists, pundits, Monday-morning quarterbacks, and others with long-rehearsed and practiced opinions about our collective psyche.
Black folks. That monolithic group who gets lumped together as one entity, but who actually have become so diversified and included into the mainstreams of the society, we no longer count.
That’s right – the America of Donald Trump is prepared to move on without us! And that’s no longer considered a racist idea.
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is attempting to call our attention back to the real issues: systemic racism, police profiling and brutality, primarily against black males; disenfranchisement in inner cities and amongst the poor and elderly voters, and other important matters.
Kudos to all the others who have joined in the movement, recognizing how our America is their America too.
But too many of us balked at the BLM movement’s public advertisement of our ills, and we have run for cover; declaring that we are above and beyond the common definition of being black in America. We have become Millennials, Gen Xers; some a part of the 1%; professionals and educated elites, to name a few other groups we prefer.
And, despite our inclusion into a multicultural society, those who are, and who have always been in disfavor of us enjoying the full fruits of citizenship, now have no compunction against saying out loud and in public, how they want to destroy all the gains we’ve made in the past century.
How did we get so blended into the melting pot, lost in the pile of skittles, and obsessed with being an “other” on the checklist for race?
Does it matter that so many of us are rushing to join the mainstream? Don’t forget the ideal that the Trump campaign has clearly and unequivocally defined: to make America great, nee white, again! This pursuit – to return to a whiter country – is delusional, yet has been adopted as the new norm for discussing the past, philosophy, and in everyday practices (religion being one).
That would be white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant, in case you’ve forgotten this country’s history.
What’s a black American to do?
If you say you’re not prepared to sing praises to the new day ushered in by Trump at his inauguration; and you declare you won’t be carried away by the songs and poems rendered in his honor, what will you do? While there is so much work to do, you can only really begin with yourself: change your interior dialogue, attitude, and behavior.
Decide: Where are you on the spectrum?
“They can’t kill all of us.”