When you have an illegitimate president, you get an abnormal time and that is the time we’re in.
This is Our Challenge
As the more and more popular President Barack Obama leaves office, we are left facing a future full of unknowns. Illegitimate, not normal, erratic, strange, frightening, these are the words defining the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States tomorrow. And based on what has come out of his mouth so far, we are at the beginning of a trauma that will reverberate in homes across the nation facing repeal of the Affordable Care Act extend to capitals around the world watching a belligerent leader come into power.
“Be a part of the Resistance and Organize!” is the call that has gone out across the country. At the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the choir was preached to with words and song, the same as in Black churches generations ago. If you missed the Civil Rights era, then this is your turn at the front lines. To stand up for the future and seize the opportunity to be in the arena. This is a privileged time for us, we have the opportunity to be present when new voices of change rise up as they must, because this cannot be happening but it is.
No More Rules
The fox is not just in the hen house, he’s running it with family and friends and the only thing that is right is what they say. No ethics investigations for these billionaires. How is Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon/Mobil CEO and the nominee for Secretary of State, able to refuse to answer repeated questions from U.S. senators about what Exxon knew about climate change and when they knew it, and regular folks can’t refuse to answer anything the lowest government clerk asks without paying a price? And because Republicans in Congress care more about power than the nation, this is the kind of thing that will be going on at least for the next two years. Mid-term elections have never seemed so far away.
World at Risk
When you have an illegitimate president, you get an abnormal time and that is the time we’re in. His penchant to pick fights at home and around the world with China, NATO, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the intelligence community, the European Union, all targets of his meanness, he’s causing the world to become an even more unstable place.
The notable exception to the new president’s ire is Russia’s Vladimir Putin, with whom he exchanges words of kindness and mutual support.
Into the Breach
This is a battle for hearts, minds and votes. As their seventeenth year begins, young people across the country should be getting their paper in order to ensure the ability to vote on their eighteenth birthday.
In her keynote address at BAM, Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, repeatedly insisted, “We cannot be silent in the face of assaults against basic health care services, when so-called leaders threaten to rip apart families, when threatened with the normalization of intolerance, when women’s rights are being stripped away from us, when men no better than Klansmen dressed in suits are in the White House, we cannot be silent”.
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., his compatriot and Civil Rights icon Congressman John Lewis gave this message: “Never give up. Never give in. You have a moral obligation to say something, to do something and not be quiet.”