By David Mark Greaves
We have awakened to the nightmare. Donald J. Trump is President-Elect of the United States of America. The Electoral map is a sea of red with media bubbles on the East and West Coasts. We are suddenly at the mercy of the likes of Giuliani, Christie and forces darker and more subtle.
So many fingers of blame to be pointed at how this has come to pass, the mass media was blamed by Trump supporters for conspiring against him and blamed by others for giving him over a billion dollars in free coverage. There was the hubris of Clinton having her own e-mail server and the hubris and corruption of the Democratic Committee conspiring against Bernie Sanders, the outsider choice of people who wanted change, and even using their best and brightest they came up all wrong. There are mistakes and there are mistakes. This one cost the executive and legislative branches and we’re about to lose the Supreme Court. When they go back to their precious “models” and explain that this or that vote didn’t come out will they also accept responsibility for their machinations that have reset the course of the nation, destroying the America we wished for and even the earth we know possibly forever?
There was the greed of mass media attracted by advertising dollars that Trump’s message received and maybe that should have been a hint. The maxim is follow the money, and Trump attracted the eyeballs, and in the virtual reality that American politics has become, where we saw an accident and recoiled, others saw a monster truck flying through the air and cheered.
We are trapped here in this suddenly new place. I remember when I came home and told my mother that President Kennedy had been shot. She grabbed her cigarettes, turned on the television and said, “What’s going to happen to us now?” That is still the question.
There is no way out for any of us and what’s done is done. Now is the time to stand together and act, because “us” is not just Black folks. In Brooklyn, Clinton beat Trump, 595,086 to 133,653, but
we’ve just been taught that Brooklyn is not the center of the universe after all.
“Organize, organize, organize” is what the great abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass instructed. And for Black, white, gay, straight, Muslim, Christian and Jewish folks, there is some serious business about to go down and we’re going to need organizing in every community and across communities to have any hope of resisting it.
The world may be different today for some, but for African-Americans we’ve been on this plantation before, although now in memories that we’ve lost. A place where life was mean and Massa was law and could stroll freely around the womenfolk while overseers kept the slaves in control. We were led to believe we were past all of that but America has spoken and said we are not. And as we did in those times and the terror era after, we have to come together to figure out a way to survive.
On the other hand, because of his strong anti-communist views, it was famously said, “Only Nixon could go the China,” so maybe only Trump can help Black America and heal the wounds of this campaign. Speaking in New York he said “It’s time for us to come together as one united people.” As we’ve seen, stranger things have happened but we shouldn’t put all our eggs in that basket.
In the wake of this country-changing election, coming in Black History Month from Our Time Press, A Symposium: Reflecting our History – Charting the Future. Where do we go from here? A project in formation. Please send any thoughts on actions and directions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We need all the ideas and all the strength that collective effort can muster.