At 8:09pm on Tuesday evening, Mrs. Tanya Brown-Dickerson, among the grieving parents who populated Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s ‘Mothers of the Movement’, was preparing to go onstage at the Javits Center in Manhattan, where Mrs. Clinton had anticipated delivering her victory speech, but she wasn’t cheerful because she, observing the vote totals on cable news, knew – or at least felt strongly – that Mr. Donald Trump would be the victor; and, indeed, he was, with 279 electoral votes.
Though folks didn’t exit the Javits Center until way after midnight when Mr. John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, said the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee wouldn’t be conceding but would instead watch the extremely close race into the early morning and proceed from there, Mrs. Brown-Dickerson, whose eldest son was killed by a Philadelphia police officer in 2014, began her journey back home around 10pm.
The ride to Philadelphia was of a somber mood, said Mrs. Brown-Dickerson, who while feeling defeated today remained appreciative of the total experience she had with the Clinton campaign, which gave her the national platform she so desperately craved to tell the story of how a rookie police officer shot and killed Mr. Brandon Tate-Brown while he, at age 26, was unarmed and fleeing.
This afternoon, Mrs. Brown-Dickerson, in an exclusive interview, told me that Mrs. Clinton, who won the popular vote, was perfect for the job, but America instead hired a man who called women everything but a bitch – 53 percent of white woman voted for Mr. Trump, who also attracted four percent of the vote from black women and 26% from Latina women.
Rev. Mark Tyler, a Philadelphian who pastors the oldest black-owned church in America, said his heart goes out to women who were waiting for the Obama moment black men received in 2008: seeing someone who looks or identifies with you being elevated to the highest office in the land.
Like Mrs. Brown-Dickerson, Rev. Tyler, an activist and scholar, was a friend of the Clinton campaign, though he, unlike the Philadelphia mother who many times had traveled with the candidate, will have an open-mind about a Trump presidency – Mrs. Clinton said today she would, too.
There was a fear that Trump would be a sore loser if he lost, the reverend stated, we can’t now turn around and be sore losers.
“This is a time to model the behavior we want others to follow,” Rev. Tyler told Techbook Online. “The election is over; we have to move on and respect the process.”
Could Mrs. Clinton have done anything differently to etch out a win? Mrs. Brown-Dickerson, who got to know Mrs. Clinton better than most voters, said she saw the candidate reach out the working poor, but she could’ve absolutely done better in connecting with them.
Rev. Tyler, pointing to the many “votes left on the table in Philadelphia,” suggested his candidate would’ve absolutely benefited from establishing a deeper connection with the working poor, in a similar manner that Mr. Trump did with frustrated white men in rural America.
“Where’s the commitment to the least of these?” the west-coast-born reverend asked rhetorically of the Democratic Party.
CEO of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Mr. Adam Jackson in Baltimore, who also remarked to me of the many residents in his city who didn’t vote because they felt disconnected from the candidates – “Hillary’s strategy was to placate us” – said of the Democratic Party that they’re mostly “moderate white liberals trying to maintain wealth and privilege.”
A far-left candidate like Senator Bernie Sanders, said Mr. Jackson, would’ve activated the many votes left on the table, but the Democratic National Committee, “not accountable to black people,” ran who they thought made the most sense.
Was there anything Mr. Trump said while running an unconventional and sometimes offensive campaign that connected with his critics?
Mrs. Brown-Dickerson said his vulgarity cause her to completely drown him out.
Mr. Jackson, a prolific debater, recalled his consistent maligning of the Democratic Party for taking black voters for granted as particularly true. Rev. Tyler agreed with Mr. Jackson, adding that the entire political world has taken black voters for granted.
Rev. Tyler pointed out that Mr. Trump was also correct to denounce America’s trade deals and the companies that move overseas, which, of course, puts American workers in the unemployment line. For such a devout Clinton supporter, the reverend was surprisingly calm today when opining about a Trump presidency.
When asked why he wasn’t frantic like many other Americans given Mr. Trump’s absurd proclamations, Rev. Tyler said there’s a big difference in someone talking about what they’re gonna do (campaign rhetoric) and what they can do.
“President Obama said he was gonna close Guantanamo, its still open,” the reverend said.
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Photos courtesy of the author.