I have finally snapped out of my funk. My mental constipation has finally met its prunes. I could not write for weeks because I could not believe what I just saw in this election cycle and I have yet to process it in its entirety. It reminded me of that beautiful morning in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 when I saw the second plane smash into the World Trade Center and the subsequent explosion. I know it happened, but I am having great difficulty accepting it. The human mind protects itself in that it sometimes rationalizes what it visualizes in order to protect the whole self.
It’s the Post Election Reconstruction and the question is: What is the state of the Republic? As of this writing, there are some 701 incidents of hateful harassment since the election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. This genie refuses to get back in the bottle.
Democracy is not perfect; that was clearly proven in the last election. Depending on the side of the aisle that you are on…it could be absolutely perfect for you. Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America—spelling error, sorry: AmeriKKKa. It isn’t even remotely funny anymore. 59,521,401 Americans voted for Donald Trump, while 59,739,748 voted for Hillary Clinton and with all of that some 97,000,000 Americans did not vote at all. Welcome to what we Liberals and all fair-minded people who just so happen to be Republicans (we know you are out there) call the DisUnited States of AmeriKKKa.
Tisha Watson, a Massachusetts-based lifelong friend and my spiritual compass, said it better than I ever could:
Will stop & frisk stop my sons from being?
Will my loved ones have health insurance?
Will my loved ones be able to marry who they love?
Will my loved ones from other countries who live here have to carry passbooks to prove their citizenship at all times?
Will the ones who don’t love me feel like it’s okay to treat me any kinda way?
Will girls and women be forced to become mothers even if they are not ready, willing and able, or if they are raped?
Will men and boys think sexual abuse is okay?
Will children think verbal abuse and bullying is okay?
Will there be another depression?
Will there be another world war?
Will this country be brought to its knees begging for forgiveness and redemption?
If you are truly honest about the history of The United States America, and you don’t desire to color it as some great, grand experiment, it’s a great ideal. But it is flawed due to opportunists, the lack of integrity, the lack of true discourse, and the lack of humanity and compassion. True discourse demands that we be honest about how we got here.
The country will NEVER be great until we face the reality of whose graves this “greatness” was built upon. Because their ancestors, their children’s children are still here, they won’t be denied and they won’t tolerate the lies. This country was built on terrorism, fear, anarchy, robber barons, exploitation and the dead flesh of Africans and the First Nations long before Columbus discovered that he needed GPS. It’s all about perspective folks, it’s all about what your experience is. How do you build something honest, true, worthy of respect when the foundation is rotten to the core. Put lipstick on a pig . . . and it’s still a pig. And then you’re told to blindly follow the pig to greatness?
Some will say, “America, love it or leave it” or, if you hate it so much, “go back to Africa”. You want to make anything GREAT? Choose to question it, demand the best from it and demand that America be intelligent, respectful and compassionate. Newsflash all you “go back to Africa” folks, we didn’t get the Ellis Island boat cruise as the ocean is littered with the corpses of our ancestors who took that first fateful series of boat trips that we have yet to recover from. We earned the right to stay here and we earned the right to stake our claim to this country being as much “ours” as it is “yours”.
Why haven’t we learned from Canada? Canada has in fact taken that “Welcome” mat and laid it out beautifully. The First Nations would certainly disagree with that statement, however. There are a lot of Muslims in Canada among other races and there is no one trying to bomb them . . . or even trying to make war with Canada. Have you seen what the Canadian Cabinet looks like? There is a Sikh running the Department of Defense. America is an arrogant nation, if we don’t change that perspective the world may force us to. Obviously, we have missed that key component of the Obama doctrine.
The Constitution, for many of us, was the beginning of the big lie for non-whites. The people who supported Mr. Trump don’t want an America that has evolved from the days of when white, male, slaveholders knew that “We the People” meant “We the White Males, only” (didn’t include women either). The majority of us want an America where we welcome others, embrace diversity, strive to shelter those who seek asylum and daily, tried to uplift our fellow human.
The very same country that immigrants built—the very original immigrants that robbed and raped and stole from the original, indigenous owners of the land we now call these DisUnited States—now want immigration to stop; they want everyone else to stop coming here.
True Americans want the America envisioned by Langston Hughes:
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
America has left a huge turd floating in the toilet. The country has had a year-long suppository and what came out into the toilet was bigotry, misogyny, racism, fascism, militias, and that perennial hemorrhoid known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The President-elect built the foundation of his Presidential campaign on the idea that “We can achieve something without the input of other people.” His platform, however, is only popular until he gets into office and faces the reality that others have to agree with him at some point. The masses with the stakes and pitchforks will turn on this gilded and gold plated Frankenstein if they don’t get what they want.
Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Mr. Trump has clearly shown us all, who he is. He also showed us all who we REALLY are as a NATION (Thank you, Donald) he has single-handedly exposed the racism that no one believed existed. The hatred that folks in the mainstream said didn’t exist—and it gets better—they are out in the open and proud of it. So proud that the GOP Vice President Elect took a selfie with a whole bunch of white people in the room. The historically disenfranchised see that to mean, “We have taken our country back, and you can’t play”. There was only one chocolate chip in the cookie and he was so far back and blurred in the photo, that when you look close? You see the brother just walking by, quickly. What Vice President-elect portrayed in his selfie as “Great” is a room made up of all white people.
There is light at the end of the tunnel but it’s not an oncoming train. In the “new old world” after the election, it doesn’t matter who won, or who feels they have won. It’s the majority of right thinking fair-minded Americans that have lost the most. We feel wounded. We feel disenfranchised and feel that this is not the America that we want. Fair-minded Americans now realize what people of color in the U.S. have always felt. So what do we now?
So what do we now?
We show Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Prophet Muhammad, Oskar Schindler, Martin Luther King “I will give my life for you” kind of love to one another. That is what I will do and I implore us all to do the same to revert to the spirituality that brought you to this point in life: This historically teachable moment in the history of this ideal called America.
When they go low? We go high and higher until our collective noses start to bleed. We respect our enemies (Yes, that means we respect the new President and the Office of the Presidency) while understanding that as humans, they are flawed. We should expect imperfection and we should manage that with love. You may feel like you want to vomit here, but it’s the truth.
I am in no way saying go out and hug a Klansman today. No. Instead, “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate,” as Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War.
Robert Johnson, the multi-billionaire founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television) said recently:
To the Republican Party, we say to you, even though you have ignored us or often times actively conspired against our rights, ‘we have no permanent enemies.’ To the Democratic Party, we say to you, even though you have taken our vote for granted and often patronized us, ‘we have no permanent friends.’ We are required to challenge and to demand that all candidates or parties in pursuit of our vote, whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent, explain in comprehensive terms what they propose to do for us to make our lives better…..let us make them earn our vote!
As good losers, we need to heed the words of Karen Salmansohn “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.” that is our job for the next 4 years.
Photo credit: Getty Images