Mr. Donald Trump, who as a presidential candidate rejected unifying and uplifting language and opted instead to run an extremely divisive and hurtful campaign that maligned many groups, hasn’t been president-elect for a whole 48 hours and yet already well-intentioned citizens, like U.S. President Barack Obama, chorused upon deaf ears a call for unity. Sure, Americans at some point should unify for the good of the country’s present and future, but that unity shouldn’t be rushed – grief and trauma among the shocked and scared must first be acknowledged – and it likely, though not hopefully, will be preceded by bloodshed.
A civil war, following the election of Mr. Trump to the presidency, isn’t far-fetched rather it’s a logical conclusion, albeit not the only one, to the story-line involving an always divided country – one that never abandoned let alone atoned for its anti-black and anti-brown racism –which just furthered splintered along ideological, racial and cultural lines.
Examples of both micro and macro aggressions have begun playing out: Reported today out of Chicago, a group of anti-Trump black youth brutally assaulted a white man who they believed was a supporter of the president-elect; in Philadelphia, the morning after election night, an abandoned building was defaced with swastikas and pro-Trump symbolism; in Durham, North Carolina, someone this week spray-painted on a wall the message: Black Lives Don’t Matter and Neither Do Your Votes; on Wednesday morning, graffiti expressing anti-black racism – Fuck niggers and “Whites only” were among the messages displayed – in a Minnesota school was discovered; and the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced today that a victory rally in North Carolina for Mr. Trump will be held on Dec. 3rd.
Here’s the truth: a large part of America is unwilling, not unable, to unify. A sizable amount of votes cast for Mr. Trump were not in the interest of unification as much as they were in favor of white nationalism and anti-blackness – many Black people are in no rush to unify with the alt-right, and understandably so.
The reality is that Mr. Trump disavowed unity when he kept to his pledge to never meet with Black Lives Matter activists, and when he didn’t accept the invitations to convene with neither the NAACP nor the NABJ during his campaign.
Unity doesn’t manifest in a vacuum, thus it has to be cultivated and pursued by all. True unity was neither a theme nor a pursuit by the Trump campaign, so the calls for it in the aftermath of his victory appear perplexing.
Furthermore, while Mr. Trump won fair and square, it’s hard for many Americans to be lectured on respecting the process when it was clear that the victorious candidate didn’t do so; and had he not won Tuesday night, resistant he would be, too.
America today is fractured; its core institutions have been exposed as corrupt and are mistrusted by people of all races; its political discourse is almost completely absent of common sense and civility; and many of its people are at odds. The polarization of this country didn’t happen overnight, and neither will its unification, no matter how earnestly the plea.
Unity in America should, without question, be the goal, but unity is worked towards by all, not simply spoken of by a few. Unity is the result of truth, reconciliation, atonement, sacrifice, transparency, empathy and love, not lies, repudiation, disenfranchisement, greed, elitism, disregard and hate.
For America to unify behind a Trump presidency, the president-elect must first apologize for his transgressions against the aggrieved, allow for emotions to be expressed unfiltered, and make atonements. Without the aforementioned, unity will simply be a buzzword that falls, again and again, on many deaf ears.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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Photo courtesy of the author.