Donald Trump Won the Presidency: Where Do We Go From Here?

Most people I know are suffering from, Post- Election Stress Syndrome a curable; yet debilitating condition experienced by those who were sure Hillary Clinton would become our next President. First sign of the condition appeared, as millions went to bed early on Election Night.  The hope of making history, electing the first female President was derailed by Donald Trump’s late surge.

After the preliminary dust settled, the question on the minds of many as they engaged in Social Media is, “Where do we go from here? “ The eggs of the entire progressive movement were gathered in one basket and the electoral eggs were broken, one by one.  Comedians stopped laughing, the jokes of Donald Trump, “Never becoming President of the United States” ceased.

Finger pointing has begun. Was Clinton the right candidate? What happened to the African-American turnout? Where did this unexpected surge in Trump voters that went undetected by most pollsters?  Could Bernie Sanders have beaten Trump?

I immediately went on a Cable News blackout for the next two weeks. Why would I want to listen to any of them who, in a sense created this political character named Donald Trump?

One thing that has come out of this devastating defeat is the realization with this loss, many issues tackled by the Obama Administration can be rolled-back, like prices at a super Walmart. The Supreme Court that will now most certainly be tipped to the right setting up major battles over Civil Rights, Reproductive Rights, LGBT Rights, the list goes on and on.

Across the nation there have been sporadic protests against the election of Donald Trump, the question remains, where do we go from here?  Is walking in a circle shouting the answer? There are 350 methods of non-violent protests designed to bring about, “creative tension” in an effort to have grievances heard. From the masses, there appears to be no patience for planning.

This so-called boycott of Christmas is being hastily organized. The impact will be barely measurable since those who have done quite well will spend heavily this Christmas. Perhaps, focusing on a later date such as Black History Month would have a greater impact on the economy.

Mongtomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks on bus

Mongtomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks on bus

On December 1st , 1955 Rosa Parks refusal to give her seat up to a white man. Rosa Parks’ action and subsequent arrest fueled calls for an economic boycott of the Montgomery Bus Line Company.

The boycott didn’t happen overnight, there were meetings and meetings about meetings, and actions directed towards the bus company took planning, leadership and most of all, followers. In March of 1955, 15 year old Claudette Colvin was arrested, forcibly removed from the bus and placed in handcuffs.

The people of Montgomery, Alabama were trained and ready for their non-violent assault on the Bus Company’s Jim Crow policies. The boycott of the bus system began on December 5, 1955 and ended December 20, 1956 over one year later! Preachers, teachers, maids and day workers were united in their resolve, not to use the buses. The civil disobedience caused the city to penalize Black Taxi drivers, as a result at least 300 private vehicles were mobilized for ride sharing. The bus company was bought to its economic knees while organizers fought this systemic racism in court. The Bus Boycott was one of many dark hours in African- American history, yet the boycott ignited a flame that was viewed nation-wide. The Montgomery bus boycott ended when the Supreme Court ruled on it in December 1956. Claudette Colvin’s legal case formed the core of Browder v. Gale, the decision that caused the court to end to the discriminatory law.

Civil Rights Moving Forward March 19, 2015 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm As the African American community recovers from the shock and awe of the Presidential Election, the question has become, ”where do we go from here?” , the answer perhaps lies in doing what worked best in our African-American history, planning, mobilization, and execution of a plan.

But this is not, 1963 the youth of today have no patience and rightfully so, since we’ve failed to educate and protect them from racism and bigotry.  The election of Barack Obama was supposed to be a reflection of a “post-racial America”.  That was wishful thinking, the election of the nation’s first African-American President was met with disrespect from day one, when Republicans wished him failure and pledged to block anything he wanted to accomplish.

President Obama’s harshest critic used “dog whistle” language and other coded messages to win, exciting the electorate. Let’s face it; many never liked Barack Obama as President simply because he’s Black.

Where do we go from here? We educate voters about the importance of down ballot voting. Emphasize what the former Speaker of the House, Tipp O’Neil once famously stated, “All politics are local”.

Syracuse City Hall

Syracuse City Hall

Instead of marching in a circle, we must take that same energy and march to the Syracuse City School District’s Board Meetings, Onondaga County legislative sessions, carrying that same energy to Syracuse Common Council Meetings.  Assemble at our local representative government meetings. These meetings are open to the public; this is where decisions are made.

When Black lives Matter held a demonstration in downtown Syracuse, businesses shuttered their doors, the Federal Building prompted by Homeland Security, closed their onsite Day Care. The peaceful demonstration took place without incident. But the business community’s response to a couple hundred protestors was visceral, a knee jerk reaction to a gathering of residents calling for change. Imagine, if that same energy were focused a local legislative issue.

If people participated in all facets of civic and political decision making, imagine how quickly things change. That’s where we go from here!