The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States of America has brought about mixed emotions. For many African-Americans, emotions have ranged from anger to worry. Let me say this – it’s okay to be emotional for a moment because it’s through the expression of emotions that something gets done. We cannot keep our emotions suppressed. To do so will only lead to more frustration and aggravation.
Within a few weeks, unless something drastic happens, Donald Trump will be sworn into office on January 20th 2017. Just looking at his choices for key cabinet positions, we’re getting a glimpse into how he will run the country. Choosing people with little to no experience to lead departments and agencies shouldn’t surprise too many people, because Trump is more concerned with catering to those who have shown unwavering loyalty to him throughout his campaign. In addition to that, Trump and his administration continues to demonstrate how divided this country is and will be during his presidency.
As African-Americans, we can no longer be party loyalist. Think about it for a moment – more than 90% of African-Americans identify themselves with the Democratic Party. This needs to stop. Am I saying it’s time to switch to the Republican Party? No. What I am saying is that it’s time for us to call out both political party’s. No longer must we allow the Democrats to assume we will vote for them. No more allowing them to pander us for a vote. Let’s face it – whenever African-Americans become so attached to a political party, it’s easy to be misled. Not every Republican is a racist and not every Democrat has the best interest of the Black community in mind.
Because Trump will soon be in the oval office, this is the ideal time for African-Americans to do the following:
Start a small business. Because the Trump administration can’t promise they will increase the federal minimum wage, it’s imperative that entrepreneurship be explored. Don’t let other people or the economy stop you from going into business for yourself.
Begin to get more involved in local politics. While the presidential election will always garner national and international attention, local elections cannot be forgotten. What happens locally has a way of affecting what happens nationally. If you care about your community and where your tax dollars are going, GET INVOLVED. If possible, run for public office so that ‘fair and just’ public policies can be written and implemented for all people.
Protest economically. When injustice shows its ugly face, marching in the streets brings media attention, but an economic protest demands something must be done. When those in Congress and/or those in organizations commit injustice, they listen to protesters when their bottom-line is impacted.
I need to drop this in your spirit – getting too emotional over the election of Donald Trump and the people he chooses can be draining. Does that mean we should not care? Of course not. Does that mean we shouldn’t do our research on the people he chooses? We must definitely do as much research as possible. As people who care about justice, fairness, and equality, we must come together and be solution-oriented. It’s through planning that things will get better.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You and success coach. Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey