In spite of the hell Black people have been through, Blacks have managed to persevere and show a unique brand of resilience that is unmatched by any other group in American history.
Black people who have been shell shocked by the shocking developments concerning the recent presidential election that took place this month, should not be shocked. Many people have found themselves discouraged about America’s future and what this country will look like under a Trump presidency. While looking on the surface, one can understand why there would be room for concern, but history has shown us that we have encountered tough times and challenging leaders, but we have persevered and overcome. This does show us, however, that in order to ensure Black people are able to persevere and overcome, Black people must come together in unity; just like the majority of White people did to elect Donald J. Trump as president.
After all the votes were cast, exit polling showed that 58 percent of White Americans voted for Donald J. Trump, in spite of all the nuisances and shortcomings that made up his candidacy. At the end of the day, based on the numbers, it is clear that the majority of White Americans were okay with the leadership characteristics, divisive rhetoric and crass behavior Trump displayed throughout his entire campaign. None of those things were enough to deter the 58 percent of White Americans who went into a voting booth in their respective state, or filled out their absentee ballot and sent it in, from selecting Donald J. Trump as their choice.
At the end of the day, the “silent majority” responded to the call to act, and they successfully elected the man they truly wanted to lead this country, despite his lack of qualifications and character. White Americans had a clear agenda, and boldly chose the person they wanted to be their leader and spokesperson, despite what the polls said, and Blacks must learn to do the same.
One of the first things Black America must do is stop looking for someone else to lead them. When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, many African Americans were so excited to elect a Black president, that many forgot they did not have a Black agenda with expectation of this newly-elected Black president. It was as if the majority of Black America assumed that President Obama knew what they wanted and knew what they needed.
Where was the Black agenda and what was the measuring stick to help the Black community gauge whether President Obama actually did anything for the Black community or not? There was no collective Black agenda that everyone in the Black community used to gauge him.
If the Black community could be honest with themselves, they would admit that if asked about what President Obama has done for Black people, the majority of Black people could not effectively answer that question with any proof of what he did for the Black community.
That is why this is an opportunity to modify the way the Black community has fought injustice and inequality, by doing things strategically with a remnant of like-minded Black people who are not afraid of change and who see this as an opportunity for growth in America for Black people.
Now that President-elect Trump is going to be in the Oval Office, there is an opportunity to change the way the collective Black community has dealt with the Republican Party and those who align with their political ideology.
This is an opportunity for Black people to know the power of their Black dollar and how they can use their Black dollar as both an asset and a weapon to bring about growth and change for the Black community.
This is an opportunity for Black people to bring together many of its like-minded intellectuals, thought leaders, ministers, entertainers, athletes, financial experts, investors, farmers, scientists, business people, artists, aspiring elected officials, current politicians, public policy experts, judges, legal scholars, healthcare professionals, insurance experts, law enforcement officials, current and former military veterans, educators, street soldiers and all other industry professionals from different walks of life, in order to develop well-thought out strategies and real solutions to deal with the issues plaguing the Black community today, and to develop a plan to prevent a future recurrence of those issues once they are dealt with and resolved.
This is an opportunity for the Black community to break this historical cultural dependency that has crippled Black America for far too long, which is relying on other races of people to solve its collective problems, when it is clear they have no true desire or dedicated plan to do anything.
This is an opportunity for Black people to deal with a Black unemployment rate that is higher than any other group in America, while having a Black president in office.
This is an opportunity for Black people to deal with a wealth gap that has tripled between Blacks and Whites in America, while having a Black president in office.
This is an opportunity for Black people to take a stand against injustice by withholding their powerful Black dollar from those who disenfranchise them, and redirecting those dollars to Black businesses or businesses who support Black people.
This is an opportunity for Black people to demand that the businesses they support with their Black dollar, commit to using those resources to create new jobs for people in the communities they serve.
This is an opportunity for Black people to deal with the many health disparities and food desert issues that keep Blacks at or near the top of all the major health disparity issues in this country.
This is an opportunity for Black people to take control of the education that young Black kids receive, and ensure that the necessary resources be provided to schools in the communities their children live in, so they do not have to chase after a quality education by catching a bus to a community where other kids do not look like them.
This is an opportunity for many of our Black ministerial leaders to help provide guidance and direction during these dark days, while also joining in on the fight with their congregation and other members of the Black community against injustice and inequality, as the Black church has effectively and strategically done in the past with no reservation.
Lastly, this is an opportunity for Black people to properly educate themselves on politics, public policy and civics lessons, so that no one is confused or unaware of what is coming down the pipe that may shock them like Trump’s victory did to so many. These tough issues require real talk and can easily offend Black people at times. All politics is local, and Black people must gain wisdom in order to deal with the issues that affect local Black communities across America.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
These are the wise and ancient words from a book written by one of the most revered military strategists, philosophers and leaders in ancient Chinese history – Sun Tzu. As a Chinese general, Sun Tzu wrote the book, The Art of War, which has influenced many other military leaders all across the globe, but has also been used to shape the ideologies of many people in other arenas of life; whether it is business, education and even politics.
While many in the Black community may look at the recent election as a negative outcome, it should actually be looked at as an opportunity; an opportunity for Black people to seriously analyze where they collectively stand as a group, and then take the advice of the stated military genius named Sun Tzu. It is time to study and effectively know the enemy of the Black struggle, but more importantly study and effectively get to know themselves. If Black America fails to do either, the Black community as a whole continues to fail. However, if Black America chooses to do both, the Black community as a whole can win the ongoing battles that continue to rage against it, year after year, and the Black community will in turn benefit from their victories.
In a nutshell, this is not the first rodeo for Black people. For centuries, Blacks have had a strong faith in God, and a continued hope that God would deliver them from the hand of the oppressor, and these current times should be no different. Black people have had to deal with the struggles and overcome the atrocities of slavery, systematic and institutionalized racism, lynching, Jim Crow, segregation and economic oppression. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t comfortable, but Black people overcame and change, no matter how big or small, eventually came.
The Bible says in the second chapter of Exodus that the Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and God heard their cry for help and sent someone to deliver them on His behalf.
That man was Moses, and he was not a perfect leader, but he stepped up to the plate to lead even when he felt inadequate to do so. What Moses did, everyone in the Black community can do also, no matter what leadership role is played, in order to make an impact.
Like Moses, God is calling Black America to come together in unity, and it is time for the Black church, along with corporate, business and community leaders to step up and take a leadership role in supporting these intentional efforts that are being put forth towards unity.
Instead of asking about what President Obama has done for Black America, or what President-elect Trump plans to do for Black America, the Black community must develop a solid Black agenda that reflects real demands and policy issues that will bring about growth and change in the Black community, regardless of who is president or in any local, county, state or federal elected office. This thing is bigger than President Obama and President-elect Trump.
Black people must immediately adopt a lifestyle of doing for self, and not looking for an elected official to come and save the day for them. The question for the Black community now is, “Are you ready to fight for change?” Time will tell and the world will be watching and waiting to see.