COURAGE UNDER A TRUMP PRESIDENCY
Martin Luther King Jr. was a just man, whose devout faith in God led him to fulfill his purpose as a humanitarian. A believer in non-violence, Dr. King felt that one-day freedom from injustice would rise above the hatred and racism from which this great country’s foundation was built. Dr. King’s dream was that everyone would be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their skin color. Like Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid in Johannesburg, Africa, Dr. King stepped out on faith, putting his life on the line to right the racial injustices in America. These men and so many countless other brave men and women marched in protest for civil rights, specifically for their fellow men and women of color, who because of the very nature of their skin became oppressed. Now that Donald Trump is America’s president, hatred and division have risen, unchecked and unfiltered from the hearts and minds of many people who were once hidden in the shadows of their daily existence.
We all want to believe that we’re brave enough when confronted with such blatant disregard for black people and other minorities coming directly from the man and his admin in the WH, but the reality is, sometimes, we’re not. We’re not brave because we fear how others in the world might perceive us or react to our truths. We know that Trump is robbing taxpayers blind. We know that he is withholding military aid from this country’s allies in exchange for personal political favors (bribes) We know that he encourages police brutality on black and brown people, we know his immigration laws not only separated babies and children from their families but that children died under his watch because of simple negligence. We know that Trump, his Republican senate, his MAGA supporters and his admin don’t give a fig about minorities. We cannot live our lives hoping that his racist agenda changes. We must participate in the struggle! So many of us don’t sign petitions for change, join advocacy groups that call attention to wrongdoing, march in protest or speak on #BlackLivesMatter because we fear opposition. So, we straddle the fence by either not speaking or we attempt neutrality by echoing the redundant phrase that all lives matter and, yes it does, but we know good and well that white people privilege secures their safety against police brutality and certain death. It’s not the white male population or white female who continues to lose their lives just because they’re standing, walking or driving while “White.” Could it be that with all our intellect and religious teachings that people of color fear mainstream America? Or, are we so desensitized to how we are viewed and treated by the white privileged that we remain in the docile position that warns us not to upset the “apple cart”, on the hope that we’ll be fine?
Are we, like Malcolm X said, “Bamboozled?” I’m no Ph.D. trying to examine the minds of any demographic. I’m a black woman who is proud of her heritage; a writer, fueled by blatant acts of racial hate and division and armed with equal amounts of faith, passion, and purpose, seeking to keep wrongdoings front and center in the minds, hearts, and homes of the people. My hope is that there are more of us than there are of them; that people who live with hope, compassion, and empathy for others, and with regard for all humanity, will stand in unity to bring into accountability those that threaten our democracy.
We don’t always practice what we preach in important areas of our living because we fear being ostracized or maligned by family, friends, colleagues, and strangers hiding their true nature behind a computer screen. At the end of the day, we must stand for something…
For the religious, the spiritual, the believer, the Saint, we know how God thinks. So, we know that “prayer” without “works” is dead. What better time than now to embody the strength and courage of our ancestors, our trailblazers, warriors, and sheroes?
These are the times when we must stand…
– Clara B. Freeman
Clara Freeman is a poet, author, and activist living in the Midwest. Her work appears in numerous anthologies, including, Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls and Black Lives Have Always Mattered. Clara’s book, Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices is available on Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter @c50something