By Cash Michaels
SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW? – To be transparent, this is being written the day before the election, so I have no knowledge who won, who lost and why. Thus, I can’t jump up and down and go “Yippee,” or if the results are what I didn’t expect (or want) go, “Oh hell!” So without any knowledge of what happened on Election Day, or after Election Day, here goes my concern.
This presidential election is being seen as perhaps one of the most divisive in US history, and there is a huge question about what kind of country we will be afterwards, given how many of us have behaved before it was over. There is no question that this nation is split right down the middle, divided politically, socially and racially. When we heard candidates literally urging thousands of their supporters to express their profound hatred for the other candidate (“Lock her up, lock her up”), or encourage followers to beat people up, or call a particular ethnic group “rapists and murderers,” then there is no question that our future together is going to be tense.
One side, if it loses, is going to angry and frustrated, but they’ll lick their wounds and gear up for the next election. The other side, if it loses, has already signaled that they will be the sorest of losers. They’re already chanting that “the system is rigged” if their candidate comes up short. Some of them believe that the system is so corrupt, they may have to take up arms at some point.
And they don’t mind aligning themselves with avowed racists, while avowed racists are move than happy to align themselves with their movement. Why? Because thanks to the nonsense from their candidate, this country was great only before “other folks” got their rights.
So the divisions are deep, very deep. Bridging that divide will take leadership, not necessarily from the next president, but on the ground and in the neighborhoods. Supporters from both sides will have to learn to stand the sight of one another, and be able to have civil conversations.
But wait a minute – one of the reasons why there are people who feel that their government has left them and done nothing for them is because they are suffering economically. Either they’ve lost their jobs, or their wages and benefits have not improved in many, many years. Add to that the fact that the country is slowly but surely losing its white majority, and that foreign countries have become more competitive with us in almost every area we used to pride ourselves as dominating.
And, of course, as we all know, blaming people of color for alleged “advantages” they supposedly receive from the government during hard economic times is a classic excuse for other folks to manufacture anger. It come as no surprise when we turn on Fox News and see conservative negroes (yes, some prefer to still be called that, raging against the term “African-American” because they don’t agree with hyphenated Americanisms.
So yes, we have an awful lot of work to do as a nation to unify this nation in the aftermath of one of the worst presidential campaigns ever. Let’s just hope that things don’t get too far out of hand before we get it together.