Dr. Laverne Jackson’s Op-Ed

We Will Overcome This!!!

Well here we are! Despite the popular vote, representing the will of the people of the United States of America through their selection of Hillary Clinton, the electoral college believed that it knew what is best for America and elected Donald Trump. Our response will hopefully be the same as a carpenter or contractor erecting a building that can withstand the test of time by building it carefully and solidly, one brick at a time. So, I ask you, should our foundation be built upon a strategy that will force the formulation of public policy that will abolish the electoral college? If so, where do we begin?
Paying more attention to local elections, state voting rights legislation, and how minorities are usually clustered or not clustered in certain locales can be a game changer. Clearly, having political and grass roots leadership focusing on mutual priorities is essential. Beating the bushes and educating urban and rural America with a message of empowerment that can only reach fruition through a strong concerted effort across the nation will once again shine the light of truth in a growing gulf of darkness within this great nation. Regression into a depraved state of existence before the entire world signals the destruction of the spirit of the Constitution of the United States and the democracy and equality that it has upheld in the face of the fiercest opposition. Are we telling the world that democracy does not work, that all men were not created equal, and so they are correct in denying basic human rights to people to whom they feel superior?
Minorities are called to be strategic and deliberate in their response to oppression on such a grand scale. Striking out erratically at law enforcement will not get us to the finish line. Targeting law enforcement gives many officers the excuse they desire to target minorities. Destroying the property of others, burning down resources in our own neighborhoods, and killing our brothers and sisters, is not the pathway to victory. These actions are counter-productive and destructive to those living in the communities in which these actions occur. Killing each other is killing is destroying our future and our legacy. Burn down and loot the local stores and services, and those lacking privately owned vehicles must catch buses, ride bicycles, or bum rides to do what they could have easily done right in their own neighborhoods. Our children must walk past those blighted areas with a sadness down in their small spirits and a nagging inner voice that tells them that the appearance of the neighborhood is reflective of who they are in comparison to others. Rather than sending a message affirming the value of every individual regardless of race, color, or creed, reactionary responses of destruction not only impacts the present but the future carried in the hearts and minds of our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and others. No, it is time we teach them through our actions to wage a different type of opposition, an offensive and defensive strategy that has been mastered by our oppressor and now must be mastered and exceeded by the oppressed
Jesus speaks of cleaning and purging in the New Testament. He says that He will begin with his own house. So, must minorities begin with the eradication of practices that have been strategically planted and utilized to create division within our cultures. We cannot win if we are standing on the battlefield annihilating each other. We cannot win if our vision is clouded by minuscule differences to the point that we cannot comprehend and take hold of the most critical objectives. Donald Trump is the President Elect because his supporters were willing to lay aside their various and sundry differences to win the prize!  At the end of the day, the rain of injustice will fall on us all whether we voted for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or whether we failed to vote at all. For those cultures that are more vulnerable due to an existing state of fragility, the loss of additional well-being could prove to be agonizing, and the and rationale supporting an inability to work with others to have a higher quality of life will fade significantly while struggling to survive. The significant, the bricks of a stable foundation cemented in solidarity verses the insignificant, the crumbling foundation of isms and schisms that will lead minorities into four more years of grave hardships in 2020. Which will it be?
During the next four years as we endure the hardships that have been predicted for us and signaled by the heinous behavior of those basking in bigotry and racism, we must focus on learning, building, and implementing within a framework that is met to abase us by destroying our dignity and devaluing our self-worth to the point that we are immobilized by apathy and hopelessness. We will appear to be free but will be lying in putrid trenches of limited existence, supervised by a systematic contemporary slave master. However, if we can successfully mobilize our knowledge capital, our combined wealth, and our vast spirituality that fuels our faith, we can overcome this! We must unify, make those tough decisions and sacrifices, and we must select virtuous leadership and hold them accountable for the outcomes generated by their actions. This is a road that will certainly not be easy, because of the requirement for a multi-prong, multi-level approach, but we can do this! We can overcome this!

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