"One Nation, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All." As far as we've come, we aren't there yet - in fact, we're a long way away with a lot of work left to do.
Trump hasn’t made America great again. He has made America racist again. Since his election, elementary and high school students today simply have to quote our president in order to bully their classmates, chanting “build that wall” to Latino schoolmates, telling black classmates to “go back to Africa”. The bullying of African-American women at OCC recently by the OCC Republicans Club, wearing their MAGA hats, is completely unacceptable and qualifies as “hate speech” in my opinion.
Has he made America racist again? Or has it always been racist, just always hidden beneath the surface? As ugly as it is, there is nothing better to heal a wound than sunlight, and if nothing else, Trump’s election has brought racism into the conversation, and it can no longer be swept under the rug. It is only by having an open and honest conversation that we will finally learn to truly, completely love and respect one another in all of our differences and diversity. I am painfully aware that these words may sound hollow to people of color, but I hope I can earn your trust as we all move towards a more progressive, more diverse, more unified future together.
What to do:
- In DC - I will advocate for policies that affirm people of color. The issues that I will fight for will begin with the demilitarization of our police force and investing instead in community policing. I will fight for minority voting rights by restoring the Voting Rights Act (in the elections of 2012, African Americans waited twice as long in line to vote as whites). I will push for a ban on “prisons for profit”. And I will finally fight for an end to our failed war on drugs. Many of the issues affecting minority communities will start to heal when we finally address the rampant income inequality in our society, by raising the minimum wage, and put Americans back to work with new “green-collar” jobs.
- Locally - we need to aggressively address racism and hate speech in our schools with anti-bullying and tolerance programs. Last summer, I stood with OCC’s sociology instructor Jessica Alabi, an African-American woman, when the OCC Republicans Club (young white males wearing MAGA hats) filed a discrimination lawsuit against her for refusing to allow them to join the into Black Women’s History workshop, which was a blatant example of the type of bullying and harassment these young men have been perpetrating. There is a difference between free speech, and hate speech.