I am not sure how many people reading this column are still reeling about the recent presidential election. I for one have not fully digested the news that DJT, a man who has never held public office or served his country in any capacity, will be the incoming president—on the heels of the first African-American president. To be clear, President Obama is not perfect. However, he saved the American economy from falling off of a financial cliff. He also had a scandal-free eight years and brought dignity and honor back to the role of the presidency at home and abroad.
Now that DJT is the president-elect, we must remain vigilant. Many folks are throwing around the term “woke” to describe those who have an elevated racial consciousness. However, we must not rest on the fact that we can identify racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and misogyny in this particular president-elect and those in his orbit and cabinet. We must become a boot on the neck of DJT’s regressive policies as much as possible. This effort will be difficult because no one can be at war all day for the next four years. Because of that I am reminded of something the Rev. Al Sharpton said when speaking of the collaborations NAN is forging with the NAACP and other long standing civil rights organizations for Latinos, Asians and other marginalized groups in the U.S.
Sharpton spoke of why geese fly in a triangular formation. He described how the goose in the front takes all of the wind, the elements and turbulence. The goose flies and leads his comrades for as long as possible, then when he can no longer sustain the difficulties, he falls back and someone else takes the lead to get them to their destination safely. We must be those geese. We can neither fly alone nor fight the entire four years of the administration with the racist and negative headwinds in front of us. Now more than ever we must find other individuals and groups who are in this fight with us. We must lead, but we must also follow when we are weary. However, when others have taken the lead, we must still fly in formation and stay awake to observe our surroundings.
DJT has made it quite evident that he will follow through on his divisive rhetoric. For example, appointing Steve Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart News and a known white-supremacist sympathizer (which makes him a white supremacist as well), as a chief adviser just footsteps away from the Oval Office, is a clear indication that those who fight for justice, equality and anti-imperialism have their work cut out for them in the years to come.
So keep your eyes open, but do not forget to rest when needed, for this fight for justice and equality will not be swift or easy. It never has been, but our ancestors have given us the tools to be victorious. And that is a truth. I can rest my head at night and know for sure.
Christina Greer, Ph. D., is an associate professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.” You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.