In just a few days, thousands of Republicans and Trump supporters will gather in Washington, D.C., to witness the swearing -n of the 45th president. Their level of excitement as they witness their candidate place his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the sacred duties of the Constitution will likely fill them with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I remember eight years ago, driving to D.C., braving the frigid weather, standing in line for hours and witnessing Barack Obama, the first African-American sworn in as the president of the United States. The sense of accomplishment and pride was felt by the hundreds of thousands of people who had traveled from all 50 states (and the world) to witness something many never thought possible.
Fast forward eight years and the sense of dread I feel about Jan. 20 is almost indescribable. I do not think the man who will place his hand on the Bible Friday Jan. 20, 2017, has ever read the Constitution, nor do I think he respects it or the millions of Americans who did not vote for him. I fear that he will use this most humbling position as an opportunity to line his own pockets and the coffers of his family members and individuals he deems are obedient to his messages. I fear he will dismantle and/or destroy the fragile democracy that has been built with blood, sweat, tears, hard work and policy. And I loathe the anti-intellectualism and lack of dignity he brings to the office, as evidenced by his past behavior and tweets over several decades/years, during the election season and especially since Nov. 8.
Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) has already pledged to boycott the inauguration. I also believe there are several ways citizens can voice their frustration and displeasure as well. First, if you have the time and resources, you can attend the Women’s March in D.C. being held Jan. 21. The march is for anyone who believes in equality, justice and a progressive agenda of inclusion. Second, you can identify someone who should run for office, or start thinking about running for office yourself. Many of the regressive policies of the Trump administration will be upheld by the 38 Republican statehouses across the country. It is imperative we begin to loosen the incumbency advantage and actually get competent people running for office who represent a more inclusive agenda. Last, we can educate ourselves. This incoming administration has already declared a war on the media and “news.” We must resist the temptation to take quick headlines and tweets as facts. Do the work, do the digging to get to the bottom of a story before taking it at face value.
We must not let the divisive nature of the Trump administration become the norm. We cannot sit quietly while our country is privatized and sold to the highest bidders. We must be a vocal and constant presence and a perpetual thorn in the side of those who wish to silence individuals and groups fighting for justice, equality, freedom and the future of this nation.
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.