America is just days away from a new presidency, and excitement as well as foreboding are evident in many segments of the population. This is because a new president will have the power to significantly change the direction of the country, and with it, the fate of the people.
This is especially daunting from the standpoint of those who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), who may lose coverage if it is repealed as promised by the president-elect. Others are also looking forward with fear, based on threats that the new president will create a Muslim registry, dismantle public education, gut or eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, and roll back most of the progressive reforms enacted by our first African American president, Barack Obama.
The aforementioned issues, along with the deaths of many persons of note, as well as those of family and friends, sums up the year 2016 as tumultuous. Most people are glad to bid it farewell. This is all well and good, but the future tends to be created by the past. In other words, we must learn from our mistakes and look forward to correcting them with an eye toward creating a better future.
The African American community has a chance to change things for the better. The past year has seen multiple murders inflicted by members of the community, on the community. Moreover, in 2017 we may be faced with new challenges. It doesn’t appear to be a “business as usual” scenario. Part of the reason is that there may be a huge backlash (whitelash) against the community because of the anger generated by having eight years of an Obama presidency. Also, some of the changes that might take place may challenge the community economically. This is where opportunity comes in.
It is said that one of the lessons that we need to learn in life is that we can have a great impact on how the future turns out. We create the future based on what we do today. Though there might be a bumpy road ahead, what happens will depend upon our response to what happens, and not on the circumstances themselves.
Interestingly, a number of African Americans have said that they will leave the country rather than endure the upcoming Trump presidential administration. Cooler heads, on the other hand, say that running away will not solve problems. If anything, it might turn out worse for those who leave what has been familiar to embrace whole new territories, both physical and emotional. Therefore, the best way to deal with challenges is to face them.
The most important thing to remember in this regard is that there is power in unity, and that a community that works together can weather any storm. The African American community spends more than a trillion dollars a year. This is a lot of money, and strategically spent, can influence the economic outcome of the entire nation. African Americans are not powerless, and whatever changes that may come down the pike can be offset and/or modified by our collective economic behavior. Economic behavior is one of the most potent tools that the African American community possesses.
The greatest obstacle that must be overcome, nevertheless, is the self-hatred demonstrated by too many Black people. It is a strange situation that we face wherein just about ANY African American who is able to achieve a modicum of success is attacked as either a sell-out or an agent of a so-called Illuminati.
So members of the community have basically two options – to remain poor and disenfranchised while envying those who achieve their goals, or to achieve success and be criticized for achieving their goals. This is a catch – 22, one that must be addressed if the community is to succeed. Even if there are no external challenges, it will be important for the community to heal. It has been long enough, and 2017 presents a great new opportunity in this regard. With this said, the Crusader wishes for you a successful, thoughtful and fulfilling New Year and a new YOU! A luta continua.