Emil Guillermo: ‘Almost Christmas’ Almost an Antidote for the Election of Trump - Higher Education
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Emil Guillermo: ‘Almost Christmas’ Almost an Antidote for the Election of Trump

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On the Friday after the most shocking election in recent history, I elected to shut off the news.

I escaped to the movies to see the new Danny Glover, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union movie, “Almost Christmas.”

I’ve known some of Glover’s family from growing up in San Francisco’s Western Addition. But in the movie, he’s a successful man of the South. Glover plays Walter Meyers, a mechanic who built a company of six auto shops in the Birmingham, Alabama area. For Christmas, he calls his family home for dinner. The family is successful too. One son is a star college football player; another is running for Congress. The daughters are smart and go-getters, with one in law school, the other a doctor.

Written and directed by David Talbert, a graduate of Morgan State, Maryland’s largest HBCU, and produced by Florida A&M grad Will Packer, the movie strikes comic universal themes and is a cheery feel good movie for right after the election.

Almost.

As I returned to the real world, I realized the movie was an affirmation of the rise of the Black middle class, something that most of America could only dream about before 1964.

The movie was a depiction of the progress made in our society.

And now with one day last week, we are facing the massive rollback of our lifetimes.

If the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, what was the world like before then in 1961, ’62, ’63?

And not just for African-Americans, but for all people of color and other minorities.

That’s where we could be heading. And we’ll need the defiant energy and the fight of pre-1964 to get us through these times.

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That’s what a Trump election means.

The nationwide protests against the Trump presidency continue in New York, Oakland, and other cities and have drawn mostly young people, primarily students, of all ages.

“This is what happens when you elect a facist, racist bigot,” one young African- American protestor told KPTV in Portland, Oregon.

The fear is being felt all throughout our educational system.

Trump’s first action to eliminate the immigration executive orders that allow for undocumented students to stay in this country and attend school is the most immediate concern.

At the University of California, more than 3,000 students could be impacted.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative are all at risk.

In May, UC committed 8.4 million through 2019 to help support the so-called “Dreamers” throughout its colleges.

So will campuses become safe havens? Or will they be where the round-up begins?

It won’t be clear until a Trump administration takes over in January.

But already the signs are dim with the naming to the transition team of Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas and a hardliner on immigration policy.

At the K-12 level, I know a counselor who is already distraught. She teaches in an area where companies employ mostly undocumented workers. The families are in fear. The kids are terrorized.

What’s to be done?

We must remember the fight before ’64.

In Albany, Georgia, the movement in the southwestern part of that state began as early as 1961. And, in 1962, it was students at Albany State University who risked arrest and marched.

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We are returning to that day where that kind of pressure will be called for. Peacefully, loudly, and consistently.

The White House and the Congress are now controlled by those who are less friendly to people of color.

The Trump election has signaled the start of a new fight for the preservation of our civil rights.

Emil Guillermo is a veteran journalist and commentator who writes for http://www.aaldef.org/blog

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