Turn the Page from November 8, 2016 - Higher Education
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Turn the Page from November 8, 2016

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Few can argue that the 2016 presidential race was one of the most mean-spirited campaigns in the history of the United States of America.

It was fueled by insults and innuendos, not by dignity and respect. Each day we woke up to another salvo of hurt and harm. I have been a registered voter now for many years, and I became embarrassed for America.

Quite honestly as the campaigns were coming to an end, whenever there was a political commercial coming on, I would simply turn it off or use the mute button. I became sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Well, the election is over, and Hillary Clinton did not win. The political pundits were wrong and the media was duped, maybe even hoodwinked. As the votes were coming in on Tuesday, November 8, I watched the major television anchors reporting and they acted as if they were watching a real-life horror movie unfolding in front of their very eyes.

The crowd gathered at the Clinton headquarters coming to celebrate and they left early, bewildered and disappointed. What they thought was a sure thing ended up being a bad thing.

Since Hillary Clinton lost the election for president, chances are that her political career is over. I doubt that she will try again. She may be a queen-maker in shaping the political fortunes of another woman to run for the presidency but she will never be queen.

Some of us are in protest mode because of the election results. College students are especially making their voices heard. Students at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Yale University in Connecticut and Middlebury College in Vermont have all protested the election results for president.

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“Can you imagine the fear that it would inflict on college campuses if having ICE agents (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) walk into a college campus becomes the status quo,” said organizer Carlos Rojas of the group Movimiento Cosecha. As we recall, Secretary Clinton’s opponent said he would deport all illegal immigrants regardless of circumstances and build a wall.

“I’m very fearful,” said Miriam Zamudio, whose parents brought her to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 6 or 7 years old. Her parents are living in this country without legal permission.

Many men and women who are Black and brown have similar stories relative to immigration yet America has been kind and compassionate. What will the future hold? Will good will turn into bad will or no will at all? We will just have to wait and see.

Did people of color like me get out to vote like we should have? You and I voted but did our brothers and sisters vote? Did our nieces, nephews and next door neighbors vote? Early research on this issue suggests we did not.

A few days before the election, President Barack Obama was on the Tom Joyner Morning Show on radio encouraging people to vote. Why? Because early voting showed we hadn’t, and unfortunately this pattern continued.

We must absorb some of the blame for who will be in the White House next year. I am reminded of a sports analogy to describe what happened on November 8, 2016.

You see in sports when you let an inferior opponent hang around in the game they start believing they have a chance to win. That is why you must kill a gnat with a sledge hammer. Hillary Clinton’s Republican challenger should have lost months ago, but we, the American people, let him stay around too long and he won.

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Now we can lament, cry and whine all we want to about this election, but it is too late. We can say what we would have done, could have done and should have done, but it’s all postcards now. It’s too late. We had the chance and the opportunity, but we didn’t seize the moment. The window was opened on November 8, but it is completely closed now for four years. You can’t pry it open and you can’t will it open. It is closed.

Now what do we who got up sad on November 9 do?

First, we must take a vow and make a pledge never to let this happen again. We must take voting more seriously at all levels. Our vote counts!

Second, we must gather our wits about us, get up and get back in the race of life. We can’t let one man and\or his surrogates take control of our lives.

Third, we must strengthen and enhance our communities. Pride is self-instilled not government-instilled. We must defeat those who come against us with our brain power and not our fighting power.

Fourth, we must model appropriate behavior for our families, our friends and our co-workers.

Fifth, we can’t focus on who is in the White House but we must make sure that God is in our house.

We must stay prayed up each day. Read Isaiah 54:7.

This, too, shall pass.

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