Where do we begin?
I believe, as I always have, that change is firmly rooted in the people. In this case, those people are the supporters of Donald Trump who rallied fervently and came out in record numbers to claim to a victory for the 45th presidency of the United States. Yes, even that @POTUS Twitter handle will go to Trump in the ultimate expression of modern day change of power. That power has never really trickled down from the top and I don’t expect it to start now.
Under President Obama – one of America’s best – African Americans found all their financial gains wiped out. Translation: that was the first time Black people stopped fiscally moving upward since being brought on these shores in 1619. Obviously, this devolution was set up during the previous administration, but so was the housing crisis. Yet, the big banks were bailed out and America was salvaged. We were not. Had Hillary gotten elected we would not have been saved either.
If Hillary Clinton been elected – or selected, depended on your mind state- Black people would have had a false sense of accomplishment, I believe. Remember when Americans declared we are “post-racial” after President Obama took office? Stated that we are all “Americans” and “patriots” as described in his post-election speech? Not exactly. It is evident with this presidential election that there is still a groundswell that supports sexism, racism, xenophobia, hate towards LGBT and more.
Racism and more, has never truly been checked by the powers that be. The sickness of sexism continues to ravage women and girls as the so-called glass ceiling was being shattered. Including by our very own president elect who is under investigation for several acts of assault (including rape) as a means to disrespect every group except White men. Bill Cosby has to feel a way about this. But I digress.
The point is, if you know history, you understand that this is not the end. Why? Anytime progressives made bold moves – including electing the first African-American president – there has ALWAYS been tremendous backlash. (Van Jones called it “White Lash,” which is far too slavery-sounding for me). The current political and racial climate reminds me of my favorite sci-fi flick “Star Wars.” However, unlike the Rebel Forces, what we don’t understand is this is war. Sounds horrific, right?
So, Empire will strike back. So this is may be the beginning, but only if you choose it to be.
This is not the end.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ― Maya Angelou
I love and strive to live by this quote by Dr. Maya Angelou and I believe collectively, these words should become mantra. People are far too accustomed to getting by…just existing. This mental enslavement has to end. We deserve more and our future generations deserve more.
Get your power up and stop submitting to being a victim. We have been tossed, turned, brutalized, marginalized, used and abused. I know this. We know this. They know this. I despise how 400-plus years of genocide and free labor jump started this great nation, but knowing alone won’t change anything. Marching in protest – while an often grand gesture – will not make power concede to you. The transfer of power is real. Transfer. Past you. To another one of them. Think about that. Most racists wouldn’t even show their face until Trump emboldened them. The epitome of cowardice. One trembling Black man with no mustache even said, “I can finally wear this hat,” donning a red “Make America Great Again” cap. Confused.
We no longer need feel-good “progress.” I want real good progress. This starts at home and in your tiny little village. Teach your children that which yield inter-generational dividends. Replicate. Jordans cost $200? Buy stock in one of these marijuana companies that are booming with that $200. Invest. Learn the history of powerful leaders, warriors, freedom fighters, business people – Black, White, Native and others as well. Teach them power. Study war strategies and social justice movements, the ones not taught in history books. Study books like They Came Before Columbus and our history as it existed before 1619 so our beginnings are not associated with enslavement. Turn off the TV/tablet/smart phone. Become a leader, train a leader and/or support a leader. Join an organization dedicated to changing conditions in your community. Play the insider/outsider game. Join the companies, state sponsored groups, media companies, political organizations and others. Start a business and hire within the community. Challenge each other to do better. These and other acts are all revolutionary maneuvers of progress, however small or large.
I love Kendrick Lamar, but I am wholly weary of the “We Gon’ Be Alright” mentality. We need a new anthem. Not “Fight The Power.” How about affirmations like “Be The Power” or “You Are The Power”? It is far past time for us to take on the incessant chase to freedom, equality and liberation. In this capitalist society, what does that mean? Money. Power. Respect. Knowledge. Get you some…cultivate…and sustain it for 7 generations. And then 7 more.
I know, I know.
Another “what we need to be doing is…” speech. It may be the last thing we need, right after this election. What I am happy to say is that there have been people working diligently in the community and inside the “system” to achieve desired results. Join. Support. This is not easy and the game is a long, brutal war of attrition. The other side knows this. They want their country “back.” From who? Obama said “We are all Americans.” #ThinkingFaceEmoji
He also said, “If we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off…we get back into the arena.” We must to get back into the arena. With relentless force. Making America “great” again is rooted in the concept of control, exclusion and the inherent superiority of specific segments of the population. Deadass, put your Tims on, and step all the way up and be the change you have to see – boot to neck style.
The Donald (Obama or Hillary) does not control what happens in our individual homes. We have a responsibility to educate and empower ourselves and our children and arm all with the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to be self sustained. We have to combat the ideas of superiority and separation so we are not bred and cultivated in fear.
There’s theory then there’s application. Its time to apply.
Dare to be bold.
Accept being hated.
Be selfish with your f##.
Protect the women and children.
Promise to deliver a better world to future generations.
By all means.
Chuck Creekmur is one of AllHipHop.com’s founders, a public speaker and cultural critic. He’s been featured in VIBE, The Source, Complex, GIANT, National Public Radio (NPR), BET, TVOne, VH1, The E! Channel, MTV, The O’Reilly Factor, USA Today, The New York Times, New York’s Hot 97 and numerous other outlets.