People of Color Continued To RYSE This Election Season

Yes, And Still We RYSE

Andre Spivey

Andre has over 10 years of experience in Tech and Start-ups ranging from the advanced tech in the US Air Force to building his own educational software company Live 2 Learn Differently. His is a proud graduate of Morris Brown College and Cornell University.

After months of toil, heated arguments, loss of Facebook friends and the general nastiness that comes from Presidential campaigns, we are finally decided.

 

On November 8th something unexpected and unusual happened. Despite Hillary winning the popular vote, she lost the electoral college making Donald Trump our next President.

 

This time the so-called “deplorables” won, I use so-called because I don’t consider Trump voters deplorable, fearful and confused, yes, but deplorable no.

 

Much of the sexism and racism spewed comes from the fear that the world around them is changing. African Americans are becoming presidents, transgenders can use restrooms where they please, gays can get married, and women are demanding to be paid the same amount for their work.

 

Slowly, but surely America is moving toward true equality and starting to live up to its’ own claims. The mere thought of this is scary to individuals that have long based their entire identity on privilege.

 

Like many people the initial reaction to change is fear and backlash, this backlash was expressed in statements such as, “We want our country back,” “Make America Great Again.”

 

These statements signify the attitude that increased equality and advancing societies are bad for America, “progress = bad” and “to be stagnant = good/safe.”

 

What we’ve all learned throughout human history is that you can delay the inevitable, but you can deny the inevitable and progress is the inevitable.

 

Although Trump winning was considered a major loss, there were also some bright lights and amazing victories.Let’s look at just three awesome things that happened on November 8th, 2016.

 

Jewell Jones a talented and enterprising young man sought to better his city and home state by entering politics. He first became the youngest city councilman in the history of Inkster, Michigan, a city or suburb on the outskirts of Detroit.

 

After serving on the council, he took a chance on himself and ran for a seat in Michigan House of Representatives 11th This chance he took paid off, November 8th, 2016 he was elected and is currently the youngest African-American lawmaker in the U.S.

jewelljones

(Image from UrbanMecca)

 

Ilhan Omar, a brilliant young woman with an incredible story also made history November 8th. At the age of 8, her family fled the Somali Civil War and spent years in a Kenyan Refugee Camp.

 

The family later moved to Minnesota; she became interested in politics by the time she was 14 years old. Her early interest paid off, as she has now become the first Somali-American legislator in the U.S.

ilhanomar

(Image from Fox9)

 

Kamala Harris an HBCU grad (Howard), continues to be a rising star in the Democratic party. She has made her way from being the first African American female attorney general of California to now becoming the second African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

 

kamaka-harris

(Feature Image from LA Times)

We have learned many things from the past three elections. This one was perplexing and comical at times, but it was also engaging and forced many of us to learn more about the election process.

 

We were forced to confront racism, sexism, police brutality, class and economics in a way that we rarely do. Trump’s election is a symbol to those who want to “take their country back” to a previous time and reverse progress.

 

The popular vote and the stats showing how millennials voted, show us that our country will progress regardless. In the face of adversity, in the aftermath of the election, we have an opportunity to reflect on and learn from our progress so far and find a way to duplicate it and push it even further.

 

We must continue to “RYSE,” regardless of who is in the White House, we must focus on pushing ourselves, empowering ourselves.



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