Thursday, November 10, 2016

Post Election Reflections

"I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he's wrong. Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil." Malcolm X

I shared on FaceBook my children woke up on Wednesday feeling some kind of way about the election results. Disappointment. Sadness. Surprise. Confusion. Just a disclaimer, my husband and I were not Trump or Clinton supporters. So, this isn't a bash Trump post or elevate Clinton. Or vice versa. But, what did the elections teach my children?

They learned people they like will support ideas and people they find difficult to accept. My younger boys were disappointed and confused by their friends supporting Trump. If their friends were watching the same debates and speeches how could they support him? Children in our co-op debated the merits of Trump and Clinton. There were some pretty strong convictions on both sides. Unlike adults, they were able to play together lately.

They learned what's in you will eventually come out. The fear, isolationism, and hate for various groups reigned freely in this election. People will eventually show their true colors given the opportunity. So, always watch and listen to what people do and say. You'll learn how people really feel about you. I've always had more respect for people openly truthful of how they feel than those who hide it behind false words.

They learned adults are not always the best examples of appropriate behavior. Name-calling and bullying tactics are unacceptable in our home. The kids watched the debates often commenting about the "childish" behavior. It became a running joke that it was insulting to children to label their behavior as childish.

They learned the more things change the more they stay the same. People of color have made great strides in all areas of life, yet nothing actually changes. For many, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's is history. It's something we read about and discuss with our elders. We watch documentaries and visit museums. This election reminds us we must remain vigilant. The struggle is real.

They learned our lives aren't controlled by who's in the White House. Most Black people I know don't depend on the government to live fruitful lives. We've always known the merits of self-education and self-sufficiency. The world will still go on. Dad still has to get up and go to work. Bills still need to get paid. People of color will do what they've always done: adapt, educate, survive, and thrive.

They learned politics is a game. We listened to Trump's victory speech. My kids noted this man was not the man who spoke before the election. This man spoke of unity and complimented Secretary Clinton. This man was calm. One of my son's asked if maybe Trump was acting earlier in the campaign. Politics is a game of tailoring your actions and words to the latest audience. The best speakers in any field know how to do this. Politics is no different. So, the wise person listens deeper.

Today is a new day. The elections are over and there's still work to be done as a nation and separately as individuals and families. This will never change. All we can tell our children is do the things necessary to live a life independent of who is the White House or has the senate majority. Build your families and communities. Educate yourself. Become entrepreneurs, or always have a side gig. Don't get caught up in materialism and personal debt. Love and respect others. Remember you are your brothers and sisters keepers. If you're really adventurous, grab that piece of land and start growing your own food. These things withstand political affiliations.


  1. All I can say, it was quite an interesting election year.