In what may be the most stunning result of a presidential election in the 240 year history of our country, Donald J. Trump around 2:40am Wednesday November 9, 2016 was declared the 45th president of the United States defeating Hillary Clinton, who was thought to be the overwhelming favorite heading to the election. As someone trying to be a decent human being, let me congratulate President-Elect Trump and his supporters on winning the election. At the same time, allow me to express some concerns that I have with a Trump presidency.
Let me start by discussing a little bit about by political ideology. I was born and raised by parents who overwhelmingly supported the democratic party platform. Over the last few years, I’ve become an independent with democratic part leanings because I agree with some of the platform issues in both the democratic and republican parties. As a result, I believe in giving candidates on both ends of the political spectrum the opportunity to convince me of why they would be the best candidate to govern our nation.
As an African-American male, the result of this election is puzzling and bothers me for one huge reason:
We have taken a step back in terms of cultural diversity and race relations. Many have argued that this election was about white privilege having its last stand in a society that is becoming more and more diverse. Race relations have always been dicey, but I have to wonder if it will be even more dicey under President-Elect Trump. Whether he wanted it to be this way or not, his candidacy gave ammunition for those who are racist and disrespectful of other people groups to behave in a way that reflected their values. As an African-American male, will I have to be more worried when I go in environments that are predominately white? Will white people feel justified in treating me as less of a human being due to President-Elect Trump being in office? Will more police officers believe it is okay to murder unarmed black males? Will our government feel justified to keep laws and practices in place that systemically hurt blacks and other “minorities”? I have more questions than answers and that is not a good thing as I try to be a productive citizen in this country.
I understand that many supported Trump in an effort to not support Hillary and to vote on the values of the republican party, but how do people justify putting in the office someone who has insulted so many people? I am also disappointed in so many evangelicals basically saying that in this moment, character was not as important as the political issues on the line. As someone that has tried to support evangelicals over the years, this flip-flop was very discouraging.
I would love to have a decent conversation with someone who supported Trump to explain to me why they did and juxtapose it with the concerns I have as we move forward as a nation.
At the end of the day, putting the philosophical and political issues aside (including my fear/frustration that everything President Obama put in the place the last 8 years will be destroyed), my concerns boil down to how we will interact with each other in a country that says as long as we get what we want we do not care who is put in office. How we treat each other matters especially if we call ourselves Christians or Christ-followers. I believe that the reputation of Christianity is on the line even more the next 4 (or 8) years in terms of how we live out being salt and light in the world.
My prayer is that some way and some how, even in this period of time we’re about to live in, we do what we can to ensure that America is a nation for all people. While I admit that I am concerned about me and my family’s future in a society under the leadership of President-Elect Trump, I will also use this moment again to be salt and light and remember God’s sovereignty in this moment.
If you supported Trump, will you comment and let me know your basis for supporting him? Can you speak to the concerns I’ve put here? What will you do as a Trump supporter to ensure that we try to have positive race relations with each other?