Something happened over the weekend, which will culminate on Friday, that demonstrates how frustrating, sad and delusional the citizens of the United States can be.
Over the weekend, Rep. John Lewis said he didn’t believe President-elect Trump was a legitimate President. John Lewis is an icon of the Civil Rights movement. You can read about his story in the graphic novel MARCH. There are countless documentaries detailing his role in the Movement. His sacrifice to the cause is without question.
Something we tend to forget about as Americans is we have the right to disagree with the status quo. If we didn’t rebel against what was status quo at any particular time, women would still have to get secret, back alley abortions. Same sex marriages would still be illegal. I would still have to drink from a separate water fountain and could be refused to be served at local establishments because of the color of my skin. Because we have broken former status quo barriers, many of those barriers broken because of the work and sacrifice of Rep. Lewis and others, we would like to believe America is stronger.
What people like Rep. Lewis reminds us is the struggle continues. The barriers don’t disappear overnight and there will be people who will push back against change. If you don’t continue forward, if you rest when you think the struggle is over, you could find the hard fought for progress slowly chipped away and one day you may find the foundation you thought was solid has been eroded.
When Barack Obama was elected President, many Americans wanted to declare our long standing problem with racism was over. The proof? America elected a Black President.
Remember when George Bush flew out on the aircraft carrier and, with that Mission Accomplished banner behind him, declared that the war was over? We wanted to believe it was over, and if critics said otherwise there were a good number of people at the time who would aggressively defend President Bush. We look back now, still in the war that was declared over and wonder how could we have been so wrong?
When Obama was elected President many were so willing to buy into the post racial rhetoric they were unwillingly to see the evidence against their perception. Let’s disregard the racial prejudice faced by Obama before the election. While he put his hand on the bible, Republicans were meeting to ensure he would be a one term President. Now, the town hall protests against Obamacare could have been seen as public disagreement; a backbone of free speech and democracy. Those people carrying guns at those rallies? They were just exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. The posters of the big lipped Obama with a bone through his nose? Again, it could be reasonably said they were exercising their 1st Amendment rights.
Let me ask you something? Name me 10 times in a six month period where President Obama name called the protesters, politicians, pundits or reporter that disagreed with his healthcare plan? I’ll do one better, name me 10 times in a six month period in his term when he has done that?
You can’t because it didn’t happen.
As every minority knows in this country, when you are the first, like it or not you are an example for every minority and you have to work twice as hard just to be equal in the eyes of the majority.
During the Trayvon Martin shooting, when Obama said Treyvon could have been his son, rhetorically, Republicans politicians jumped all over him, saying he was making the incident too racial. They said the same thing when he spoke out about other racial incidents. C’mon, let’s be real. Because many were so willing to believe racism was gone because we elected a Black President, we didn’t bring focus to the underlying racial and economic issues underneath the American fabric. We talked, we tweeted, we posted but we didn’t talk to each other, we talked over and past each other.
That growing resentment, tension and disillusionment happening under the surface allowed the carnival barker from New York, a person who throughout the campaign had numerous documented examples of bigoted, hateful speech from his own mouth and his operatives, to become President-elect. That does not take into account recent confirmed allegations from intelligence agencies that foreign powers actively plotted to disrupt our democratic process with false allegations.
If we discount the election rhetoric, if we want to say the actions during the campaign was good natured, yet rough politics, we would expect that someone who is being handed access to the White House, the military and the nuclear codes would realized the gravity of what they were inheriting and would act accordingly. You wouldn’t expect that person to be so concerned about what was said about them in a late night weekend show that they would tweet about it hours after the broadcast. You wouldn’t expect a news conference to turn into a shouting match.
When Rep. Lewis, rightfully called an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, after seeing what we all have seen during the current election cycle and the behavior of the President-elect, he exercised his right as an American citizen and declared he didn’t believe the President-elect was legitimate.
The President-elect did something that was jaw dropping shocking. In one tweet he showed himself to be a bully and ignorant. To imply that John Lewis is all talk and no action? Seriously? The President-elect posted in the tweet “All talk, talk talk – no action or results.”
This election and aftermath has provided many it can’t get any lower results but I’m officially over, done, finished. I stand with Rep. John Lewis in saying he’s not my President and furthermore I’m done smiling and trying to get along with supports to find common ground. I’m angry that Trump would actually be so petty to respond by tweet not just to Lewis but to everything. We elected him to the office of President of the United States, not as President of USA Elementary school. For all the people who felt pain from the Democrats, Obama and Clinton, out of all the candidates on the Republicans side, this is who you went with? He is a better choice than Clinton?
The challenge I made earlier, asking for 10 times in a six month in his full term in office Obama personally insulted an opponent? Trump is at 3 this week including Lewis and its Tuesday. Last week it was 4. The man constantly lies about facts documented and recorded on video and his cronies, including Republican officials, go on news shows and with a straight face lie to the American people. You all have computers, you can look up the information to verify but you would rather shout Fake News and plug your ears and cover your eyes.
Well, good luck with that.
I’m going to take to heart what John Lewis talked about and start causing Good Trouble. Since I am an American, not a second class citizen that must drink from a separate dispenser, I have the right to respectfully disagree with the illegitimate President.