After a long day of news updates and refreshing my Facebook feed, I find myself asking, “How the heck did we get here?” We heckled for months the idea of “Celebrity Apprentice” star Donald Trump getting anywhere near the White House. I mean, there was absolutely no way, right? Meme after meme, laugh after laugh, we were convinced that nobody would really vote for him. Right? But they did, and at alarming rates. And before we could even cry out the words “Oh no,” Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States. Though it was not the fate that many of us wanted, we’re here now and it is really happening.
Although everyone may not feel the same way about our new commander in chief, there’s a pretty unanimous feeling among one group — Black millennials. That feeling is fear mixed with a little nausea and a hint of Black power. Amid all the injustice toward Blacks in America, there seems to be a surge in pride amongst us and we are fired up with resistance and ready to face whatever the new administration throws our way.
Post-election, although the country as a whole was in utter disbelief, many passive Trump opposers took on the idea that, “Well, maybe he won’t be that bad.” But, fast forward only a few months and we’ve already realized that he will, indeed, be that bad. Since he has been in office, his changes from the Obama administration have been cringe worthy for minorities, women and the lower class.
According to The Washington Times, President Trump signed an executive order in January barring federal funds from organizations that promote abortion around the world, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation. According to CNN, another trustworthy news outlet, but “fake news” according to the president himself, Trump said he is “pro-life,” but Planned Parenthood provides free and affordable birth control measures, such as the pill, condoms and IUDs. It also provides the morning-after pill and, in fact, provides so much more than just abortion services. Each year, the organization does 830,000 breast exams, close to one million cervical cancer screenings and nearly half a million HIV tests, according to CNN. Why would a president who values the human life so much oppose an organization like PP that is saving the lives of low-income women every day?
Aside from reproductive rights, since Trump has been in office, he has also vowed to repeal Obamacare, which would leave millions of people uninsured. Under his plan, poorer and older Americans will be the ones left without adequate health insurance. One surely cannot claim to be pro-life if he allows millions of low-income families to suffer and struggle to stay healthy every year.
It does not end with health care though — President Trump has incited fear in minorities across the U.S., specifically Muslim-Americans and immigrants. From the Muslim ban to plans for the infamous “wall,” it seems our new president is doing his best to reverse America’s melting pot history.
Where does that leave us? As Black millennials, what can we do to stay afloat in this new tide? For starters, I say we declare our worth. This administration may not seem to value minorities in America, so we must value and protect ourselves. We must become knowledgeable of the laws and rights and study our amendments. We must make our fight inclusive of the LGBTQ community and remember that we are not the only minority that needs protecting. We must show compassion for all people and extend a helping hand when we can. Believe it or not, it costs nothing to help someone.
If you want to help in a big way, there are many organizations that need support more than ever in this Trump era. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, Lambda Legal, Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) are in place to protect the civil liberties of all faced with adversity (race, religion, sex, income, reproductive rights and sexual orientation). Donating or volunteering for an organization is a great way to get involved and learn more about activism and the changing laws.
We are the future, so it’s time we start acting like it. We have to look out for each other and make sure we are doing our part in making America SAFE again.