The Trump Hurricane: A Harlem Mom Reflects on Her Community’s Loss

At 3:09 AM on the morning of November 9th I woke up to take a bathroom break. Outside my open bathroom window there was dead silence, the kind of silence you do not hear in my Harlem neighborhood. I knew then that Donald J. Trump was our newly-elected president of the United States.  I am in complete shock, like millions of us are.  Inside my son’s school, teachers that morning were crying. As an activist and advocate of social justice, my son and I are geared up to do what it takes spiritually and legally to make Trump’s position uncomfortable. Trump states, “make America ‘great’ again.” Heck, she is already great and we need to keep her like that.  God help us all!!!!  I’m glad we have allies that understand that Trump’s total disrespect of American citizens is disgraceful.

Where does this leave our already undivided educational system? We already have our share of racism, sexism, and classism. A troubled community in a country of troubled, divisive communities. Our whole is great, but the sum of our parts need revamping. Trump states he wants unity, but unity in what?

The heaviness at the school the morning of November 9th was almost unbearable.

I remember a hurricane when I was a little girl in the 70’s. The smell of the dampness of trees and their leaves; the howling of the wind around my ears; my mom, saying calmly, “Kathryn, wrap your arms around the flagpole tightly, honey, keep your eyes and mouth closed and listen to the sound of my voice.” Then this mass of a body was laid over mine as I heard crackling sounds around us but I knew my security was there. Parents, teachers, and caregivers alike made sure of the well-being of the children. I felt secure and safe.

There I witnessed adults who may have had different opinions about education and raising their children hug, cry, hold hands, and pray for strength and healing to rebuild the community we loved. But today there is a limited outpouring of this love and this is how America missed her mark, forgetting where we came from. One thing I can say is that, with Trump’s repulsive behavior and outbursts, we saw what people of different races and classes are really made of. These folks are out to make a profit and a profit only and we are heading right back into a world of uncertainty.  Our educational system has to continue to be improved for the advancement of all, no matter their race, class, or religious background. We must be a force in our children’s lives and teach them at home to be decent human beings, to respect those who have differences in skin tone, language, dress, gender, disability.  To maintain compassion for others even in this time of human error.

The educational system starts within the home. If the heart is not with the mind than the tongue and body will spill out a mass of negativity. We have seen a reflection of this in our newly-elected president. I am a black woman and a single mother. Clearly some folks believe that this is a handicap for me but I say they’re wrong: it springs me into action. We lost the battle but the war is not over.

What do you think?

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