Why this election is so hard for me

Trump v. Clinton: African Americans’ Worst Nightmare

By Jamari Jordan

I’m stuck in the ultimate dilemma. Way worse than a rock and a hard place. Way worse than choosing between Frito’s and the Sour Cream Lay’s potato chips in the variety pack.

Trump or Clinton? Who do I choose? The dad who won’t let you date his daughter because you’re black or the lady who grabs her purse when you get on the elevator?

There’s no stretch to say that black people don’t trust politics. For the past eight years, African Americans have taken more than a fair share in the political world, much to do with the election of Barack Obama. He gave us a hope. He set the example. He finished the narrative we grew up hearing so often.

Our parents, teachers, and other adults in our life would tell us we could be anything we put our mind to.

“You could be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or even be president.”

But, I never believed that. I could be a doctor or even fight the law in court, but becoming a president felt impossible.

You flip through the history books, what evidence was there that African Americans could rise to that position of power? Where is the proof that when an African American does everything right they would be rewarded?

Barack Obama broke that glass ceiling in November 2008, and now every African American can finally see themselves.  

Now, I’m left questioning after Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia hop on Air Force One one last time in January 2017, will the issues and problems that face African Americans just be used as hashtags and Instagram captions.  I don’t have faith in either candidate to fully acknowledge our needs or relate.

Other than Taylor Swift, there is no better example of white privilege than Donald Trump. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he later cashed that into a million dollar “small loan” from his father to start his own business.

The business of Mr. Trump has been to scam, demean, and ridicule every minority, woman, or any non-rich white man that strokes not only his ego but his awful comb over.  More disheartening, people believe in his hate speech and rallied behind him.

While Trump and his supporters are a “basket of deplorables,” that doesn’t give Hillary Clinton a pass either. Nobody has more experience in politics in the modern history of America than Hillary Clinton. No one is more qualified than to be President as Hillary Clinton. And that is what scares me.

When Obama ran, we saw him as a black man whose district was the downtrodden Chicago. He was a man of the people. We saw him and his beautiful wife, Michelle, as the gold standard for black love and success. They were #GOALS. He seemed like an outsider with enough swagger to charm the masses.

Hillary just doesn’t have that. A lifelong politician is so hard to be trusted. For so long, policies haven’t favored us. They still don’t. I know I haven’t forgotten about her “super-predator” comments. And, a lot of us never will. The sad fact is, a lot of African-Americans will always distrust Hillary during her incoming presidency.

This election has taught me exactly where America is as a country. We are nowhere near that post-racial utopia that we like to think we are. Obama’s presidency opened our eyes to overt and subliminal racism in this country. And I think the Trump campaign has just rode the wave of that unfortunate trend.

I find myself cringing when I hear Make America Great Again, or I miss the Good Ole’ Days. When exactly was America great? And what was good about the 50s and 60s? Our country isn’t as progressive as we like to portray to other countries.

For a country that embraces the land of the free we criticize those kneeling for the National Anthem instead of a candidate who grabs women against their will and passes it off as locker room talk.

We have innocent African Americans sitting in prison, yet a Stanford swimmer gets away with rape after his father said prison would “ruin his son’s life.”

I’m not encouraging African Americans to be disinterested in politics or to note vote. I want exactly the opposite.  

But excuse me if I don’t choose to Make America Great Again or if  I’m WithHer. I will just continue to take care of my community, because that’s the only thing I have ever known. 

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