It’s been over two weeks since Election Day, and the apocalypse has not occurred. The real-life version of the reality TV show “The Apprentice” starring Donald Trump, however, has seemingly stunned America.
Many believed Trump would not receive the Republican nomination. He did.
Many believed Trump would not be elected president. He was.
Despite Trump’s protestations that the election would be rigged, the outcome is clear: he is our president-elect.
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We both are registered Democrats and campaigned and voted for Hillary Clinton. We are members of some of the groups Trump has insulted: Latinos, African-Americans, lesbians and gays. We recognize his racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and more.
But, for now, we will not be taking part in any anti-Trump protests or rallies.
We recognize that the election is, as commentator Van Jones coined it, a “whitelash.” It was a hostile reaction to the election of a black man we both admire and a rejection of a political insider who is not only aligned with President Barack Obama but also linked to her husband, former President Bill Bill Clinton. She’s also a woman.
We did #StandWithHer. But clearly, a decisive number of folks did not support her, and the election result is what it is.
It is too late for protests about the election or the Electoral College.
It is time to do what both candidates have called for – a version of South Africa’s post-apartheid “Truth and Reconciliation.” It is time for us to be in the present and work toward uniting the country. It is time to mobilize and “stay woke” for the 2018 and 2020 elections.
In his first interview after the election, on “60 Minutes,” Trump said he wanted to unite America. He also is backing down from his election rhetoric to abolish the Affordable Care Act. And he has seemingly abandoned his promise to imprison Clinton.
Leslie Stahl, who conducted the interview, said: “I think he wanted the public to know that he understood that he had to switch gears and pay attention to the responsibilities now.”
And so it is. Let’s focus on the present and the future and not the past.
Let’s shift our energies from protesting Trump to registering voters for early voting, getting the vote out, paying attention to the other two branches of government, and keeping our civil liberties and rights – especially around reproduction, immigration, and marriage equality – intact.
We have work to do around education, health and wealth.
Here’s to moving forward. Here’s to truth, reconciliation and uniting all Americans.
Akilah Monifa and the Rev. MacArthur Flournoy, based in Oakland, Calif., are the co-publishers of Arise 2.0, an online publication focusing on news and issues impacting the LGBTQ community.