“The Morning After”
John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM | 12/23/2016, 6:15 a.m.
Based on President Obama’s success, particularly with black voters Mrs. Clinton had to accumulate a sizable amount of this demographic as well as pull from other demographics. Mr. Trump on the other hand experienced a number of ebbs and flows throughout the campaign which led some to speculate that his chances of success were minimal. However, in hindsight there was a gross underestimation of the impact from those whom were attending the Trump rallies and their residual affect at the polls.
According to some estimates, there were 90 million eligible voters nationwide who did not participate in the 2016 Election. That’s almost half of eligible voters, with only more than a quarter of eligible voters electing Donald Trump. There are many opinions why Mrs. Clinton lost including less than expected participation by blacks. I’m not certain that she would have won.
Over the last year, I have used this column to list a number of areas where the black community is underperforming: employment, education, business capacity, workforce development, homeownership, wealth, etc., and in my opinion neither candidate addressed these concerns in a credible way, during the campaign for the presidency.
However, what was clear to me, after reading post- election data, is that the black vote is significant and that whichever party seeks to engage and provide an equitable return by addressing the above issues could have an advantage in future elections.
Therefore, “The Morning After” of this contest for president, some were exuberant while others, not so much. This reminded me of the previous New Jersey Governor’s race between Jon Corzine and Chris Christie when many chose not to vote and arose the next day with an outcome they did not anticipate; Governor Elect Christie. It is important to note that registered Democrats are 2 to 1 versus Republicans in New Jersey.
Now, based on the recent elections Republicans now control the US House of Representatives and Senate, with an eye towards installing judges that will support their agenda. Additionally, two thirds of the governorships across the United States are under the leadership of Republicans.
Leading up to the November 8, 2016 election, I visited Jackson, MS., Selma and Montgomery, AL. While there I attended the National Black Farmers Conference, experienced the swearing in of a Black mayor in Selma, and passed several cotton fields which led me to ponder the toil of my ancestors. While in Selma, I stood on the Edmond Pettus Bridge, and reflected on “Bloody Sunday” a day that will forever scar America’s standing on race relations. Lastly, I attended a football game at Alabama State University (ASU), a Historically Black University and witnessed talented athletes and a marching band that executed with pride and excellence. After which, I met with professors of the ASU Biology and Forensics Departments that are preparing our black sons and daughters for promising careers in science. And to conclude my visit in Montgomery, I met with several successful black business owners, whom have not allowed where they live or the historical challenges in their communities to limit present and future success.
Moreover, as I prepared to write this column, I was reminded of two of my previous articles “Living without A Hedge” October 2016 and “The Calvary Is Not Coming” November 2016. As I spoke with a number of black New Jerseyan’s post the November 8th election who were deeply troubled with the outcome. I would encourage those individuals to read these columns, and then define a course of action. I believe that by doing so their mornings after could hold a more positive and welcomed outcome.
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