Time to Lift Our Voices and Protect Ourselves
Wilfredo “Wil” Rojas, M.Ed. | 12/23/2016, 6:31 a.m.
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
President-elect Donald Trump broke down barriers and against the forecasts of almost all polls, will take over as the champion of change in Washington, a legacy that has been assigned to him by a largely white, industrial, and rural American electoral college majority. With the customary congratulations to the winner out of the way, groups representing minorities, women, LGBT communities, senior citizens, private and public sector employees, faith-based and others must now go into overdrive to defend the gains we have made over long years of struggles in New Jersey and the nation with rapidly changing demographics.
Heading into this election, groups attacked by the President-elect during his winning campaign, saw two polarized sets of New Jerseyans show up on election day: one New Jersey that believes in the strength of our diversity and inclusion in the life of our shared geographical space that supports justice and equality of opportunities for all, and another New Jersey, some of whom are suspicious of persons of color, and want a throwback to the restrictive yesteryears of human and civil rights and totally exclusive for people who look and think alike.
New Jersey, USA! Let’s be perfectly candid with each other. President-elect Donald Trump now has to deliver on his promises, not only to his voting base, but he must demonstrate that he will govern for all Americans by listening carefully to the serious concerns of the opposition forces, our histories, experiences and perspectives on issues important to us in a country where some white constituents have shown to be fearful and hateful of minorities and other groups.
Democrat Hillary Clinton, strongly backed by supporters of policies of diversity and inclusion and economic opportunities for all Americans, fell victim to her email scandal and incessant attacks against President Barack Obama’s fight for all Americans. It is what I call a “punishment vote” against our first bi-racial president. Both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama urged their supporters the day after the big election, to accept President-elect Donald Trump’s triumph and support his transition into the Oval Office. While we should respect their call; we can’t take our eyes off the ball. Bigotry and unfair treatment of fellow American citizens in our nation is alive and well. It was on display during the course of the acrimonious disputed election.
At a decisive stage in the epic struggle for racial justice and equality in the United States with the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Commission was established as an independent, bipartisan federal investigative agency. Its charge was to strengthen and develop human rights policy and laws, as well as to investigate alleged discriminatory actions based on, race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, or national origin, or the administration of justice.
Its members are appointed by the President of the United States and the opposition must be unwavering in our insistence that these appointments are folks with a long history of proposing views that are inclusive. They must also possess the investigative vigor that characterizes truly committed defenders of civil and human rights. As Trump’s opposition, we will face great challenges in protecting our diverse constituencies from what President Trump can surmised to mean: That’s not a threat, it’s a promise. We must unite together in defense of justice and equality for all Americans. Together, we build a four year firewall against our opposition in Washington, DC.
Are we ready for the fight for what’s right? The Gloucester County NAACP welcomes your membership, go to http://www.gloucestercountynaacp.org/index.html.