The POTUS whom we have known the last 8 years will be gone from this portion of political life in a matter of days, and the nation is already in a state of mourning. There are some that revile him and will revere him–as with most influential leaders and leadership.
With all the noise surrounding the incoming administration, I feel that there is one pivotal question that hasn’t been posed or answered: what do we do now? Dr. Michael Eric Dyson once called the current POTUS the “Jackie Robinson” President. I could not agree more.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson integrated Major League Baseball in April 1947, 1 year before my father was born. He lettered in four sports, college educated and a veteran of the US Navy. Branche Rickey choose him to integrate this sport because he thought he would be the best to be the first to do it. Now, that said, without Jackie–there would be no Willie Mays, Satchel Paige or Ken Griffey, Sr or Jr. The cost of being the first should not be discounted.
The hopes and dreams of a people and a nation have been heaped on Pres. Barack H. Obama and people were shocked to know he was yet human. People seemed to have hated him for his mortality. Yet…in all his grandeur and his flaws, we yet have work to do. We yet have something to contribute to this corporate experience we yet call life.
I answer my own question with passion and power. What we do now is we work, and we fight. We refuse to become negligent. We refuse to become complacent and normalize oppression, repression and violence towards minority peoples. We begin to take responsibilities for our own actions and begin to continue the work presented to us in the communities by which we live. There is a work each of us can do, and cannot be left abandoned at the feet of elected leaders. We hold them to the greater standard forthright, yes, but we still must realize we all have work to do–and cannot be absolved of.
The work announced by every oppressed and marginalized peoples on this land. The work was pushed by Garvey, run in hand by Malcolm and Martin, and crested with Barack. It has not ended. We have lost sight, and must not lose sight again, of the knowledge that we have not died to progress. It is our turn to fight. We change the world one life at time, one day at at time. The secondary question to pose is, “What will I do, can I do to make this life a little better?”