What – the – hell, do I have to lose?

What – the – hell, do you have to lose?

A (supposedly) articulate and wealthy man stared into the television cameras and declared to me and millions of African-Americans, that our lives are hopelessly miserable and the only certainty in our futures was a violent death from being shot on the streets of our own communities.

His declaration gripped my heart as I stared back at him, thoughts of my family and the fate that awaited us swirled in my head. We were in desperate need of his saving grace because only he alone could save us.

Just kidding. I sneered in disgust because I immediately recognized the desperate ploy of a man trying to redirect our attention from the fact that it’s he and not us who is need of a lifesaver.

Donald Trump is losing this election. He’s losing it because at the outset, he dismissed the very people he needs to get elected. He ignored us, because in his world, people of color only exist as objects meaning he doesn’t see us at all.

Trump wants us to forget that until he started paying attention to poll numbers, he had no need to engage us, thus the reasoning behind my previous assertion that in his world we only exist as objects or in this case, as a metric. Trump knows that in order to win this election he needs to start courting African-Americans and Latino’s or at least appear to be for the cameras otherwise he’ll continue to lose ground with educated White voters.

Now you would think that someone who professes the ultra-acute business acumen and depth of ‘words’ as Trump claims, would skillfully engage and communicate with the African-American community. But how did Trump approach this? By talking down to and at us as if we have no idea how to live or take care of ourselves. To compound matters he did it from White communities with the smallest percentages of people of ANY OTHER color, nationality or race and he did it on more than one occasion, capped it off by asking us, “What in the hell did you have to lose?”.  Only George Constanza could be less schizophrenic nevertheless in hindsight we shouldn’t have been surprised. Donald Trump is being true to who he really is because in reality, people of color don’t exist in his world.

Let me be very clear. Trump’s campaign now led by Kellyanne Conway is attempting to repackage him into a caring, inclusive candidate who means to make America Great for everyone. The irony is they are approaching this task via the over used tactic of divide and conquer. By trying to drive a wedge between the Democratic Party and people of color by saying that the communities in which democrats have a large political presence are failing. I have news for you, the same can be said about communities where Republicans are the majority. The truth is that both parties have invested the majority of our money (tax dollars) and time in pointing the finger at one another for a range of issues from the war in Iraq to the economic crash of 2008. This, combined with the animosity arising from the election of the country’s first Black President caused a bottle-neck in our politics. Meanwhile our kids can’t get a decent education and our elderly can’t get access to health care. The parties simply refuse to work together thus, creating a vacuum on the Republican ticket which Trump has exploited to gain the nomination.

So, what the hell do I have to lose?

  1. My integrity
  2. My dignity
  3. My self-respect
  4. The respect and trust of others
  5. Being seen as a promoting bigotry
  6. A safe environment to raise my child
  7. A safe environment for my child to have a family of their own.
  8. Being seen as promoting misogyny.
  9. The possibility of living in a police state.
  10. The real possibility of civil or a world war.
  11.  <Fill in the blank>

With his question Donald Trump is telling us that our lives are so bad that setting aside our core values should come easy to us. He wants us to ignore his past and PRESENT and then turn a blind eye to his hypocrisy.

I reject that and I reject Donald Trump. I know some people are buying into the argument that Democrats have done little to nothing for people of color over the last eight-years but keep in mind that after President Obama won the Presidency, Mitch McConnell and the Republican party openly committed to make him a one-term president, thereby throwing up roadblocks at every turn. To this end, the Republicans are accountability for the last eight-years as well. I think that we can easily say that no President has ever been disrespected on the level President Obama was. Can you think of another time in history when a member of congress publicly accused the president of being a liar, let alone interrupt his speech? Or how about wagging their finger in the President’s face as if he were a 5-year-old child?

We have heard Donald Trump say that he knows words and has the best people and most recently, he accused Hillary Clinton of being a bigot. But what have we witnessed with his campaign so far? Racial smears towards Hispanics, openly offending women, a campaign manager arrested for assault, a speech writer who forgot to check for plagiarism, a campaign manager with questionable foreign relationships and most recently, the engagement of an individual known to pander to the alt-right and the mentorship of a man accused of sexual assault. What’s next?

I write this post as an appeal to your God given common sense and intelligence. In my opinion, we really only have one choice for President and that is Hillary Clinton. I know she has made some mistakes, I am very frustrated by the email issues and questions swirling around the foundation and the questions surrounding Benghazi. It’s exhausting. But I challenge you, show me a leader who has never made a mistake or had a lapse in judgement and I’ll show a leader overcome by the lip-service of those closest to them. Leaders make mistakes, but they learn from them. Leaders fail, but they pick themselves up and start again.

Take a moment to consider for yourself whether or not Donald Trump has any of these qualities then answer this question for me:

What – the – hell, do YOU have to lose?

Matthew 24


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