Ella Baker Center's Statement on Donald Trump's Election

Read the following statement by our Executive Director, Zachary Norris, following the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States:

"When my daughter was about to go to sleep she said "tell me who wins tomorrow. Tell me Hillary Clinton won." I told her I would tell her the truth.

The truth being that we live in a country founded on slavery, genocide, the idea of white supremacy as manifest destiny in a country where not even a hundred years ago women couldn't vote. And so what can I say to you now that you are awake? Stay woke.

People of all genders will have you believe your gender makes you inferior. Your brown skin makes you further targeted. But you are powerful. You are whole. And your mom and I will do what we can. You must do what you can. That is a lot for someone who just arrived six years ago.

I wish it were different. It is not. This is the country you were born in. Truth be told the election of Hillary Clinton would not have fundamentally changed all of this (this neoliberal empire facilitated this next step toward fascism). Still, this election is generationally significant, like first comes Reconstruction then comes Jim Crow. And so all of a sudden when we thought there was momentum, we are in a different place than I realized. But here we are and we ain't going nowhere.

I think this moment requires all of us who identify themselves as sharing values of inclusion, opportunity, equality, restoration of the environment, etc. to do two things: 1) Take ourselves more seriously politically and 2) take ourselves less seriously egotistically. If a man with zero political experience can get elected with a minority of the popular vote, it is a signal of the messed up nature of our democracy but it is also a signal that this whole artifice is not as strong as some would have us believe.

But we can't fight the divide and conquer racism, xenophobia, and misogyny of Donald Trump without unity. We need to say "I told you so" less and "I love you, and I see you" more. I see that we share values even though I think you may be wrong on this or that. I see that we are trying to get to the same place together. Lets be bold and empathetic. This country is clearly suffering and ill and the world fears this virus.

We are being asked to be more than we thought we could be. And we can be and will be."