I don’t normally write about politics — it has very little interest to me. But I woke up on Nov. 9 with a sense of deja vu.
I have a story to tell.
One summer, a black student looked at the curriculum at her southern high school and decided she wanted to make a change. She believed in ‘Black Lives Matter’ before there was Twitter, hashtags and a faux movement. She saw that there were no history classes at her school that deeply tells herSTORY. So this black student petitioned to the administration to include a black history class to be offered to students at her southern high school — the petitioned passed.
The story continues … with this black student when she felt the class could be only the tip of the iceberg. There was more to ourSTORY than what the class offered. So the class, spearheaded by this student, organized a black centric assembly program that her entire southern high school student body can attend and learn about ourSTORY. When that day came for the assembly, the student body had other ideas.
This wasn’t the 1950s or ’60s. This occurred in 2001. I was a senior at Whiteville High School, that black student from the story above was my classmate and nearly all of the white students, 200 in all, were my classmates as well.
The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, who before and throughout his campaign voiced words of racism, sexism and the like, shocked the globe like a 10.0 richter scale-esque earthquake. It may have been shocking but by no means was it surprising.
Going into Election night, eyes were on North Carolina because it was the one of the key battleground states. Trump won it easily over Hilary Clinton 2,339,603 to 2,162,074. In the county where I’m from, Columbus County where my hometown of Whiteville is the county seat, Trump smashed Clinton by 4,787 votes. According to numbers, 63 percent of Columbus County’s 58,000 residents are white.
The election of Trump is just a reflection of ideologies that I, as then an 18-year-old young black man, experienced here in the Old (between voter suppression and HB2, ‘old’ is the appropriate title) North State just 15 years ago. To this day, I haven’t forgotten, and maybe to a lesser degree forgiven, my white classmates whom most of them I went to school with for 12 years of our lives.
I woke up the day after the election feeling the same as I did on that day of supposed unity when my classmates walked out on us — after all of these years this is how you truly feel. But that emotion was gone faster than an Usain Bolt 100-meter race. Because this time I saw it coming.