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Don’t Miss the Revolution By Sherry Cannon

When white America gets a cold, black America gets pneumonia. We cannot sit this movement out …. 

Have you ever been bullied?  And you run home crying and tell your momma how this bigger girl is picking on you.  After a couple of days of this, your momma tells you, look I’m tired of you running in this house every day. If you don’t stop running and stand up to that bully, you’re going to be running home all year long.  

Even though you’re scared, you heard your momma loud and clear, especially when she tells you, either you stand up and fight her or you are going to have to fight me. The moral of the story is, we are going to have to fight some fights, even though we know we are going to lose.   

This is where we find ourselves today. However, this fight is about the heart and soul of America. The Republican Party holds all the cards right now, but what is missing in their leadership is a moral compass. The President of the United States has a white supremacist in his inner circle, even going so far and elevating him to sit in on the National Security Council Meetings.  

This administration is demonizing Muslim’s by playing on the fears of white America. We must fight against these “divide and conquer” tactics and come together. 

As Dr. William Barber likes to say, some things are not left or right, they’re just wrong…. they are immoral. Healthcare, fairness in the criminal justice system, voting rights, labor rights, immigration rights, fair housing, equitable education are all moral issues.  

We are stronger together.  We need black, white, and brown people to come together.  We need Christian and Muslims to come together. We need LBGTQ and straight people to come together. The same people, who are oppressing all of us, are the same people, we need to challenge together. We need more than a strategy to win back seats. We need to stand together to fight against classism, racism, and immorality. 

One hundred twenty million people did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton lost by 77,000 votes combined in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania which historically are democratic states. Senator Bernie Sanders received 100,000 votes and Dr. Jill Stein won 2% of the votes cast. 

In predominately black counties there were 858 fewer polling places. There are 8 million more poor white people than there are poor black people. Ten out of the twelve poorest states are in the south, which traditionally go Republican. Trump won 80% of the recipients of the Affordable Care Act, which represents mostly rural white voters.

It makes no sense to vote against your own self-interest, but millions voted for Donald Trump, who has shown in the months since he was inaugurated, that he has no intention of making anyone’s life, let alone America great again.

It is apparent that Donald Trump plans to govern the same way he campaigned. As a matter of fact, it appears that he doesn’t know the difference. He still talks and acts as if he is running a campaign, instead of governing and being president.

How we respond is now the question. Will we just sit on our hands and complain or do we plan to get engaged in the struggle?

Grassroots organizations have sprung up all over the country. We have seen marches and rallies every week since Trump was inaugurated. Locally, Change Peoria is working to change the political makeup of the city.  They are supporting and raising money for young African-American candidates, who have stepped up to take on some of the local political Giants.  I tip my hat to Couri Thomas who has the audacity and confidence to run against a 3-term mayor.  

We need to get behind these young adults and support them financially, strategically, and otherwise. To see real change we must not only resist, but we must be at the table making policy. We have surrendered much of our power by not even bothering to go cast a vote or continuing to re-elect the same people and never holding them accountable for the votes they take against our interest.  

We must stop giving people our votes just because every 2 or 4 years they come to our churches and give us a 3-5 minute pitch.   

The same way we react to a Twitter comment, we should be responding when city, state and federal politicians make policy against our interest. We must stop accepting back room deals.  

Finally, we should be sick and tired of falling for the okie dokie and stop going to meetings to talk about the same things repeatedly.  

Today, we are seeing the makings of a Revolution. It is a coming together of people of different ethnicity, religions, cultures, and sexual orientation, who finally realize, we are more alike, than we are different.  

We believe that love, justice, truth, mercy, and caring for the least of us is the moral responsibility of our day.   

Together we must stand up, fight back, and win this fight!