A segment of the American populace decided to elect a racist, xenophobic misogynist named Donald Trump to the presidency, and as a result, we as black folks are gonna have to mount up and fight his white supremacist policies for the next four years and beyond.
But that being said, I’ve been thinking about some of the unintentional good things that will come out of Trump’s First Reich. Like executions, oppression against the black community tends to focus the mind, so I think we’ll see African Americans begin doing a lot of things that we let slip during our Love & Hip Hop, bread and circuses era. The era of black ratchet is officially over; only WorldStar and Andy Cohen don’t know it yet. Below are five good things we’ll see happen from the Cheetos Hitler presidency:
I never really liked how the show Blackish took a silent cultural cue among black people and turned it into a mainstream pop culture, I-didn’t-know-black-people-did-that piece of trivia for white America. But in a new age where black folks are gonna need a collective sense of awareness as Trump and his head henchman, aka chief strategist, Steve Bannon attempt to erase us as a people, that head nod of acknowledgment is going to become ever more important.
There was a time when greeting each other as “Brother” or “Sister” was as normal as saying “Hello” or “Good morning” to complete strangers. And yet the hostility and distrust that this world has bred has made it less and less of an occurrence. Snoop even popularized saying “Cousin,” which I could never get with, mainly because it harks back to how Crips greet each other as “Cuz,” and I don’t want to have anything to do with being associated with Crips or Bloods. But “brother” and “sister” is who we are—people who don’t buy into the notion that we have to be paranoid about each other, but who love each other unconditionally. Unless you’re Omarosa. She gets no love.
As a world of oppression closes in, black folks tend to close ranks, finding comfort in the faces of people who look just like them. It’s about creating private spaces where the jokes all have punch lines that don’t have to be explained to people who say, “I don’t get it.” Look for Friday-night spades parties or Saturday-night bid whist parties. Look for spontaneous gatherings where nothing is on the agenda except some good food, good laughter and goodwill. And you will go.
I fully expect to read some great literature during these four years. As a writer, I have found that when the pressures of society directly affect you, each story and each word in the stories you write becomes much more important than in the good times. Look for personal stories, biographies, poetry and nonfiction that will illuminate and take you forward in a positive psychological and intellectual way.
I love black people in the same way that the Last Poets talked about how they loved black people in their revolutionary poem, “N—gers Are Scared of Revolution.” I love our faults, I love our idiosyncrasies and I love how we have fought in this country since 1619 to be seen as human and as rightful citizens of this experiment called the United States. Love each other over the next four years, and then fight like hell to defeat anyone who would attempt to harm you. I have a good feeling about the love we’ll see among one another.
Lawrence Ross is the author of the Los Angeles Times best-seller The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities. His newest book, Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses, is a blunt and frank look at the historical and contemporary issue of campus racism on predominantly white college campuses. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.