It was Wednesday, Nov. 9, when I received a text from my firstborn child, my daughter Jasmine.
She was in shock, as were millions across the globe, following the “surprise” victory of Donald Trump who will soon follow President Barack Obama to the White House.
Her note was fairly simple. She told me that she couldn’t stop hugging and holding on to her little boy, Jackson – the love of my life and almost three years old – because she was fearful of the future – his future. She said she had cried tears of sorrow because she wants so much for him but wonders if the world and America will allow him to learn, to grow, to thrive and to become the man he’s intended to be.
She was unsure what America would become under a president who, during his campaign, had made vitriolic statements and expressed a variety of views that seemed to bring out the worst in many citizens – citizens who now feel free to let their hatred run wild.
Of course I wanted to offer her some solace, some vestiges of hope. But the truth is, for a few painful moments I simply could not find the right words.
Then I thought back to my own childhood when Detroit was under siege, with homes and businesses burning or destroyed in the wake of “the Great Rebellion,” otherwise known as the 1967 riots. I remember being more frightened than I could ever remember. I remember being a precocious seven year old Black child, holding on to my mother, father and older sister for dear life.
And I remember that somehow, they were able to calm my fears.
I used those memories and that “ancestor power” to bring peace to my daughter’s spirit.
And I promised her that very soon, we would spend time with one another so I could wrap my arms around her and pull her close to me.
We should not ignore the fears of our children in these remarkably unique days that our country now faces. Whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, we owe it to our children to make this world better than it was when we entered it.
And that’s exactly what this Black man is going to do. Are there others who do the same?