African-American Community Reacts to 2016 Election Results – Alexis Neely

Posted on: November 12th, 2016 by anneely

For many Americans, Tuesday night’s live coverage of the 2016 presidential election proved as not only an end to a tumultuous campaign season, but an utter shock and call for protest.

Despite having 395,050 less popular votes than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate Donald Trump won the race to The White House with 290 electoral votes—62 more electoral votes than Clinton and 20 more than the required 270 to secure the presidency.

However, after a campaign riddled with violence, racist and sexist rhetoric and a resounding declaration of white supremacy in the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ much of the African-American community is anything but overjoyed at the announcement of ‘President-elect Donald Trump.’

With 80 percent of black men and 94 percent of black women having cast a vote for Clinton on Election Day, it is clear who was the more preferred candidate within the African-American community.

And here at the University of Mississippi, groups allocated for the support and progression of African Americans are reeling in disbelief and preparing for the next step in their protocol.

Though Jaylon Martin, vice-president of the university’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), can’t speak on the organization’s plan of action just yet, he said the black community is worried and will have a lot to deal with for the next four years.

“I’m honestly pretty disappointed in the country that Trump received so much support, but I’m not surprised in the slightest,” Martin said. “I think his presidency will lead to a lot of people getting more bold in their racism. [Mississippi] may lose much of the progress it has made.”

Black Student Union president Terrius Harris said the 2016 election results should serve as a wake-up call for all African-American people.

“Now, more than ever during my lifetime, we must stand up for our rights and fight the good cause to hold our president accountable for his actions and furthermore hold the institution and republic accountable as well,” Harris said.

Harris said the outcome of this election was driven by the media and white America, for the push of a particular candidate and a revengeful “white-lash” in response to the 2012 reelection of President Barack Obama.

“As I sit in deepened confusion and in search of hope during these dark times, I respect the process of the American election process, but I loathe those who voted for hate,” he said. “I think it is very clear how this will affect us, as we have already witnessed swastikas engraved in residence halls on campus and violence like the burning of the black church in Greenville take place. This new president-elect whose campaign was built in hate, will drive hate and further divide our country as violence continues.”

As for what’s next for BSU, Harris said the organization will continue to do what it has been doing.

“We will teach our members what it means to be black in this society, we will equip them with the knowledge to be successful and never back down in the face of adversity, and we will fight the good fight alongside them as we take care our ourselves and each other,” Harris said. “However, right now we will focus on everyone’s mental stability and health awareness, because you cannot be a good leader if you do not take care of yourself. It starts with ourselves, then we move together, because only through individual efforts that are united under one common goal can anything ever be reached.”

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