By Morgan Lawrence

Can you all believe it? It’s been a whole year since Donald Trump “won” the presidential election on November 8, 2016. Actually, it’s been one year, 36 days, 14 hours, 20 minutes and 35…36…37 seconds as I type this. How time flies when you’re in an almost-constant state of anxiety over politics and our society’s future as a whole. 

Some of us have lost family and friends who were closeted Republicans. Numbers don’t lie. There are over 60 million Trump supporters who walk among us. 

So, where do we start?  First, I will share a little about myself and what shapes my perspective. Yes, I am a Black female millennial; and yes, it is a wonderful time to be alive. Even though I fall in the category, I wasn’t sure what “millennial” actually meant. Google defines the label as “the demographic cohort following Generation X.” There are no exact dates for when this cohort starts or ends, though demographers and researchers apply it to those born starting in the early 1980s.

As a young Black woman watching the election results on that tortured Tuesday, my hopes for a competent president were shattered by Trump’s win and I was devastated by the reality that the popular vote does not conquer all. 

Of course, I understand that this wasn’t the first time this has happened. It happened in 2000 (I wasn’t paying much attention as I was only eight years old at the time) when Democrat, Al Gore, won the popular vote but lost the electoral college to George W. Bush.

With a known sexual predator and racist as the Criminal-in-Chief, how much lower can the American people go? “Building a wall” to prevent undocumented Mexican immigrants from entering the country was one of the many ridiculous Trump campaign promises.  Not only is “the wall” a waste of labor and tax dollars that we, citizens of the United States (not Mexico) will be paying for, it simply doesn’t make sense. Has Trump never heard of airplanes? Thankfully, the U.S. Congress has shown little interest in appropriating the estimated $21.6 billion it would cost to build the wall… for now.

However, this hasn’t stopped Trump’s administration from moving forward. On October 24, nine months after Trump took office, prototypes to build “the wall” along Mexico’s border had been spotted a couple of miles from the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego. Eight chunks of concrete and steel stood as high as 30 feet tall. And in late November, a private company, which has not been identified, began a 30 to 60 day process of testing the prototypes to determine how easy they would be to climb over or dig under.

Because the bystander is just as guilty as the bully, top executives in Trump’s administration have offered little hope. With a known homophobic Vice President (Mike Pence), an incredibly clueless Secretary of Education (Betsy Devos), and a perjury-committing attorney general (Jeff Sessions), we’re all waiting for their brains to overheat and implode the White House. 

Alas, not all hope is lost. Although we’re reliving the darkest days of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., we have organizations like Black Lives Matter and the anti-fascists group, ANTIFA, to strengthen the voices of the oppressed. Plus, civil rights leaders like California State Representative, Maxine Waters, Senator Bernie Sanders, and athlete Colin Kaepernick have all worked non-stop and speak up for what is right.

The Trump administration can spew blatant lies daily, but I can lose my job over a tweet. In the scariest “Why does Trump still have access to Twitter” news, the President tweeted at the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, in the following statement “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!” Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t know which is more tragic: that we have a petty president? Or one who wants to be friends with a dictator?

Overall, 2017 has been a blur of emotions. Do our words matter or not? I don’t care what side you’re on, Democrat or Republican, EVERYONE should have been offended when Trump’s administration counselor, Kellyanne Conway, was brave enough to insult our intelligence when she said “alternative facts” on live television to defend the lies of then Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.  

The most frustrating thing to witness is the hypocrisy of it all. Trump has yet to release his tax returns, yet he antagonized Barack Obama for his birth certificate and wants to raise taxes on the middle class. Trump despises immigrants of color, yet his first ex-wife, Ivana, and current third wife, Melania, are immigrants.  Trump sexually harassed dozens of women, yet rallied for Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Trump disagrees with abortion, yet offers no solution for birth control or paid maternity leave. Trump loathes Obama Care, yet has not replacement for it, which is the cherry on top of the collusion-covered sundae.

So, what have we learned this year? There are a million names to call “President” Trump. We can march. We can protest. Ultimately, we can still vote. Thoughts and prayers can only take us so far; as the long road ahead will challenge our political and personal beliefs. There must be action if we don’t want to see Trump’s presidency come to full-term. 

A Millennial Moment with Morgan is a new column that will appear monthly in
The New Orleans Tribune. Morgan Lawrence is an editorial assistant at McKenna
Publishing Company. She earned her B.A. degree in 2015 from Louisiana State University,
where she double-majored in creative writing and film & media studies.