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Friday, November 11, 2016

5 Ways to Combat PTED; Post-Traumatic Election Disorder



   Now that I've given it some time for the dust to settle I wanted to take a moment to offer some insights on this year's Presidential Election. Before I do that I want to again direct you to an article I published on August 29th of 2015 entitled Trumpla: Political Reality TV that predicted this election's possible outcome based upon pop culture and the political trajectory I saw. 

   For those of you who are unaware, I am a certified Machine Inspector for the BOE [Board Of Elections] in my County so I work at assigned polling sites during elections making sure the voting machines are operating properly, assisting citizens with their ballots and other things that come up. This is always an eye-opening experience and I get to meet and converse with people I probably wouldn't meet unless it were election day. So on November 8th I worked the polls from 5 am to 9 pm and like always, I wasn't disappointed. I'm sharing this to say that as a certified BOE Machine Inspector, a former 2013 County Legislature Candidate and now a Board Member for my City's Human Rights Commission, alot of my perspectives and talking points about the political process are from the inside looking out. This damn sure don't make me an expert, this experience just equips me with the knowledge to help others better understand realms that many of us don't enter, especially as Five Percenters. Anyway, PTED is a variation of PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder]; a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event -either experiencing it or witnessing it. In this case, that event was the 2016 Election. Basic symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, mild to severe anxiety, depression, avoiding work, insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. From what I've seen every day published in the media, overheard in conversations and witnessed on social media are clear signs that this election was traumatic for many people and will continue to be traumatic for at least the next 4 years. Unlike most clinical diagnosis where the individual is labeled, PTED is the labeling of society -particularly its maladaptive political process. This is something we're all directly or indirectly dealing with and here are 5 ways to address it:

1.) According to exit poll data collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, which consists of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press and the NY Times, almost 65% of white men and over 50% of white women voted for Donald Trump. A whopping 13% black men and only 4% black women voted for Trump. 93% black women supported Clinton. What's also important to consider is that more than 50% of the Baby Boomer and Traditionalist Generations voted for Trump while over 50% of Generation X and the Millennials voted for Clinton. This data, including data around voter's income and education, highlights the fact that there is not only a racial divide in this country. This country is also divided along gender, generational, education, income and political party lines. This country is divided regardless how cool Brad and your drinking buddies are during your tailgating parties or how close you are to Becky with the girl hair who cries and confides in you about her personal life. More than half of the time they've been smiling in your face but quietly rationalizing, and identifying, with Trump's misogynistic, xenophobic, racist rhetoric. The fact that over 50% white women voted for Trump but only 4% black women also says something about the Feminist Movement and to black feminists and their so-called white allies directly... Some of us were already aware of these divides and have been striving to communicate this to the masses of people for some time now. The problem is many of us didn't and probably still don't believe that certain segments of the American population are deliberately keeping us, people of color, women, low/middle class and the youth apart from their own socioeconomic equality. Hell, some of the 13% black men who voted for Trump are striving to keep people apart while they're being kept apart. The irony. This exit poll data, including looking at the voting data in the region, county and city where you live, gives you a very good critical analysis of the people, and their politics, around you. There's a great deal of mental stability having this knowledge.



2.) Trump supporters celebration victory of hate crimes, vandalism, embolden racism, sexism, religious fanaticism, homophobic violence is a stark reminder of this country's divide many of us have chosen to ignore. From Muslim women getting their hijab ripped off, Mexican children being taunted/bullied in Kindergarten, Black college students finding swastikas spray painted on university landmarks and black baby dolls with nooses around their neck, the elderly and disabled being ridiculed/assaulted and etc., this is and has always been a face of America. I say "a" face to imply that America is two-faced; it parades ideals of freedom, justice and equity for all citizens yet they've never lived up to them. It many cases it hasn't even tried. Considering this level of hatred and outright ignorance on the part of Americans I can only see heightened attacks on people of color, women, non-Christians, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, our youth and anyone else who is not the face of a White Nationalist American Male status quo. Because of the exit poll data it also indicates that there are many allies/sympathizers with this status quo who are not white males. We need to protect ourselves, not out of fear, but because self defense is important. First we need to arm ourselves with knowledge to expand our awareness of the American landscape outside of the perimeters of the status quo. In addition to checking out my books at Quanaah Publishing, I encourage you to follow the blog of my Educator's Educator Life Justice: Black Consciousness on the 3rd Stone from the Sun. Next we need to literally arm ourselves by learning combative arts, survivalist skills and purchasing legal weapons. If we, especially our children, need to defend ourselves intellectually, emotionally and physically, we need to be prepared to do that without fear or hesitation.

3.) The Golden Era of Hip Hop was a time when the most creative, conscious and substantive rap music was born. This took place in the late 80's to the late 90's at the tail end of the Reagan Administration, during the Bush Administration and during the beginning of the Clinton Administration; the Crack, War on Drugs and Three Strikes You're Out Mass Incarceration Era. I am from Generation X so I lived through these Administrations and in hindsight can see how the various policies that came out of them effected the regional/local landscapes where I and many other black, brown and poor whites lived around the country. It wasn't good. Yet the social commentary of that time, via Hip Hop culture and rap music in particular, kept us consciously orientated and positively committed to one another in a way we hadn't seen since the 1960's inception of the youth-centric Five Percenters. The Black CNN as Chuck D called it, gave us life and life more abundantly during the most turbulent time of my generation. Because of this, I predict another cultural Renaissance. This also puts Generation X in vital position to help guide our peers, the Millennials and our Alpha Generation who may potentially experience similar policies under a Trump Administration with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and Senate. Our younger generation don't have the experience nor do they know what to expect. Even in light of what they're now witnessing with police terrorism and the post election white supremacy, many are still under the false impression that we're in a post-racial America. Half of the Baby Boomers and Traditionalists voted for this Administration or don't have the energy/ambition to lead so it's on us. If we don't model the core values, principles, collective work and responsibility and cooperative economics to lead the people it's a slim chance that it can happen. Additionally, realizing that our family is the vital building block of our communities, cities, regions and nation, we must reassess our views on relationships, motherhood, fatherhood and the role of the nuclear family. With more than half of all black, brown and poor white Millennials and Alpha Generation born out of wedlock, "Family First" must be our living motto, regardless how radical a change we'll need to make to our rugged individualistic, career woman and bachelor pad lifestyles. Our future literally depends on us.

4.) Regardless of our reaction to the election results, we must be willing and able to respond. For those of us who are protesting to raise awareness about the flaws of the Electorate College, Trump being elected or any other thing we're dissatisfied with about this government I commend and encourage you to also demonstrate this disapproval financially. There are businesses, organizations and agencies who share your sentiments, reciprocate your support and amplify these same ideals. Many were founded specially to do this! They are allies and a necessary connective base to help redirect the resources, build the institutions and transform the policies of this government.     

5.) Now is not the time to be investing a bunch of energy trying to convince people about Trump's incompetence, his wife being an Amber Rosian FLOTUS or how ignorant his children are. Energy is better directed at striving to get together with people of like minds who are striving to help each other out. Let me repeat, HELPING EACH OTHER out. Some of the key words during these next 4 years are: Collaboration, Partnership, Family, Community, Youth Advocacy, Localism, Volunteerism, Entrepreneurship, Alternative Energy, Underserved, Social Capital, Trades, Optimal Health, Investment, Consensus, Savings and Residual Income. There are others yet these are some vital ones to conceptualize and add to our language. We will need every one of them!

   In closing I want to again remind all of you that this isn't the Rapture. Without a doubt we are going to have some tough times ahead of us, yet to weather any storm we must be willing and able to rise above our petty differences and unify. It seems like this election has forced many of us to realize this. I have confidence in our ability to work it out and I'm here, as I've consistently been, to add on. If you're striving to reach me directly my email is: atlantisbuild@gmail.com

Peace,
Saladin
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