Advice From A Panther Regarding the Election


A week ago I went to a film festival being hosted by the Black Panthers in my area and sat in on a panel discussion. I had every expectation of getting some golden piece of information before I left, so my notebook was strapped on me. I listened intently as members of the Young Lords, Black Panther Party, and Young Patriots rehashed memories from the height of their movements, rife with the wisdom of hindsight. And then it came.

Question and answer time.

A man from the audience stepped to the mic and asked the one thing that seemed to stump most of the speakers on stage:

What should people do in preparation for the upcoming presidential election?

The room was a-murmur from the shock and appreciation of a good ass question. Most of the panelists were equally as shocked and avoided the mic. One speaker even compared Clinton and Trump to a slow death and a fast death, respectively. I chuckled aloud, and died inside at that realization. But, in staying true to the old adage, the best answer was saved for last.

Although I don't have his words verbatim, his advice was this:

Keep organizing. Our fate as Black people has never been solely reliant on White America. Keep building ourselves up, healing our communities, fortifying ourselves for what comes next. Make a plan for if Hillary is elected. Make a plan for if Donald is elected. And regardless of what is happening in the oval office, we should always have a plan for ourselves.

Many people in the audience had a "you sho' right" moment upon hearing his advice, myself included. I received my golden piece of information and re-holstered my notebook and pen.

The charge has been given to us.

Let us plan.

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