Truth and Diversity Both Missing at the 2017 Inauguration

This is a photo of Roger Caldwell, an NNPA columnist and long-time contributor to the Advocate
Roger Caldwell is an NNPA Columnist and a long-time contributor to the Advocate

There was a fundamental disconnect at the Trump inauguration, because there were mostly Whites attendees at the event. Washington, DC is known as the chocolate city, so where were the people of color?

In 2009, during President Obama’s first inauguration, there were almost 2 million attendees, which included a diverse population of people of color, various cultures, and races, which reflected the composition of the country. Sixty percent of the country supported President Obama’s historic event, as the first Black president of the United States was sworn into office.

In contrast, President Trump will start his administration with one of the lowest approval ratings of 32% in the history of the country. With protests of over 2 million women across the country, as well as protests in foreign countries on President Trump’s second day in office, he has refused to acknowledge there is a problem.

To begin with, at his inauguration, there was a sea of white faces. Even though in President Trump’s 16 minute speech he used the word “we” about 50 times, it appeared his message was “Make America White Again.” His speech was cold, dark, divisive, and he seemed to be saying that only he can get America out of its “Hell Hole.”

There was something wrong with President Trump’s description and picture of America, and he showed the worse side of himself and our country. Instead of making this a joyous occasion about the greatness of America, it became an indictment of everything that is wrong with America. Talking about “American Carnage” in his speech was fear mongering, and will keep America divided.

The facts show that under President Obama, the country has steadily improved during his administration. America is wealthier, safer, and stronger than it was eight years ago. Jobs have increased for a record 75 straight months, and the unemployment rate is 4.7%, the lowest it’s been in nine years.

President Trump is well aware that he is following one of the greatest presidents ever elected to the office. He has no record of achievement, and he has never held a political office position before.

Trump’s transitional team has done a terrible job vetting his nominations, and there are over 600 high level jobs that must be filled, and only 30 have been confirmed at this time. The day before the inauguration, President Trump’s team asked former President Obama’s team to stay onboard. This is highly unusual to ask 24 hours prior to the transition of power taking place.

The request should have been made weeks ago, and it appears there is confusion with President Trump’s transition team. The Republicans are blaming the Democrats with obstruction and slowing the process down, but there appears to be problems with Trump’s choices.

In many circles, several legislators and media outlets are claiming that President Trump does not like to read. He is the oldest person elected to the office of president of the United States, and the workload is enormous. Very few men at seventy years old are able to burn the midnight oil every night.

With over 2 million women and men protesting Trump’s agenda, the second day in office should be a time for the new president to make a statement. He and his team can act like everything is wonderful, but someone in his organization should ask questions and try to understand what is really happening.

At the inauguration, many attendees forced a smile for the camera, and the day was about pomp and circumstance. But more than 60 Congressional Democrats refused to attend Trump’s swearing-in ceremony; something is wrong. The second day was the largest protest in history, and many people feel their rights are under attack.

Make America White Again” is the wrong way to start an administration, because diversity is what makes America great.

John Avlon of the Daily Beast said “Instead of a sunny optimistic assessment about America, there was stormy pessimism. Instead of unity, there was division. Instead of embracing American leadership around the world, there was the promise of retreat. This was a departure from our best traditions and Democratic convictions.”


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