Is it time to give Donald Trump a chance? This is something that I’ve been hearing a lot lately. Celebrities have really been pushing this notion, and it’s one that I find hard to wrap my head around for various reasons. My reservations have a lot more to do with than just the obvious- he’s a misogynist bigot. They go far beyond what Trump inherently stands for and encompass everything from what he plans to do with this country to how he conducts “business.” If you haven’t gathered already, I don’t have much faith in the man.
But everyone, it seems, is saying to give him a chance. Nicole Kidman has said, “Give him a chance.” Zoe Saldana has said Trump is being bullied and now, those within the black community that many people look to for some kind of guidance are echoing the same thing? There are only a few famous folks who’s influence hold any weight with me and right now the ones who seemingly are having a chance of heart when it comes to Trump aren’t the ones I look to for effective advice.
The latest celebrity to jump on the “give him a chance” wagon is Steve Harvey. The entertainer has come under fire for a couple controversial things within the past week. People have called him a racist because he dissed Asian men by insinuating that they are not attractive during a segment on his talk show. That got folks riled up, but that’s not the news story that have members of the black community finally seeking to trade him for a white person. It’s his meeting with Donald Trump that has people up in arms. Now if it were almost any other black man meeting with the soon to be president (except Ray Lewis, Herman Cain, Denis Rodman, Terrell Owens… mmmm, the list is actually longer than I thought), maybe the gesture would hold more credibility. But Harvey has long been seen as an opportunist, which makes the meeting all the more side-eye worthy. Let me explain.
Harvey has his hands in everything, which communicates to me that he is about his money. His talk show, radio show, Family Feud, his books, his movies, his clothing line; the man’s portfolio is as diversified as it gets. I am not knocking him for that. Nonetheless, he does not come to mind when I think of black people who advocate for black people. Black people have bought into his brand that spans giving advice to women, talking about relationships and pretty much positioning himself as a kind of “love doctor.” But when it comes to matters that affect us on a civil and social level, not many of us see him as an activist. Thus, his meeting with Trump feels more like a publicity tactic to get people of color to calm down and say, “Oh well maybe The Donald isn’t so bad.” I honestly don’t see it for anything more than that.
My meeting with @realDonaldTrump … pic.twitter.com/Tz2O2W3a5n
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) January 13, 2017
The comedian turned talk show host, turned game show host, turned, well, everything, said about his meeting with Trump,
“Our president (Obama) asked that all of us sit down and talk to one another in order to move our country forward. The transition teams on both sides asked me to meet and I’m glad I did… I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area. I feel that something really great could come out of this… I would sit with him anytime.”
Here’s the thing, at this point in the juncture, Donald Trump and the group of people he has surrounded himself with has shown me nothing that warrants my support. The issues that are important to me- healthcare, national security, women’s rights and civil rights, have already taken major hits and the man hasn’t even been sworn in yet. My Pisces nature leans toward giving people the benefit of the doubt, but it is also the same zodiac inclinations that give me an instinct that I have come to trust, totally. That intuition is telling me to “Stay vigilant and don’t be fooled. Trump isn’t for me.”
Vigilance is the key word here. For those of us who remain on the fence about the president-elect and who have chosen to maintain our stance against what many are calling an “illegitimate presidency,” the most effective thing to do is keep our eyes wide open and make as much noise as we can. There have already been some shady things happening, namely the change in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that has and or will negatively affected tens of millions of Americans. And it all went down while most of us were sound asleep. With that, going into the next four years of this presidential term, the Commander in Chief is not the only person whom we must keep accountable. We can’t cower or ignorantly believe it’ll all be fine. Action is what will make it all be fine.
We live in a time that calls for a different kind of group of constituents. I don’t see anyone in power working for the best interests of the people so we have to be our own advocates right now. We cannot let up on these “public servants.”
When it comes down to it, once a person has given you a reason not to trust them, it takes a lot to change that. Donald Trump continues to show behaviors that make me ashamed of our political system. Until he rectifies his actions and conducts himself in a way worthy of the noble office he now holds, I see no reason to call him my president or to encourage anyone else to do so.
Support, like trust, is earned.