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Where Do We Go From Here?

Me: "America, I'm going to need some space."
America: "Why? What's wrong?"
Me: "Well, this relationship is getting a bit abusive. I mean, it's always been abusive. You lie to me, you're sneaky, you're always telling me what I can and can't do, you're overbearing, you do not respect me or my feelings, you do not listen, and you even take all my money and spend it on other things besides me."
America: "I can change though. I am willing too if you just stay."
Me: "No, I think we need to end this, so I'm leaving."

"If you haven't had this conversation yet maybe you're still in denial about your relationship with America." 

Seriously, we are now two days removed from what many Americans say was the worst day ever in American politics. Due to the complete emotional shock and in some cases extreme fear of where our new "POTUS" will lead the country during his presidency, some people are thinking of taking drastic actions. Some people plan to exit stage left and seek greener pastures abroad while others plan to say and fight the system. Our decision to move abroad and leave America behind has yielded some interesting responses from people in the black community. Everything from, "You are running away and should stay to fight with us to fix the issues we face," to "We built this country, so why should we leave?"  I want to be very clear about this. Our plan to move abroad has been in place prior to the election so we aren't basing our decision on the results of this election. However, for those who have now decided to follow suit, others feel as if anyone who has decided to leave is somehow betraying the black community. Why is moving aboard viewed as such disloyalty to the black community? Don't we all have choices?

It seems as if we have become a people addicted to fighting and struggling with others. The "stay here and fight" mentality became evident to us when we first started talking about Repatriating to Africa. We had many friends and family members telling us that we were trying to run away from the black community and should be willing to stay fix this country for our people since we built it. Our response has always been, "We rather live freely and happily somewhere else instead of fighting each day to be accepted by a country and its people who have no desire for us to be here."  For us, it is not a running away mentality, rather, a "let's live this one life we have been given to fullest" mentality. We believe all people should have this same mentality and we have tried to encourage others in our community, including our families, to adopt this way of thinking. However, it's hard to explain to people in our community that they aren't bound to these borders. 

The truth of the matter is that so many African Americans will only act out of fear and make a change such as moving to another country when there is no other option. Trump's election may have been the last straw for many people who had already known America was oppressive and dangerous for black Americans in the first place. The time for change has been long overdue but a departure would only come from a place of discomfort and fear for many.  Whatever the case, the individuals who exercise their freedom of choice to leave this country for better opportunities and a peace of mind should not be viewed with such disdain. They have either decided they are tired of fighting against the system or simply want to experience something different. Either way, they do not deserve the negative treatment from other African Americans for making a decision to take care of self first. 

Let's face the facts, it did not take this election for African Americans to realize that America has always been and still is deeply rooted in racism, elitism, classism, sexism, etc. Although many in our community have gotten comfortable with the fallacy of what we call a democracy in this country, these issues are still prevalent today. They were not blatant for many because they didn't face this "isms" on a daily basis. However, we have to accept the fact that this country made a decision to elect Trump based on all of these "isms".  Its serves as a very loud reminder that there was and maybe always will be a strong desire from many Americans to keep us oppressed and disadvantaged as long as we are here. The belief that Hilary Clinton being elected President would have changed the "black plight" or America for that matter is what people tell themselves so they can continue to live in ignorant bliss. One would be foolish to think having another Clinton in the white house would somehow bring about a better future for African Americans.  

So why stay here and what are we fighting for? If its acceptance, have we not been fighting for that since we landed on these shores? If it’s to build a better black community, how can we really effect change without committing to unity and working as a collective. What work must be done now? Truth be told, the work should have begun a long time ago. The sad reality is that the African American community will most likely adapt to the current situation, suffer through this Trump era, and survive like we always do. Or is it finally time for us to start discussing group economics, self-governance, or better yet an exit plan to find our own happiness and freedom? America does not have to be the place where we build the community we want. 

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