Peaceful exchange of power takes place as Trump prepares to take oath of office by shaking Obama’s hand.

inaughandtohand.jpgPresident Obama shakes hands with President Trump on stage at inauguration. Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News Wire

 

 

               (TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States Jan. 20, during a peaceful exchange of powers with America’s first Black President Barack Obama. Trump assured a unified America despite never apologizing for leading one of the most hate-filled campaigns in recent history.

“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come,” Trump told the crowd. The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”

The speech was met with applause and chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” by the vastly White audience – a reversal from the two inaugurations of eight and four years ago, when throngs of Black people packed in to witness the historic inaugurations of President Obama. The Trump inauguration, though well attended with crowds stretching from the steps of the U. S. Capitol back to the Washington Monument, did not draw as many people as the Obama inauguration, based on close observations of the crowd by this reporter and Black press photographers who attended all three ceremonies.

More than 60 Democratic members of Congress decided to skip the inauguration; including Black Caucus members U. S. Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Lewis contends he does not see Trump as a legitimate president given the involvement of Russian email hacking in order to help him get elected, according to confirmation by intelligence agencies. Lee and others refused to attend because of protest for Trump’s vitriolic conduct during the election.

Still President Obama had promised a “peaceful exchange of powers”, a tenet of American democracy. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, were also in attendance with their wives. Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who battled Trump vigorously to win the presidency, smiled a lot and appeared stately during the procession and ceremony.

“Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent,” Trump said. He repeated promised to “make America first” in his proposed national and international policies, legislations and executive orders. He also promised to uplift “inner cities”, a well-known euphemism for the Black community.

“Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public,” Trump said. “But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. We are one nation – and their pain is our pain.  Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success.  We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.”

Trump’s words are lofty, but his actions have not matched what he has said. So far, he has nominated an all-White cabinet; except Dr. Ben Carson who will head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also appointed former White supremacist advocate Steve Bannon as a top advisor and nominated former Klan sympathizer Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. He has appointed Omarosa Manigault to assist him with public liaison, but it remains to be seen what will come from a meeting she and other aids had with Black organizational representatives.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the day after the inauguration, more than a million women packed the streets of Washington and other major cities around the U. S. making demands on a string of key issues important to women, Blacks and other minorities. Civil rights leaders have taken a wait and see posture while putting pressure on the Trump administration through protest.

Led by Rev. Al Sharpton, they started that pressure during a march one week before the inauguration. On Inauguration Day, National Urban League President/CEO Marc Morial emailed a statement essentially promising to continue marching to correct social ills that were prevalent 50 years ago.
“My own predecessor as head of the National Urban League, the legendary Whitney M. Young, was one of the organizers of that march and delivered his own stirring speech that day. He spoke of the need for Black Americans to do “some more marching:” …from dangerous ghettos to safe, unrestricted neighborhoods…from poverty wages to skilled, family-sustaining jobs…from the cemeteries of early graves to health centers from overcrowded, inadequate classrooms to fully-equipped, professionally staffed and integrated schools,” wrote Morial. “And there we were, marching for those same things a half-century later, marching under the motto, “We shall not be moved.”

Rockettes balk at dancing at Trump’s inauguration

 

By: Mary Sanchez, KCStar

rockettes-dancingRockettes in tradition dancing pose

            Guessing how many Radio City Rockettes will show for the Trump inauguration will be something of a parlor game in the coming weeks.

A sad new day is dawning when such a classic slice of Americana is dragged into the political fray. Members of the famous high-stepping troupe are no longer under orders to perform for the president-elect. The choice to dance or not will be voluntary. Or so goes the about-face from the Rockettes’ union, the American Guild of Variety Artists.

Just before Christmas, members of the Rockettes joined the growing list of professional entertainers who have declined a role in the inaugural festivities for President-elect Donald Trump. Reportedly, a majority of the nearly 100-woman ensemble were repulsed upon learning that management had booked them for the Jan. 20 event.

One Rockette spoke at length with MarieClaire.com, detailing the concerns as a moral question on which the dancers wanted to express solidarity with their many support staff who were demoralized by the Trump campaign rhetoric and misogyny. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue — this is a women’s rights issue,” the woman, who was quoted anonymously, said. “This is an issue of racism and sexism, something that’s much bigger than politics.”

For those valid concerns, the ladies are being painted as petulant, hyper-liberal whiners who can’t get over the election results. Nope. This is a workplace issue. The 13 full-time dancers in the Rockettes, in particular, know their jobs may be on the line if they refuse to perform.

For the rest of us, this saga is a taste of the next four years. When and how will it be appropriate or pragmatic to react to the latest Trump offense or to recall the heinous rhetoric of his campaign?

A tenor of the Trump administration is already on full display. His crazy becomes the norm that everyone else accepts. There appears to be little other choice. If you work in government, or in a business that deals with government, you will ultimately have to answer to Trump. And the only realistic checks on his power, Congress and the courts, are dominated by Republicans who have zero or unknown inclination (respectively) to exercise it.

Thus, many Americans are behaving like families do around a member who is a volatile alcoholic or addict. They walk on eggshells, lest they ignite unwanted fury. Better just learn to live amid the dysfunction, they decide. The problem is it tends to make people complicit, co-dependent.

We see a parade of business, military and political leaders march into Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago to genuflect before the gilded one. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and Apple have been represented, along with past political rivals. Other industry giants, like Bill Gates, have apparently spoken with Trump by phone.

You can’t fault them for trying to take a measure of the man, or for trying to fill the empty vessel that he is with some of the understanding he will need to lead the nation. At times he seems to be listening, giving hints that he’s open to persuasion on issues of high importance such as climate change, the environment and torture as a tool of war.

But what one suspects their audiences with Trump are all about is flattering him, getting a good word in, kissing his ring, because the man will do as he pleases.

The Rockettes drama may seem trivial compared with the other items of the news cycle. Yet this may turn out to be an object lesson about preserving our core democratic values in the face of power. The office of the presidency is due respect, but we must also demand respect for everyone the incoming president maligned to get elected: women, minorities, the disabled, immigrants. Maybe it takes a chorus line to remind us.

Trump’s disgusting behavior and attitudes toward women are beyond disputable — his own words indict him. Need a reminder? Here are three: his demeaning talk of grabbing women’s private parts, his gross verbal assaults on female newscasters and entertainers who challenged him and his bragging about walking in on undressed teenaged beauty contestants.

His behavior is the very pattern and practice of sexism. No sane human resources director would countenance compelling a female employee to work for such a man. And yet the Rockettes are expected to dance. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes,” one dancer wrote in an email to her colleagues, according to MarieClaire.com.

Thank you, ladies. Without even stepping on stage, you offered a well-timed reminder of one of the major challenges we face in the coming four years: ensuring dignity for all. The applause is deservedly yours.

In a related matter, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, resigned from the group rather than participate in the Trump inaugural.