• Alex Thomas

Vice President Harris will not have all the answers. Here are 5 easy ways we can help her out.

In November 2020, history was made, and I was happy to witness it. We have a woman as Vice President, who is of Jamaican and South Asian heritage for the first time ever. As a Black man I was happy to see history made not only with Vice President Kamala Harris but also with President Obama. Even though the economic status and state of the Black community during that time is up for debate, when President Obama took office the expectation of the Black community was that President Obama would have a Black agenda for the simple fact that he was Black, and it was long overdue.

During the time President Obama took office, in my opinion, the economy was a mess, and he had a lot of work to do. As a community, I think we understood that he had his hands full, but at some point, the question started circulating, “What are you doing for the Black community?” When President Obama’s terms were over some of us were happy because we felt nothing was done to help the Black community when change was desperately needed. On the other hand, many of us were upset because we loved the president and the way he and his family carried themselves and it was great to see ourselves represented at such a high level of power.

Now years later, we find ourselves in an even worse position with a pandemic, racial tension at an all-time high and a long list of other issues, so it’s safe to say Vice President Harris has a lot on her plate.

During the 2020 Presidential Election, the Black community, ONCE AGAIN, saved the democratic party from taking a costly L. I’m sure that President Biden and Vice President Harris are aware that they would not be in office if it were not for the Black and Brown communities.

Now that they are elected, we hear loud cries for reform and helping the Black community address the damning wealth gap, but… in my opinion, if we have learned anything at all, we as a community should have learned not to solely depend on the President and Vice President to help us solve our issues. So, I have come up with a few things that we can do to come together as a community to stop putting our hopes in elected officials to get us to where we want and need to go. Here are 5 easy things we can do to start making positive progress in our communities.

1. We need to learn to better communicate as a community and family.

In some areas of our country, we don’t even know our neighbor’s name, our kid’s schoolteacher’s name, or our local business owner’s names, and the list goes on and on. We don’t really talk to each other or know each other. We just give a quick wave or nonchalant hello here and there as we rush past each other on our way to school, work…life, etc. One of the things that we can do to start improving our communities is learn to better communicate with one another. I mean, actually communicate…verbally. This includes communication inside of our households. There are a lot of conversations that need to happen in our households to help us start bonding and begin healing as we should.

2. We need to have more meetings to discuss the state of our communities.

When we learn to better communicate with each other, individually, we will be able to have broader conversations about what steps we need to take to move forward as a community. There are some topics that we can discuss like violence and crime in our communities and why they are occurring? What can we do to invest in creating opportunities for kids who don’t have the resources they need for school? Are grants available to us… for us? Who are the people in our communities that have the resources and knowledge to help us move forward? I can go on and on with these questions but they’re conversations we need to have. Yes, I am aware that systemic oppressions exist that contribute to a large part of the disparities we see in our community; however, I do believe that we need to acknowledge and take responsibility for some of the collective traits we exhibit as a community that keep us in a never-ending cycle of disenfranchisement.

3. We need to be about action and not just conversations.

If our communities are going to move forward, we have to be ready to have all hands-on deck, if needed. Some of these actions include having a community clean up day so that we can begin to build up our communities and instill a sense of pride and ownership. If we have small businesses in our neighborhoods, we need to make sure that we, as individuals, have a plan to invest into them so that the dollar circulates more in our communities.

4. When we have an understanding of what we need in our communities, but don’t get it, we need to have a back-up plan.

Let’s be honest when we demand something from Congress, the Senate, or even the White House and don’t get it we rarely have a back-up plan and things just fall apart. The motivation behind the cause dissipates and progress is lost. We need to learn how to be better organized and learn how to pivot when our demands are ignored or mishandled.

5. The way we use money matters.

Money comes and goes quickly. As a community we have to be more selective where we spend our money. The prominent Black leaders in the past have explained to us over and over again that our communities need to maintain ownership which can be done by keeping our money circulating through our businesses. We have a long way to go but we can accomplish these goals by learning how to establish ownership and build up equity. This applies to business ownership as well as home ownership and other assets.

These are just a few things that we can start doing to help move our communities forward and not solely rely on Vice President Harris to solve all of our problems. There are some issues that she will be able to assist us with, but we should not rely on her for everything. We have to be a little more realistic when it comes to what our elected leaders will be able to do for us.

Thank you for reading my blog post “Vice President Harris will not have all the answers for our community”. I hope that this post will help our communities come together so that we can begin to make progress. This will not be an overnight process, but our generation will be able to make the strides we need to improve our communities, and not solely rely on the government to solve our problems for us. I already see the progress happening! We just need to keep the momentum going!

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