Don’t Ask for It If You’re Not Willing To Give it
Picture it, January 2008. Our country experienced a moment in history. One that would be etched in time, space, literature, and the hearts of man. We elected our first African American President. For most of us, it was an overwhelming, memorable and life changing time. For others, it was a time of grief, disbelief, and horror. We had a black president and depending upon how you felt about it determined the inflection in your voice when you said it. For the next eight years, the true hearts of Americans were put on display. Some good, some bad, and some just down right hateful. People were shocked at the level of disrespect and dishonor some showed our POTUS and FLOTUS. Others simply shook their heads in disappointment because they knew it was coming but didn’t know how low people would go with it. What was meant to be a celebration and the chance for our country to unify and heal instead became a warzone on social media, news outlets, schools, communities, and for some family. The reckless narratives, media coverage, and actions of internet gangsters slowly began to overshadow any and everything President Obama and his administration did to move the country forward.
When unemployment went down, people screamed the president is ruining the country. When terrorists were dethroned and killed, people yelled, “Who does the president think he is?” For every positive move, the leader of our country was met with hate and harsh criticism. I watched people that I thought I knew say things about the president that I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. I saw the names our POTUS and FLOTUS were called. I was baffled at the frequency in which President Obama was called Obama as if he wasn’t due the title he earned. Some people disliked him because of his policies and stance on certain issues. Others disliked him simply because he was a black man running our country. Despite the fact that he is half white, for most, President Obama was and will forever be just another nigger that believed he deserved to have the same rights and respect as his mother.
Now come with me and picture it, November 2016 as shock waves went across the country when Donald Trump solidified his position as the 45th President of the United States. I watched hundreds if not thousands of my Facebook friends, family members, mentors, business partners and total strangers mourn this transition for our country. I’ve seen the protests on the news, people crying, others stating they refuse to support President-elect Trump, and the endless memes about him and his wife (our new first lady). I’ve seen people spew even more hate, threaten and bully children (minorities), call African Americans out of our name, and again, be downright hateful. Relationships have been destroyed, friendships have been reevaluated and a line in the sand has been drawn. The civil unrest, fear, uncertainty and concern for the future of our country has overtaken the United States.
What’s baffling to me is that in the midst of the transition of leadership, the same people that drug President and First Lady Obama’s names, character, and position through the mud are the same people asking, no demanding that everyone respect, honor, and support President-elect and First Lady Trump because “they are the leaders of our country and we need to give them a chance.” I’m confused at this and I need answers. What’s the difference between President and First Lady Obama and President-elect and First Lady Trump? What’s the difference in the positions they held and will hold in the White House? Why do President-elect and First Lady Trump deserve the respect, honor, and support of America and President and First Lady Obama didn’t? Again, I need answers. Is it because one set is black and the other is white? Is it because you agree with the incoming president’s views and you didn’t agree with President Obama’s? Is it because you like the Trumps more than you like the Obamas? I mean really….I need answers.
I will pray for and respect President-elect Trump because God requires it of me. I will not tear down Mrs. Trump because she is a woman and I didn’t want anyone tearing down First Lady Obama. Does that mean I support President-elect Trump and his views? Absolutely not. I didn’t support President Bush (either of them) but they were the leaders of our country so I respected the office that they held and continued to pray. It’s possible to respect and pray for someone without agreeing with them or supporting their views. There are people that won’t ever like the Trumps. There are people that will drag them for the next four years. There are people that probably hate them and will continue to do so. There are people that won’t support them or anything they do. There are people that will make the choice to respect and pray for them simply because that’s what God called them to do (it doesn’t mean they will agree with or support their views). What do all of those people have in common? They all have the choice to feel how they feel and express it the way they choose to express it. It doesn’t make any of it ok but it’s their choice, their right.
What needs to be said is this…..you cannot ask, demand, require or expect someone to do or give something that you aren’t or weren’t willing to do or give. That’s….hypocritical. That’s unfair. That’s selfish and unreasonable. People cried out for everyone to respect and honor President and First Lady Obama. People stood against the constant disrespect and racial slurs that were thrown at them to no avail. Now the tables have turned and the same people that treated President Obama and his family like trash are appalled that others are treating President-elect Trump and his family the exact same way. Does it make it right? Nope but you can’t ask for something that you’re not willing to give. You can’t demand respect when you didn’t give it and if you’re going to be mad at those that make disparaging remarks about the Trumps, you need to find the nearest mirror and have that same anger for yourself.
We cannot expect respect only when it’s convenient for us. We cannot slap someone in the face and get mad when they slap us back. We can’t be shocked when someone does the very thing that we just did. So you can’t be up in arms about people’s reaction to our new president when your behavior for the past eight years was well…..foolishness. Our parents told a lot of us…you can’t have it both ways. You’re either going to love or you’re going to hate. You’re either going to honor God or you’re not. You’re either going to stand for right or wrong. What you can’t do is pick one and then the other when the lesser works for you and makes you feel justified. I encourage you to check your behavior, tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts over the past eight years and tell me if what you see lines up with what you’re saying now. We are adults and we can no longer throw fits when things don’t go our way. We can no longer throw stones and try to hide our hands because someone has a receipt and in this current climate, you will be called to the carpet.
If you’re proud of your words and actions towards the Obamas the past eight years, then you should be proud of the words and actions that people have towards the Trumps. You may not like it but it’s the truth. If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s a growth opportunity for you. I won’t behave like the masses did the past eight years. I won’t teach my daughter that it’s okay to tear down people just because you don’t agree with them or their views. I won’t follow suit. I will pray for the new leader of our country because God will always have the final say. I will go high even though many went low for so long. Don’t ask for it if you’re not willing to give it…..you didn’t give it for eight years so to expect or demand it for the next four is foolish of you.....