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OPINION

Change will come from the ground up

‘I think the majority of people are recognizing what’s happening.’

Roni-Sue Price (center left) with her husband (left) and two children.
Roni-Sue Price (center left) with her husband (left) and two children.Roni-Sue Price

I worry more about the Trump administration than I do about racial equality. Meaning, I worry that this administration is going to try to find a way to cancel or delay elections. I worry if we do have an election and this administration doesn’t win, what will happen if President Trump refuses to leave the White House. What if it’s a close election and it’s a repeat of the 2000 Florida recount with Al Gore, and it goes to the Supreme Court? I worry about that situation more because I feel like the populace knows that change has to happen.

I have white friends who have started sharing books and people to follow on social media and who are trying to educate themselves. Black people have the awareness and support right now of more people than we’ve ever had before, and we need to use it wisely and not get too caught up in the rage. The rage is necessary, but what are we doing with it? We need to see transparency where there is police abuse of power, some teeth in the existing policies in place, and a new dynamic between the police and the community. To Black people, I say, translate your views into power because if we’re making noise but we’re not changing any laws, we won’t have anything once people get tired of marching.

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I know it’s not going to be all unicorns and roses. It’s going to be difficult because we have an administration in power that is diametrically opposed to any of this change, and the people in it are not going to relieve that stance with ease. It’s going to get really uncomfortable, maybe dangerous. But people are protesting and giving money to grass-roots movements and joining organizations and making sure people are registered to vote. So I’m optimistic overall because I think the majority of people recognize what’s happening and are willing to fight to move this forward. Racial equality isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but I definitely see large steps forward and I believe change can and will happen from the ground up.

But I worry from the top down. I believe that this administration would be willing to break any and every law in order to keep its power, and if that’s the case, what’s going to happen in November? What’s going to happen in January? All of the people who so openly spread racial violence today were in the margins for a reason — because society told them that their behavior was not acceptable. But the president has roiled them and made that behavior acceptable, so instead of them slinking away into the darkness, we now have to aggressively fight in order to get them back into their box, because he has opened the lid.

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Roni-Sue Price, 52, lives in Bowie, Md.