For the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this incoming president.
I don’t like him, and I seriously doubt there’s anything that could ever convince me to change my mind about him, but the fact of the matter is that on Friday, he will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, whether I watch the inauguration or not, whether I voted for him or not, whether I like him or not. I am trying to accept it because I am tired of carrying the burdens of disappointment and bewilderment. Our democratic process is what it is. He was elected. He will be the president for the next four years, regardless of how I and so many millions of others feel about it.
However, there is so much happening around him that I just can’t accept. One such thing is his meeting with Steve Harvey last Friday.
Before I get into the meat of this post, let me say this: I have long been a fan and supporter of Steve Harvey. When I was in the classroom every day, feeling like my soul was literally dying, it was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show on the radio that got me going each day. I listened to him talk about embracing destiny, about taking leaps, and I credit him as a major influence in my decision to leave the job I hated and go into business for myself. I’ve been listening to his show faithfully for years. I purchase his books. I’ve defended his relentless opportunism– because he is, in fact, a relentless opportunist. I enjoy his candor when it comes to expressing his thoughts and feelings about things, however unpopular his opinions may be (because I have a deep belief in being true to how you feel, regardless of how the tide may be turning around you). I even watch Family Feud. Steve has been alright with me for a long time now, and I’ve been rocking with him, despite his frequent shenanigans.
Everything changed for me last Friday, however, after his “meeting” with Donald Trump. I was so disappointed, in fact, that it took me several days to compose my thoughts about it enough to write this post. My thoughts have only been fueled by the many people on social media who see nothing wrong with this meeting. Please forgive me in advance if this post is a little emotional.
Steve Harvey sold his soul to the devil on Friday, and I don’t fuck with him anymore for it.
(Couldn’t think of a better way to say that. I needed you to feel it as deeply as I do.)
I told y’all I been rocking with Steve for awhile now. Since the day SquirrelWig announced his candidacy for president, Steve has been extremely vocal about how absolutely unqualified he believed Trump to be. As the election unfolded, the more we got to know about Trump, the more Steve talked about how vehemently against Trump he himself was. A staunch Hillary supporter, he talked about how unqualified, unfit, and unequipped Trump was to be the leader of the free world. He talked about his abusive language and poor behavior. He talked about Trump’s failed marriages, his failed businesses, his corrupt practices and racist perspectives. He insisted that he would never, ever endorse Trump, because he believed Trump to be the embodiment of all that is wrong in America. The day after the election, Steve was almost in tears on his show, incredulous (as most of us were) that Trump actually won the election. Steve continued to slam Trump. He said that he felt morally and spiritually obligated to speak his truth, and that no matter what happened, he would never endorse Trump as president. Never. Although I shared most of his sentiments about our new presi– I can’t even bring myself to say it– I was more impressed with the way Steve used his platform, with his unwillingness to compromise his morals and his unabashed boldness when it came to speaking out against Trump.
On Friday, Steve Harvey, despite his supposed moral and spiritual conflict, met with Trump, posed for photographs with him, and endorsed him as genuine and sincere when the meeting ended.
So wait, Uncle Steve.
You ain’t been rocking with Trump at all since the beginning. You claim President Obama asked you to reach out and bridge the gap between administrations by meeting with Trump and Carson about the state of the inner cities in America, and that you felt like you needed to honor President Obama’s request, even though Obama ain’t God or your daddy, even though he was asking you to go against what you believed, and that you agreed at Obama’s request. You met with this man in a hotel lobby. A meeting in a lobby ain’t a meeting. It’s a spectacle. A photo opportunity. You met with him and smiled for pictures with him, and endorsed him– something you claimed you’d NEVER DO– when the meeting ended. You allowed Trump to use you, to parade you as he has done so many other black people who have agreed to meet with him. Despite all that you had said, all that you felt morally and spiritually, the opportunist in you could not pass up the chance to snuggle up to Trump, and you took that opportunity and ran with it. You ignored how you felt about him, how you claimed others should feel about a man as unqualified as Trump, and you endorsed him anyway.
I’m not mad the meeting happened. I’m mad at how it went down.
So your morals ain’t shit, huh, Steve? Your morals are so easily manipulated that, when given a chance to further your own interests, you neglect your morals and jump on the opportunity? He used you, Steve. The same way he has used so many other Black people to pander to the minority population in this country. He used you for a photo opportunity. Trump’s track record shows that he doesn’t give two shits about the Black people in this country. Everything he’s done thus far shows just how disingenuous he really is, up to and including appointing Ben Carson, a DOCTOR, as secretary of housing and urban development in America. His candidates are grossly unqualified, and he doesn’t care. Trump doesn’t give a fifth of a fuck about the poor, disenfranchised people in this country at all. This isn’t me making an assumption, either. Look at his track record. He’s dismantling the Affordable Care Act. He’s cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. He’s trying to pass legislation that schools shouldn’t be gun free zones. On a human level, Trump is disrespectful to women. He’s a relentless bully. He’s a brat, tweeting like a butt-hurt teenaged girl whenever anyone says anything he doesn’t like. He is volatile and unpredictable. And, Uncle Steve, knowing all that, you endorsed him anyway?
What happened to how you felt?
If you really had a genuine interest in meeting with him on behalf of the best interest of your people, Steve, you would’ve in a closed-door meeting. You would’ve understood that this conversation was bigger than an opportunity to be seen with Trump, a man you insist you will never respect. The meeting would’ve happened quietly and behind closed doors. You would’ve refused an opportunity to smile your wide smile in a picture with the fool. And, even more, you wouldn’t have dared fix your mouth to talk about Trump’s sincerity, a sincerity you know is false, that you’ve called out on several occasions.
This meeting– or vicious publicity stunt, because I believe in calling a spade, a spade– shows that morality has a weight to it that most of us can’t carry. Steve obviously couldn’t handle the weight. Despite his morals, he took the bait when it was dangled before him and showed his opportunism, and how easily bought he is.
Morality is your principles concerning what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad. Morality is your own set of beliefs and ethics, the things you feel strongly about. Morality changes as we grow and learn, but our morals are what govern our lives and actions. Morality dictates what we accept and what we don’t. Morality isn’t supposed to be something that changes with the direction of the wind, either. It’s what roots you. Morality is supposed to be rigid. The general sentiment should be inconsequential; it shouldn’t matter what the rest of the world is doing when it comes to your morals. However unpopular they might be, whatever the backlash you receive, you stick by your morals, because they are what given you.
Steve stashed those morals on Friday. This meeting and the subsequent endorsement went against everything Steve claims he felt morally. When given an opportunity to meet with Trump, Steve chomped at the bit, and all those morals went flying out the window.
For that reason, I will never respect him again.
Should Black people be meeting with Trump? YES. Absolutely. Because, like I said in the first paragraph, like it or not, he is our next President. (That left such a nasty taste in my mouth.) Should Trump be made to sit and listen to the concerns and the issues of Blacks in America? Yes. I wouldn’t dare say that any Black person who meets with Trump is a coon and an Uncle Tom, because that’s just not right. Trump SHOULD be talking to us. He should be hearing what we need and feel and want. But when the meeting is more of a spectacle than a conversation, when it happens in a lobby where everyone can see it, when it ends in a photograph and an endorsement of the worst possible person who has ever run this country, it takes on a completely different meaning. This ain’t about Black folks. It’s not about housing and urban development. It’s not about doing what’s good for us. It’s about Trump’s desire to gain favor from Black folks by meeting with strategic “leaders” (and STEVE IS NOT A BLACK LEADER– HE’S A COMEDIAN– I JUST WANT TO POINT THAT OUT) and taking pictures with them– “Look, see? I’m not as bad as you think I am… I just met with Steve Harvey! I just met with MLK Jr! They both say I’m an alright guy!” It’s about allowing himself to be used as a show pony, another example of Trump’s dumbassness and how “his African Americans” love him.
Steve. You fell right into his trap… and I can’t support it. I can’t support you. I can’t handle the fact that you aren’t who you holler you are– a man who stands by his beliefs, no matter the repercussions. You talk about how real you are, how authentic you are, how you are still Steve from around the way, despite your money and stardom– two things that you brag about on daily basis. You’re an egoist. You’re an opportunist. And you dropped the ball worse than I thought possible. All that you’ve said against Trump over the better part of two years became invalidated. You’re a hypocrite, Uncle Steve, and I can no longer support you.
There’s a lot wrong with the state of our country right now.
Betsy DeVos is the most under qualified person on the planet to be the Secretary of Education. There have already been investigations into the immoral and illegal actions of Trump’s other cabinet candidates. Trump himself has very clear about how big of an asshole he is– and how unapologetic he is about it. I could be here all day talking about the shitstorm in which we are currently living… but I don’t have all day to talk about it and that’s not what this post is about. What we can’t afford is having “leaders” who are willing to turn their backs on their morals and principles to pander and shuck and jive and collect a check.
We need to be steadfast in carrying the load of our moral convictions, however heavy and hard it might be to stand by what we truly believe and feel. Steve lost all the respect I had for him on Friday.