The greatest fear I had as a child was that my grandmother — the stabilizing force in my life — would die someday. My fear mounted as she grew older, ill and less verbal. Then, one night in May, she died.
I cried in private. I was 15 years old, and all I had ever known was a world with her.
Shortly after her funeral, people came to my house to pay their respects. After an hour or so of that, I went to the basketball court to shoot alone. I feared little else afterward.
Now, Donald Trump is going to be president, and many people are expressing fear about his presidency. I am concerned and upset that he will be president, but that could ratchet up to fear depending on where Trump takes our country.
Trump, by any objective review, is the most ill-prepared person in the history of this country to be president of the United States and leader of the free world. In fact, based on some of his comments, he knows very little about the world.
H.L. Mencken wrote this note — a prophecy to some — in the Baltimore Evening Sun on July 26, 1920: "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
Trump's rhetoric that makes it easy to understand the nervousness and fear among African-Americans and other minorities about what a Trump presidency will mean to them.
Will the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups that voiced support for Trump — KKK ghost David Duke used Trump's name as a badge of honor — now become more emboldened to make their presence on city streets the new normal?
Will all of the gains in civil rights and voting rights be done away with? Will abortion rights and marriage rights be wiped out? What about strides made to help the LGBTQ community?
What happens when Trump can’t deliver for the non-college graduate white men and women who felt the country was spinning faster than they could keep up with?
For them, Trump’s pledge that he would he would “Make America Great Again” hit a welcomed nerve.
For many of them, America was great before they witnessed a growing number of educated minorities in jobs that they, themselves, didn’t have the qualifications to even apply to get.
For some, it was painful that the days were over when they could get a job by calling their friend or relative Joe at a job site, a big factory, plant or another large employer. Joe has been replaced by LaShawn, Jorge or Raj.
They will be angry when Trump doesn’t deliver, and someone is going to have to pay. They will not blame Trump.
I hope that Trump finds reality and somehow stumbles his way into trying to be a president “for all of the people.” That’s what he said Wednesday.
It’s possible. But, looming over him will be Republicans bent on turning back the clock on civil rights, abortion rights, marriage equality, environmental issues, higher wages, equal pay for women and on and on.
And, I am concerned about the old people at my church, who like millions of others, have their health care with Obamacare. Trump says he will repeal it because he has something better. But just like his Republican friends, he really has nothing on paper.
No matter where he turns, it will be tough for Trump to make his base — those who accepted his campaign of misogyny, racism, sexism and jingoism — happy.
As for people now protesting in the streets about Trump’s win, I can’t support that. He won. Maybe they should have been in the streets days ago imploring people to vote for Hillary Clinton.
My position, like that of President Barack Obama, is to give Trump a chance and hope beyond hope for the best.
Just as I was feeling low about what's next with Trump, I walked into the snack shop where I work. The blind man working behind the counter greeted me with a giant smile and asked “How are things going for you today?”
It sort of put things in perspective for me. “Just great,” I said.
Email Edward Pratt, a south Louisiana freelance writer, at email@example.com.