Whew, This presidential election has wore me out. All of my adulting skills of restraint and self-care have had to be used in order to no wig out on some of the social media posts that have been flying around.
But because I’m not an expert in politics (which for this election, I don’t think you have to be), so I followed up with my favorite social activist John Little.
I want to take the time to thank John for being my first guest on the blog. I admire him for the exemplary black man, father, and conscious leader I perceive him to be. Any and every time I’ve bumped into John in public or online, or needed his help he’s always been kind, transparent, and action oriented; ready, willing, and able. I have known him from the days when we both thought we had a future in corporate, to us both following our passions, and I am proud to call him my brother. After our most recent meeting, I literally dropped him off in Edgehill Housing Projects as he was knocking door to door to spread the word about a current initiative. John is a man who’s actions match his words and one I would look to for political clarity in this hellacious presidential election. This is why I chose to have HIM share his opinion (which I’m sure are conclusions to which we have all come).
Quite a few things have changed since he and I last spoke in April of this year. See below for the update as well as clarity on John Little’s role in social activism and education.
Q. John, can you update the Tribe on your current project The Memphis Lift?
My work in Memphis is still organizing communities, but it has transitioned to support parents around education outcomes. For far too long the narrative around our community is that there is crime, poverty and poor schools. The narrative dictates that we should accept it and carry on. I deem the work that I am doing with parents is revolutionary and putting the power back into the hands of the true stakeholders of children. Parents. Most recently we connected parents in Memphis, and Nashville and sent 150 parents to Cincinnati to participate in civil disobedience that mirrored the organizing strategies of civil right organizations like SCLC (MLK), SNCC (Congressman Lewis) and the NAACP. We seek to educate, engage and empower parents through grassroots organizing to make the powerless parent powerful!
Q. Are there any more key dates in this presidential election?
Election day is less than seven days away. There is a presidential race that will change the face of America for the foreseeable future. This presidential race is very important, but more importantly there are a handful of state legislative races.
Q. After the debates, what are, in your opinion, the candidates’ Pros and Cons?
One, the three debates received the most viewership in many years. Not because of the political intellect around their views and values, but it seemed more like a WWE event. It was like a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. The debate started by knocking shaking hands and ended with multiple allegations of public distrust and even illegal behavior. For my friends and the blogs I pay attention to it was unanimous who won ALL three debates. Depending on the candidate you support is who won and did the best job. It was more political theater than listening to policy stances that will help continue the strong economic growth under President Barack Obama.
Q. Has the pulse of this years’ presidential election changed any since we last spoke in April?
This is the most closely watched and apathetic race in our lifetime. Never has there been a time when there are two poplar opposites as candidates. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have made personal attacks even before they became their respective party’s nominee. The attacks just don’t stop at the person, they have attacked one another’s spouse’s, kids and personal life. Between Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and Donald Trump’s comment around grabbing women by the vajayjay, the general public perception is I’ll hold my nose and vote.
Q. John, when we last spoke in April, you were more than certain there was no way Trump could be president. Have your thoughts changed any?
A Trump presidency is close. So close that is scary. I say that because he is the nominee and is polling close enough to win if Hillary Clinton were to make a huge blunder like the email scandal. I still think it is highly unlikely that Trump will win based on the electorate and his disparaging remarks about anyone except White men. This guy has purposely disrespected women, Latino’s, African Americans, homosexuals, the poor and so on and so on. It’ll be harder to figure out who he has not directly offended this year.
Q. Has your musical selection changed any since April?
Wow. Oh how things have changed. Currently I went back old school and listening to the old T.I. albums from “I’m Serious”, and “T.I. vs T.I.P”. His confidence, swag and grittiness in those albums have given me the motivation I need to close out the 2016 election cycle. I also think at times I can be my largest critic.
John Little is a courageous leader and an all-around good guy to know. To stay up-to-date with his current project Memphis Lift click the link to be directed to Memphis Lift Facebook page, Twitter.com/Memphis_Lift or to connect with him directly he can be reached at MrJohnLittle@gmail.com