As America prepares for President-elect Donald Trump to be sworn in on January 20th, 2017, African-Americans continue to ponder what is next for Black America and how to prepare for a Trump Administration.
One area of concern revolves around criminal justice reform, a topic that seems in opposition to Trump’s proclamation he was the “law and order candidate” during the 2016 election cycle.
Brittany Packnett, co-founder of Campaign Zero, an organization fighting police violence, Vice-President of the National Community Alliances for Teach for America and member of the Ferguson Commission, spoke with Roland Martin on Monday about the path forward for African-Americans in Donald Trump’s America.
Packnett told Martin that just because the administration in the White House has changed, “The commitment doesn’t stop.
“We also have to realize there are 18,000 police departments across the country––so when we talk about issues of police violence, brutality and criminal justice, the work that’s done at the local and state level is just, as if not more, important than what’s happening at the White House,” she said.
The Black activist believes African-Americans should “turn their attention to local races and who our Circuit Attorneys are and who our State Attorneys are and who we’re electing to our state legislatures and how we’re holding those people accountable, so we can mitigate the kind of pain we know Black folks will face under this presidency.”
Trump’s administration will most likely not greet Black activists at the White House with open arms, allow them access to proposed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or allow easy access to the President.
Packnett said, “The kind of bigotry that we’ve seen enter the White House will continue to require our resistance and so the strategy will look different, but the work will remain.”
While reluctant to divulge specific details of their modified strategy as to how Black activists plan on confronting bigotry, bias and police violence, Packnett reiterated the importance of focusing on local elections.
She did reveal: “So many decisions are made at fire and police board hearings and city council meetings, in the mayor’s office, at state legislatures and so ensuring that we are paying close attention to those” aspects of government will be important.
Activists will need to build “the kind of skill and capacity and people all across the country to hold those folks accountable to propose new solutions,” she continued.
In doing so, the various groups of African-American activists can “actually push for the kind of change we want to see in our neighborhoods at the state level and beyond.”
Watch Roland Martin, Brittany Packnett and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the path forward for Black America under a Trump presidential administration in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty