Protests across America ensued after citizens found out who the country had chosen to be the next president of the United States. Citizens were not only outraged by the fact that Donald Trump won the electoral college vote, but were also furious at the fact that Hillary Clinton indeed won the popular vote. Now that the results have been returned and the 45th president has been determined, this nation must determine where to go from here.
Suggestions on how this country can continue to progress despite distaste over the newly elected President will be offered on Tuesday, Nov. 15th, at the Bank of America Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., preceded by a 6:30 reception with food and refreshments. Sponsored by the Morehouse College Journalism and Sports Program, a panel discussion entitled, “Election Reflection: Trump Won. Now What?” will examine this bizarre presidential election.
Not only will students leave more informed than they came, but as an added bonus, they will also receive Crown Forum credit for their attendance.
The director of the Journalism and Sports Program, Ron Thomas, said that hosting this event is important in order to examine the role of the media and the impact it may have had on the 2016 election.
“The media is such an important part of any presidential election,” Thomas said.
Given all of the bizarre antics American citizens witnessed over the course of the campaign season, Thomas said that determining the role of the media over the past year is difficult.
“Hillary Clinton spent far, far more money than Donald Trump, and part of Donald Trump’s strategy was generating publicity in the media, which was free, and it worked,” Thomas said. “In the beginning, the media loved him because he did something unique every day or said something controversial every day, and it filled their air space. But when you look back on it, was the media manipulated? Because by the end of the election he had made the media the enemy.”
Throughout the election, numerous media outlets hired people connected to one candidate or the other to be their commentators.
The next question Thomas proposed for the media was, “Did the media blur the line between journalism and becoming part of the politics themselves? I think networks in particular have to examine whether they should be hiring political surrogates from either party.”
To answer this question and many more, Thomas has recruited some prominent forces within the media industry to offer insight to these issues.
Political strategist Angela Rye was one of the most forceful voices among CNN comentators through the election campaign. Previously, she was executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University, has acquired extensive experience in the media through many appearances she has made on international, national, and local news outlets. She has offered commentary on CNN and MSNBC and garnered bylines in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Root for her editorial pieces.
“She really has a lot of expertise about polling, which as it turns out, I think is going to be fascinating since the pollsters were so wrong this year,” Thomas said.
Edward Mitchell, a 2009 graduate of the College, has also been invited to serve as a panelist for the evening. Mitchell served as editor-in-chief of The Maroon Tiger while enrolled here as well.
“He was editor in 2008 during the campaign when Obama was first named, and he was very tuned into that election season,” Thomas said. “The reason I invited him is because he is the executive director of the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA).”
CAIR-GA is comparable to the NAACP for Muslims. Therefore, Mitchell, a civil rights attorney, is more than qualified to speak about Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and how his proposed policies will affect not only Muslims across the world, but students here on this campus as well.
Morehouse Political Science and Philosophy Professor Illya Davis, a proud graduate, will also speak on the panel.
“I’ve heard him talk before about social issues particularly related to black people, and I find him to be extremely insightful,” Thomas said. “I like the fact that he’s a philosopher, and he’s also very popular with the student body here. … He’s on Brown Street talking to students all the time, so I wanted someone who I knew students would enjoy listening to. I think he’ll be a tremendous asset to the panel.”
Rose Scott, an award-winning journalist and co-host of WABE-FM 90.1’s “A Closer Look,” will serve as the moderator for the evening. Scott has also worked for CNN, BET and NPR.
Attendees can expect one of the topics to be Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump invited to hack into Clinton’s e-mail. With his expertise on international affairs, Morehouse Political Science Professor Levar Smith can be expected to bring insight into the Trump-Putin relationship.
Another likely topic would be Trump’s impact on the Supreme Court, the conservative nominee he likely will name to replace deceased Justice Anthony Scalia, and the impact a conservative leaning bench could have on Roe v. Wade and legislation passed during President Obama’s administration.
An examination of post-election race relations surely will occur. With all of the racism revealed during the campaign, it is possible that minority communities may lose legal protection at the hands of Trump.
To encourage students, faculty, and staff to attend the event, Thomas has these words to say: “Everyone is trying to figure out what happened and why, and I think [this program] will help them do that. As black people, we see ourselves in general as an ‘at-risk’ community, and the more informed we are, the healthier our futures will be.
“For students, you’re only 20, and you’re probably going to live to be 80. Particularly the Supreme Court nominees, those people could be influencing your life for the next 30 years, so I think it’s just important to understand what’s going on, how it’s going to impact your life especially as black people and members of the minority community.
Campus News Editor