Clarence B. Jones, former adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and currently the Diversity Visiting Professor and Scholar at the University of San Francisco in California, shared his views on how Black America can survive and move forward during Donald Trump’s tenure as President of the United States.
Jones first offered a quote from A. Philip Randolph that says African-Americans “have no permanent friends or permanent enemies. Your ‘friend’ today could be your ‘enemy’ tomorrow; your ‘enemy’ today could be your ‘friend’ tomorrow. We only have permanent interests.”
Jones later explained that despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote and Trump securing enough electoral college votes to be elected as president, “We can either just talk and yell and scream, or we can get down to business and see what we can do about it practically.”
One of the practical measures Jones offered for Black America is organization, saying, “Power concedes nothing without a demand...You can’t complain, you have to go out and do the basic work of organization.”
As for an agenda for the African-American community during Trump’s presidency, Jones said Blacks must organize “block by block” and register voters.
According to Jones, the focus of the leaders of the Democratic Party and its “seats of power” have to change. Jones told Martin there needs to be a shift from the “Martha’s Vineyard, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York City base into a base that’s more broadly based nationally across our country.”
To young African-Americans Jones said, “If you want to have power, you have to work on a grassroots level to get it. You can vent your anger … if you want to make a change, you have to take the time to organize to make that change happen.”
Watch Roland Martin and Clarence B. Jones discuss the path forward for Black America during a Trump presidency in the video clip above.