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Jamaica wary of Trump election

State Sen. James Sanders, Comri and Oster Bryan paneled a discussion on Saturday to address the community on the defeat of HIllary Clinton.
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The black community in Jamaica engaged in a meeting Saturday with elected officials and activists to discuss their feelings after the presidential election, which dismayed many who expressed not only apprehension toward the prospect of a Donald Trump administration, but also disillusionment toward the Democratic Party.

State Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) hosted the meeting at the Black Spectrum Theatre at 177 Baisley Blvd. with fellow state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), Rev. Johnnie Green and Oster Bryan, vice president of CommUnity 1st, as panelists. They addressed the concerns raised by the Trump victory and the next step toward protecting the black community against possible disadvantages they might face.

Many agreed that whatever ensues the responsibility is in the hands of the community and their elected officials to organize and look out for the best interests of the black community as opposed to depending on the system at large for support and representation.

“I think a vote for Trump is a fundamental misunderstanding of who Trump is and what he represents,” Sanders said. “Trump is such a danger to America as a whole and to black people, in particular. If you were going to cast a protest vote, you could have gone with Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, but when you are voting for a person who says he has a noose for you, then you’re voting for the noose.”

Bryan explained that when he went to the polls Nov. 8, he had watched as reader machines malfunctioned and expressed doubts as to whether neighborhoods of Little Neck and Douglaston experienced the same issues, which he viewed as direct negligence of black communities. At the critical moment, he decided he would cast a protest vote for Trump.

“We’ve been voting Democrat for over 50 years, but our voting machines don’t work on Election Day. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” said Bryan. “I just had a moment of clarity as I was filling out that sheet, and I decided, let me make a protest at this point, and so I voted for Trump.”

Bryan was not alone in the meeting to admit to having voted for the Republican nominee, and several others at the meeting of about 80 spoke up about casting a ballot for Trump because of disillusionment with the Democratic Party.

According to Bryan, racism is more than antagonizing behavior, it is a system of oppression, which he sees defined more by the Democratic Party’s neglect of minorities rather than the rhetoric adopted by Trump during his campaign.

Green thought the success of Trump was largely the result of dysfunction within the Democratic Party, which was put on display during the primary election when Clinton was nominated over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“There was a lot of backlash from the black community,” Green said. “She did not get the black support she hoped to get. How could she even desire the black support when this is the same woman who called us superpredators? “

“This is the same woman who supported the laws that her husband had passed that incarcerated an unprecedented number of African-American men and women, and many of them are still incarcerated today. So I’m sorry, we have to live with Donald Trump for at least the next four years because the chickens have come home to roost in our own backyard.”

In 1996, Clinton spoke in support of Bill Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement bill that took aimed at youth who are recruited into gangs at an early age and the conditions that promote gang violence. The controversial bill stepped up law enforcement and discouraged gang violence through community policing. She referred to youths who are conditioned for gang life early on as “superpreda­tors.”

Regardless of disagreements from the attendees, the consensus of the meeting settled on the view that community action is the first response to the uncertainty of a Trump presidency.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Wow, you mean there was actually some sense coming out of the Jamaica community, where some folks were finally seeing reality and the light with Democrats who have seemed to not only forget about the working class people, but communities of color.

In the article above:

Many agreed that whatever ensues the responsibility is in the hands of the community and their elected officials to organize and look out for the best interests of the black community as opposed to depending on the system at large for support and representation. According to Oster Bryan, vice president of CommUnity 1st, racism is more than antagonizing behavior, it is a system of oppression, which he sees defined more by the Democratic Party’s neglect of minorities rather than the rhetoric adopted by Trump during his campaign.

THANK YOU Oster Bryan for being brave enough to speak the TRUTH in this community about the Democratic Party. Ironic that black Democratic elected officials like do nothing lifer Leroy Comrie, who is part of the oppression in this community and other Jamaica elected officials, sat on this panel. Comrie and past & present Jamaica elected officials have been a poor voice for this community, standing by, watching it deteriorate for years and decades while doing very little except big talk (and sometimes not even that) with little action. They have not been the proper voice for this community and do not have the best interests of it’s people who they swore to serve AND that include the numerous so-called religious leaders like Floyd Flake.

But one thing Oster, your protest vote (and that goes for all those who did a “protest vote”), this election really only had two people who stood a chance of winning, the third party candidates were just waste. So knowing that your only choice was a smart, intelligent woman respected throughout the world who knew how government worked and an egotistical, racist spouting, not too bright thin skinned “whinny little ——” with visions of being emperor of the free world and knows not a damn thing about how government works and could set this country back to the dark ages, HOW IN THE HELL could you vote for Trump or any of the losing third party candidates. It certainly is your right, but I just don’t get it. AND our country could pay heavily for that. In this contest between so-so and plain bad, where so much was at stake more than any other election in history, now was not the time for a “protest vote”, common sense should have prevailed (even though I totally get where you are coming from).

BUT at least I am finally seeing some people in the Jamaica community actually waking up to TRUTH & REALITY about our Democratic elected officials, which many of the local Jamaica ones are part of the BIG PROBLEM. Neither party has a mandate of irresponsibility, they both are at fault, the DEMOCRATS tend to do it with intelligent speak and a smile.
Nov. 18, 2016, 5:46 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Obama did nothing for anyone , especially black people . He is a complete failure in every sense of the word. Racial divisions have grown under his watch. He is a racist! He is a leader of the abortion holocaust against black babies. Any black leader who supported Obama or the closet lesbian Clinton was/is an idiot. Matybe Trump will improve Downtown Jamaice afer 50 yrs of democratic failures!
Nov. 18, 2016, 6:21 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Lou from Bayside, you obviously have had a brain injury or you are just a complete and utter A-HOLE!
Nov. 18, 2016, 8:54 am
not the point from Queens says:
All the rhetoric above while boring does not address the actual problem with the article. The problem is that Jamaica is made up of individuals and nobody is authorized to speak for them as if they only have one opinion. That is just insulting and discriminatory and just plain stupid. Note to Joe - one of my HS English teachers taught us to summarize books in one paragraph. Too bad you were not in the class.
Nov. 18, 2016, 11:37 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
To NOT THE POINT:

First we are not in a high school English class and just because that teacher stated summarize a book in one paragraph, that does not mean that is a rule or how it should be done.

Second, this is not "rhetoric" but what is pretty much going on in this community with elected officials and there is nothing insulting or discriminatory about my statement.

Actually your comment is totally irrelevant to the topic as brain dead Lou from Bayside, so go back to English class.
Nov. 18, 2016, 12:34 pm
Unruly Fox from Jamaica says:
Blessings Joe...
Nov. 19, 2016, 1:04 pm

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