Trump Inauguration Felt like Funeral in New York City

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The New order--President Trump

[News Analysis]

For the first time in over 20-years I shut off my radio that was permanently tuned on the BBC, NPR or WNYC to avoid any news on Donald Trump yesterday.

Like the majority of Americans --more than 2.8 million more-- who voted for Hillary Clinton and who are still mourning the death of democracy and finding ways to cope with the reality of Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America, I decided to take the day off from any form of news consumption.

At 9:30 a.m. on Inauguration day the streets and the pulse of New York City gave the feeling of being in a different country compared to the amphitheatre in Washington DC where a huge crowd has gathered to witness the installation of President Trump. The turnout was much smaller compared to the one that showed up for Obama's swearing in.

It was a chilling feeling considering that Trump is a prominent New Yorker; yet no one seemed to be celebrating his elevation. His 5th Avenue Trump Tower neighbors were probably relieved that at least for one day, they would have a semblance of normalcy; the huge traffic show, the protesters and media, were in Washington DC.

Businesses around Trump Towers have complained about loss of revenue due to to the disruption caused by protesters and the army of security deployed to protect Trump and his family when he was the President Elect; perhaps respite for one day?

During my train ride from 135 Street on the IRT line to 42nd Street Times Square, the heart of New York City, things were unusually quiet. The atmosphere was the same on the train ride from 42nd Street to Park Slope and Barclay's Center in Brooklyn where I met my son for a latte at Starbucks before heading to our doctor’s appointment.

It felt like there was a secret state funeral in New York City where everyone was invited but all forbidden to talk about it.

At the doctor’s office, I joked with the nurse that the only people that came to work were Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders voters; all Trump supporters must have gone to the party in Washington DC. She chuckled and said “Right?"

When Barack Obama was elected president people celebrated for days in 2009.

The energy in New York City was infectious in 2009, on the trains and on the streets. In Washington DC, hundreds of thousands came from all over the world to witness and celebrate the election of the first African-American President.

I was there in Washington D.C. on that historic day in freezing temperature. It was one big carnival, with several blocks filled with hundreds of thousands of people jubilating.

Some shops gave out free coffees that dat. I checked into one and got a couple of cups to warm up my body and thaw my toes. It was an unforgettable moment in time that we’re not likely to experience again for a long time. Definitely not in my lifetime.

President Trump sends a chill down people’s spine, across the spectrum; white, Black, middle-class, working-class, immigrants, muslims, christians, gay, straight, women, the disabled.

There is no group that President Trump has not offended in his temperamental and uncouth outbursts on every subject. It is unfathomable how - a con-artist billionaire who has never declared his tax records let alone pay his fare share of taxes, who does not support a living-wage and tuition-free college, a racist, sexist and misogynist - qualifies as candidate in the first place let alone president.

The bar has been set so low and it’s a new dawn in America. So far President Trump hasn’t shown in words and action that he would represent the overwhelming population of Americans who did not vote for him.

Therein lies his greatest challenge. Up-to-date he speaks as if he’s still on the campaign trail, addressing only his base of supporters.

It goes without saying that President Trump first needs to unite Americans of all stripes before embarking on his vindictive mission to repeal President Obama’s legacy accomplishments, the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and building a wall to prevent Mexicans from entering United States.

He has collided with many with respect to his statements about Vladimir Putin and his apparent willingness to abolish the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

These are the issues he must deal with as he's working to "Make America Great Again.”

Bukola Shonuga is an independent journalist and a member of the U.S. Foreign Press. She’s the author of “Life in the African Diaspora,” a blog series that she’s compiling into a collection of short stories to be published by December 2017.

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