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We are ‘Repairers of the Breach’

Repairers of the Breach means banding together, identifying those least among us in the next county, next state, or the next house Somehow, the improbable has happened. Despite an electoral deficit of nearly three million votes,

Repairers of the Breach means banding together, identifying those least among us in the next county, next state, or the next house

Somehow, the improbable has happened. Despite an electoral deficit of nearly three million votes, Donald Trump will soon be our next president. His words, including twitter tirades, actions, and his cabinet

Atty. Joe Richardson

selections provide insight as to what his presidency will look like.

Those hoping Trump would “drain the swamp” are not seeing such change. Instead, he has selected millionaires and billionaires to lead departments that they have often spoken against, sometimes advocating their destruction.

While Trump ran on creating good paying jobs, his appointees dealing with these issues are known for opposition to increasing the minimum wage. Those that truly seek and understand justice have every right to worry about Atty. General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, whose nomination for a judgeship 30 years ago was derailed by racist statements he allegedly said, and who was accused of prosecutorial misconduct while he was state attorney general. Trump’s reticence to delve into the details of his new job (he apparently takes only one high-level security briefing a week, while most of his predecessors took them daily) indicate he will rely on those around him disproportionately, and perhaps blindly.

It is our responsibility to respectfully question Mr. Trump and all of our leaders.  Admittedly, it is very convenient to attack Donald Trump — in fact, too convenient. In truth, and for better or for worse, the president-elect is largely the same person in word and tone that he was during the election. Often, during his campaign, he would say one thing and then say another.

The scripture says, “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness.” The chapter later says (paraphrasing) “then, you[the people] will be called the Repairer of the Breach.”

The fact of the matter is, we did this. We chose style over substance; we let fear undermine reason, and we believed someone that gave us no reason in his history or demonstrated tendencies to believe him, to the point where we gave him a job where his lack of preparation was overlooked, if not lauded as an asset. We elected him. But Trump is neither the problem nor the solution. He is not the repairer of the breach. We are. Trump was elected to represent America and we are America.  Therefore, we have to fix America and to continue to fix America.

So, just like the “winners” (pro-Trump) should not gloat, those that did not vote for Trump cannot seek to punish those that did, to say “I told you so” if things do not go well, but each “side” should seek to understand and find common ground. Repairing the breach is paying attention to suffering all around us, even if that suffering is by people we are not familiar with, or people we have feared or resented, be it before, during, or after the election. This will have us paying equal attention to the inner cities and to rural communities, to people of color and to the White working class, because “all of the above” will be important to all of us.

Repairing the breach is banding together, identifying the plight of those that are the least of us, in the next county, the next state, or in the next house, and making it our collective business to address that plight. Finally, repairing the breach is not letting politicians define for us what is important, but instead us defining it for them, and making our voices heard if they do not answer our call. Only if we choose to use politics as a means to the worthy end of upholding all of humanity in our country will we be Repairers of the Breach?

 

Joe Richardson, Esq. is a native son of South-Central Los Angeles, and an attorney practicing tort, contract, and labor, and employment law in Southern California for more than 15 years. He also teaches and speaks on legal issues.

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