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As election night progressed and Hillary Clinton’s hopes of becoming the first woman president faded, despairing Americans conceded that the thing they didn’t think possible was indeed happening. In a nail biter of a presidential contest, and a bizarre concession process, Trump won a surprising victory over Clinton, the political veteran who all polls predicted to win the 2016 presidential election.

In the end, Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and vitriolic speech convinced a majority percent of American voters to take a chance for the next four years and the foreseeable future and put theirs — and the nation’s — fate in the hands of the controversial real estate mogul from New York.

Devoid of any political or military experience, Trump’s hair-raising campaign promises of deporting 11 million immigrants, denying entry to the country and access to the American dream based on religious beliefs, and building a wall to protect the U.S. border from Mexico proved to be the political fodder that millions of

American find reasonable, whether those policies are constitutional or not. In addition, Trump has pledged to take away health care coverage from 20 million people, with no actual plan to replace it.

The record numbers of newly registered voters, including Millenials and Latinos as well as African Americans, traditionally considered the disenfranchised, was no match for the unprecedented numbers of voters in rural areas who believe that a Trump presidency would be good for the economy.

And while the overwhelming majority of political polls indicated Clinton had more than a 98 percent chance of becoming the nation’s next president, with her receiving receive 323 electoral votes and Donald Trump only garnering 215, major battleground states that included North Carolina, Florida and Ohio, went to Trump, while Clinton picked up Nevada and won a slim victory in Pennsylvania. Michigan, which became a critical holdout state during the course of the vote tally, kept the candidates neck and neck, while the late count from Wayne County and Detroit gave Clinton a much needed win in the 11th hour.

In a national poll of African American voters conducted by the National Newspaper Publishers Association and Howard University, and released just days before the 2016 presidential election, pollsters found that more than 90 percent of registered black voters across the nation declared their intentions early on to vote for Clinton.

Trump and Clinton, both candidates from New York, organized campaign victory parties at venues only a block and a half from each other.

In Michigan, the race remained close throughout election night, as the state and the country hung on awaiting the results from Detroit to decide the outcome of the race. Both candidates visited Detroit and Michigan just a day before the election.

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement on Donald Trump’s speech in Sterling Heights, where he said “the unions love me.”

“Michigan union members love Donald Trump about as much as they love getting a root canal without any Novocaine. The truth is, Trump has spent his entire life screwing over working people. He makes his clothes in China and Mexico. He said wages are too high. And he said outsourcing creates jobs. In every way imaginable, Donald Trump would be a disaster for Michigan’s working families. That’s why every major union in Michigan endorsed Hillary Clinton.”

But in the spirit of camaraderie and in the interest of national unification for a shaken nation the Thurgood Marshall College Fund issued the following statement:

“The Thurgood Marshall Foundation congratulates President-elect Donald J. Trump on his historic election as the 45th President of the United States of America.  As a non-partisan higher education non-profit organization advocating for the nation’s publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities, we work to ensure that HBCUs remain part of the political conversation. 

“We are hopeful that the incoming Trump Administration will continue to engage with TMCF and the HBCU community to find positive solutions and solve important issues such as student loan debt and tuition costs. TMCF stands ready to serve as a resource to the Administration and work as a partner to strengthen the nation’s higher education sector and HBCUs. We look forward to having a productive and substantive working relationship on behalf of our member schools with President-elect Trump, Vice President-elect Pence, as well as the entire Administration,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., TMCF president and CEO.

“Although the outcome was unexpected, we must continue to work for the residents of Wayne County.  My hope is that President Elect Trump will be more inclusive in how he governs than his campaign rhetoric. Now, more than ever, we need an open-minded president that unites this nation and is ready to work with us to tackle the challenges our community faces.  As we move beyond this election, Wayne County and Detroit will continue to partner with the federal government to build on the resurgence of Detroit and this Region,”Wayne County executive Warren Evans said in a speech.

One can only hope.

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