Apparently last Thursday was not just another Thursday for a young girl behind the counter in a Dallas coffee shop.

Her smile was wide and beautiful, but her voice hinted at something hidden behind her metallic barista nametag.

“How are you doing today?” I asked as she began pouring my coffee.

“Well, OK, I guess,” she said. Hesitation punctuated her words. “Actually, I’m nervous.” Her confession surprised even her.

“About what?”

“We get a new president tomorrow, and I’m not sure what is going to happen.”

Turns out she is a college student who also happens to be an African-American, worried about what the new administration might mean for America.

“I’m worried about things changing back,” she said.

She began sharing with me what friends and family were telling her about how the world would be changing with Donald Trump in the White House. She was nervous and concerned that the days of prejudice and ugliness would return.

Inside I hurt for the college student and I found myself wanting to relieve the pain she was carrying around with her. But I also knew there was no way for me to accurately appreciate or recognize the fears she carried. With decades between us, our worlds are different. She is African-American, and I am not. Her future is before her; mine is approaching the home stretch.

She has been politically aware of one president for most of her lifetime. Trump will put me near a half dozen. I also know Trump will be the 45th president and another will follow.

“Remember, there are over 300 million of us versus one in this equation,” I said, hoping to offer her something to hold onto. “Most of us in this nation are good people who are never going to let our country go backward to the very things you are worrying about. We simply won’t stand for it.”

I know the words I shared with her are true but also carry the heavy burden of others getting productively engaged if this thing gets off the tracks. We, as a nation, owe it to this young woman and others to not passively sit by while a government — regardless of who sits in power — attempts to reshape or attack the rights of others. I know I will not.

The barista looked up and offered me a broken smile.

“I hope so,” she said, her words trailing softy off.

I wanted to giver her a hug. I then told her while the world does contain a number of people who are truly ugly and cruel, the vast majority of Americans are good people. And those of us who know how far we’ve come to get where we are today will be damned if we let this nation go backward in regards to women’s rights and the basic freedoms extended to all regardless of race, creed or color.

And for the next four years I will be working to keep my word to the young college student.

President & Publisher of The Galveston County Daily News.

(11) comments

Jack Reeves

Seriously? This really doesn't even deserve a comment other than to label it as sensationalism. Get over yourself. I'm Hispanic and I am insulted that you think that we minorities are that stupid.

Randy Chapman

Well, your comment can be read several ways. Care to clarify what you mean?

JD Arnold

I wonder who wrote this column.

Carlos Ponce

Leonard Woolsey wrote the column.

Carlos Ponce

Was the 2016 election under undo influence? Of course it was. But not so much from the Russians. The influence came from the Leftist media. They helped the DNC in demonizing Donald Trump to such an extent that some actually believe those obfuscations and down right lies the rest of us knew was just campaign rhetoric. Two months after the election we hear the same propaganda, and it's a FALSE narrative. "Precious Snowflakes" on college campuses had to be pampered following the election with comfort dogs, coloring books, counseling, etc. A word to you: GROW UP! GET INFORMED! But this time with truth. We even have a former COM professor posting a column repeating DNC and Liberal media LIES.
The media should report the news without bias. AP Fact Checks in this paper were GARBAGE, filled with biased propaganda. Save the personal commentary for the op-ed page.
About the "Pop Tarts", they're just entertainers, actors, singers. They are entitled to their opinion that that opinion is not Gospel and it's not worth more than the opinion of the average citizen.
A word to the "barista": Get over it. As the Beatles sung, "Life goes On". Or from the musical "Annie", "The Sun will come up Tomorrow".
Conservatives were equally troubled when Obama was elected but we did not take to the streets with profanity and trashing the country, Conservatives did their work electing LOCAL and statewide conservatives and setting up for an election win in the 2016 Presidential election. Conservatives did not throw a "hissy fit" as the Liberals are now doing.

George Croix

"...days of prejudice and ugliness would return

Return??
Been asleep?
They intensified for the last 8 years, thanks in no small part to the ex-POTUS incessant race baiting and vile BLM members and excuses/copycats.
From the near lunatic behavior displayed by too many 'protesters' since the election, it's getting worse.
If so scared, then stop supporting the people doing it, which includes any media that can't miss a chance to stir...stuff...based on phony fear and inuendo....
imho

Mike Meador

Woolsey.......[spam]

Jack Cross

Mr. Woolsey, yes, I understand your feeling about the young girl but I would think the real concern should be the adults who put this fear in these young people. Don't you understand that democrats want to de-legitimize Trump. They want and are promoting every thing from protest to destruction in the streets. George Soros pitched in $50 million in support of some of these protests. Does that concern you. The woman's march spread filth from the mouths of the speakers with children present, and this picture wen all over the world, what an embarrassment for our nations. College professors are no match for President Trump as they poison the mind of our youth. I see little concern from the press about this.
This college age young girl is the same age as other young women serving in the military in Afghanistan, why in the world is she crying about Trump. The president has met with many African American leaders, he wants to do something about the
tremendous loss of live in the Democrat run black cities. Your newpaper could do the African American community a far more service if you wroth about how the democrats have failed the African American community instead of crying about a young girl worried about Trump. You should have told the young girl that if she used her education and worked hard anyone can live a good happy life in America. When you shared her concern, you justified her worry and that was wrong.

Doyle Beard

Jack the reason you don't see real reporting is because they are in bed with this crowd
All the whiners, bellyachers, crybabies and complainers along with the news media and spinners should take a little advise from JFK's inagural speech.

Jack Reeves

I agree Doyle. The concept of "me" instead of "Us" is pervasive among this crowd.

Jack Cross

Colleges are making sissies out of the young men, teaching them to play down their masculinity. Professors cry academic freedom spewing out hate and hiding behind tenure. Freedom of speech ??? give me a break. Then someone invented political correctness that tells us what we can or can not say less you be called ugly names or your business targeted by the same people who cry freedom of speech. These same liberal professors lead the fight to ban conservative speakers and the ones who are allowed to speak are attacked. Them they are the "Safe Zones" where these spoiled protected brats can assemble to plot to save the world to their liberal vision. When these liberal masses protest, the ones who don't burn and destroy other people's property, leave behind tons of trash for taxpayers to deal with. Like him or not, Trump is carrying through with what he promised to do. The Wall, the immigration ban is nothing new. He promised to stop the killing of African Americans in the democratic run cities, isn't that a good thing. Why not write about that, Give him a chance and hold him accountable. He is concerned about education and failing schools. Money apparently is not the problem because we spend more than any other country. Why not write about that? Safety, education and jobs are what lift people out of poverty, these are all of Trumps goals but instead of concentrating on this, the editor of this newspaper is following the lead of the sorry national press and the democratic party by attacking the one man who gave up a life of luxury and put the safety of his family in danger as he tries to lift our nation out of the mess we are in. I was born during the depression, a teen in WWll and fought in Korea and I hardly recognize the county i was raised in and fought for. WWll soldiers who died for our freedom would be shocked to see what liberalism has done to our country.
I feel confident that my facts are pretty accurate and these are some of the reasons so many people voted for Trump and did not give a damn about his flaws.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.