I never seen nothin’ like inauguration Friday. It was the biggest excitement I seen since I been here. To me it looked like Mardi Gras, except they wasn’t throwin’ beads or nothin’. There were so many people.
After I got to my selling spot, there was 10 or 12 members of the National Guard and other military. I thought they weren’t gonna let me work here because of the security and all the crowd. But then the national guard seen people speakin’ to me, shakin’ my hand. One downtown lady told the military guy that I was cool. “This is his spot, where he work every day,” she said.
The guards was tellin’ the usual folks who hang here — some of them homeless, some intoxicated — that they had to move; they couldn’t block the Metro.
I introduced myself to the military guy. I say, “Where you from?” And he say, “Texas.” I say, “You right next door. I’m from New Orleans.”
I told him I’m a writer. He say how can he get my book, and I tell him on Amazon. He introduced me to some of the other guards.
I was telling him my new lifestyle. That for 11 years I was homeless. That this is where I sell my book from and that I sell a homeless newspaper called Street Sense. I told him I been to prison here, and I live in a recovering house now. That I had a brother who was at Fort Hood.
The guard was a young guy — younger than me. Maybe 35.
He was tellin’ me how he liked D.C. But then he was tellin’ me it was funny how the military sent him here to protect the city for violence, but they didn’t let him have his weapon with him. He didn’t feel comfortable — but bein’ in the military they have so many techniques in how to bring it down if people get out of hand.
As we was talking we seen a lot of guys in black masks pass. They was waving a black-and-white flag. The guard tell the other military guys, “Hey look at this.”
He say, “I wonder who they is.”
I say, “It look like they anonymous. They look like they White underneath there.”
After that we seen this guy walkin’ in the middle of the street with a microphone, protestin’ and sayin’ Trump was a pedophile and that Trump bragged about it. He was sayin’, “How can he run the country if he don’t wanna show his taxes?”
People was listenin’ to the guy and was clapping and yellin’, “Yeah, you speakin’ the truth!” The guy had a film crew with him.
Now to be honest, my point of view of the whole election: I hate to judge and be judged. When I was goin’ through my ups and downs, like when I went to court, I wanted a chance. Everyone deserves a chance.
Ain’t nothin’ we can do about it, nothin’ we can do to change what already happened. Whatever somebody do, it come back to them. Just like when I used to steal cars and then my scooter got stolen.
The way I look at Trump is he thinks he better than other people. I don’t like the way he speak out. I think he need to read more.
Other presidents show they taxes and everything. I wonder how he gonna change things. It should be more than getting back at people who was against him in the past. He ought to be breathing better now — helping people rather than look down on them.
What he wants from us is to think better of him. But I wonder how he can say how we should all come together as God’s children when he look at Black folk as different.
And then I say, what? He believe in God?! God don’t like people who don’t like other people. We can’t live in fear, try to move on.
Gerald Anderson is a vendor for Street Sense. He wrote a book called “Still Standing: How an Ex-Con Found Salvation in the Floodwaters of Katrina.” It’s available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.