On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama met in the Oval Office. While much of the country is still reeling from Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton — chants of "not my president" filling protests — Obama had a much different tone: one of unity.
"I believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face," Obama said.
But for many, seeing Obama shaking hands and being cordial with a man who so blatantly disrespected him over the years, the idea of working together did not sit well.
Over the years, Trump endlessly questioned Obama's citizenship, thus the legitimacy of his presidency. He was one of the drivers of the birther movement, and constantly sent dog-whistle messages to white supremacists.
"I've been told very recently, Anderson, that the birth certificate is missing. I've been told that it's not there or it doesn't exist. And if that's the case, it's a big problem." — Donald Trump, April 25, 2011
After years of racial attacks on the country's first black president, led in part by the new president-elect, black people are being told to "come together" and to "unite" for the common good of the country. But, where was that sentiment for the past eight years?
Trump's triumph is a clear indication to many that their calls for racial justice, true freedom to practice their religion without fear and policing reform have fallen on deaf ears — that a large swath of the nation finds their fears invalid and sees them simply as complaints.
Trump praised Obama — a man he said would go down as the worst president in history — after their meeting, calling him a "very good man." President-elect Trump seems to be trying to soften and refine his message, something we can only hope will translate over to some of his supporters.
We will have to wait and see.