Social Justice: Election 2016

How Did We Get Here and What do We do Now?

Hurelayn Abdu, Staff Writer

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – the day that we, as a nation, elected Donald Trump Jr., an unqualified, ignorant, and bigoted man, as our president. Granted he did not win the popular vote, but a large portion of the United States voted for him.

At first glance, it’s mind-boggling that this man won the election, but it really isn’t. Racism, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and every other form of bigotry you can think of have been hidden behind a curtain for decades. Trump’s campaign and his election have torn that curtain down. For the last few years, a wide array of people have said that discrimination no longer exists in the United States, but this election has silenced these voices.

Since Trump won the election, a rash of hate crimes has occurred and, overall, hate crimes are up nationally. Locally, four days after the election, the Episcopal Church of Our Savior, a Silver Spring church that has a largely Hispanic congregation and offers Spanish-language services, was vandalized.
Over the top of a banner that highlights the church’s Spanish-language services, vandals wrote, “Trump nation. Whites only.” The vandals wrote the same words on a brick wall in the memorial garden of the parish.

In Dewitt, Mississippi, students at Dewitt Junior High School formed a human wall to block Latino and other minority students from getting inside school, telling them to “go back to their country.” These incidents are baffling and, unfortunately, they are only the tip of the iceberg.
The whole election was exhausting. We listened, for months, to what essentially was hate speech and attacks on members of our communities by a man who is going to be the next president of our nation, the leader of the free world.

So, what do we do know? Do we just accept it and hope for the best? Do we refuse to acknowledge his presidency? Do we just wait and see?

The truth is many Americans, including me, do not know what to do. We are exhausted, and we do not know what is going to come of our country. Whether we like it or not, this is our country – our home – and what Trump and his administration do is going to affect us – for a very long time.
Since his election victory, the nation has spent countless hours having frank discussions about what it “means” and, truthfully, these discussions are also exhausting.

So, for a minute, let’s forget the politics and just think about what is right and what is wrong. Let’s think about what we should be doing as decent human beings. Let’s just put aside our political views,who we like or don’t like and think about what is right and what is wrong.

We have to figure out a way to accept that Trump is our next president, which doesn’t mean that we accept his beliefs and policies. This is America, sometimes your party loses and sometimes your party wins. However, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to like Donald Trump in order to accept his presidency. As President Obama said after the election, “the sun is still going to come out tomorrow.”
We can still voice our political views and be heard and we can be against Trump’s policies while continuing on with our daily lives.

We shouldn’t let this election consume our whole lives, but we also shouldn’t forget about it because we are at a critical point in history. What happens now does really matter. To do this, we have to work on coming together as a nation. We need to leave the hatred filled months of the presidential election in the past and work towards bettering our nation. This should be something that everyone can agree on.
We need to dismiss the hate that has come from Trump and his campaign and foster love and acceptance in our communities. After all, we have the U.S. Constitution and a system of checks and balances so, in the end, it can’t be that bad.

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