Well, it happened.
After a painstakingly long election season, Donald Trump was elected president. His run for the office was considered to be a cry for publicity or a joke by many. No one’s laughing now. This is actually happening. The man who called Mexicans “rapists,” who bragged about sexually assaulting women, and who was endorsed by the KKK (and refused to reply) was elected to the highest office in our country. It’s safe to say that I was dejected after hearing the results, as my mini Twitter outburst from election night shows.
I was excited to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton, who would have not only been the first female president but was one of the most qualified candidates to run for the position in the history of the country.
My excitement was soon turned into shock and disappointment. I felt personally offended when Trump won. Clinton’s loss could be attributed to numerous factors. Some of those reasons included people not voting for her because she is a woman and people voting for Trump because of his racist ideologies. As a woman of color, thinking that Clinton’s loss because of those reasonings made me ill. I thought that the country had moved past the ignorant rhetoric that Trump used. When he won, I found out how wrong I was. That may have been one of the hardest parts to handle.
Almost everyone that I spoke to after Tuesday night was equally torn up about the outcome. Maybe it’s because I attend New York University (or NYU), an extremely liberal college within the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the world, but everyone around me reflected my own sorrow. Everyone was in a daze and everything seemed to move so slow that it was as if the whole city was wading through Trump’s self-tanner. I could barely manage to venture into the outside world and face everyone who had either let me down or joined me in that heavy sadness.
Even on campus, a similar sentiment was shared by many. A couple of my professors commented on the election in depressed tones before trying to make the mood lighter by switching to a relevant academic topic. One of my professors even excused any absences from the class (which met on the day after the election), an anomaly in a class with mandatory attendance. The professor understood the extenuating circumstances and how hard it would be for some, like myself, to face the world after such a devastating loss. I obliged in the absence, not having the energy or the strength to attend class.
Some have been taking out their frustrations over having Trump as our next leader. Protests against the reality star have yet to stop since the night of his rise to the highest office in the country. They have broken out on campuses around the country. Over 100 colleges participated in a walkout in order to protest Trump and his policies that could affect undocumented students on campus.
I participated in the walkout and peaceful protest on my campus, something that I have never done before. This situation is too abnormal and potentially too dire for many Americans for me to be silent. Trump has threatened to deport millions of immigrants (many of whom have been in this country for years), to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and to repeal Obamacare without replacing it with another healthcare solution. These decisions would have damaging affects on people. The reality that many Americans could be persecuted for who they are and denied basic freedoms is simply a hard reality to come to terms with.
After Donald Trump made his victory speech, I was… hesitantly hopeful that everything wouldn’t turn out horrible. He displayed a sense of class that had been missing during his entire run for the presidency. I soon remembered everything that Trump has done and said and that brief moment of hope subsided. What he did before winning the election shouldn’t be ignored. Trump and this continued circus that he has set up shouldn’t be treated as normal after everything that’s happened and that’s continuing to happen. As seen in the video below, protesters have commonly been shouting “Donald Trump has got to go.” People are not okay with Trump and everything that he’s done to get himself the presidency, and with good reason.
It didn’t take long for Trump and his camp to reaffirm my decision against hope for his tenure in office. Team Trump recently appointed Steve Bannon, a well-known anti-Semite and misogynist who oversaw the site Breitbart (a site which redefines ignorant with every article they spew out), as their chief strategist. It’s absolutely disgusting that someone like this has such close ties to the presidential office.
The awfulness hasn’t stopped there.
A Trump surrogate recently cited Japanese internment camps that the United States used during World War II as a “precedent” for a registry system targeting Muslim immigrants. I don’t even know where to begin to say how wrong this is. It’s comments like these that have made many in this country scared to simply exist. How is it alright to be under the leadership of someone who has so clearly made known his racism, sexism, and general ignorance? Trump claimed in his victory speech that he would be a president for “all Americans,” but these actions and comments so soon into his status as President-elect aren’t a great sign.
It may have happened, but one thing has not happened. Respect. Donald Trump doesn’t deserve my respect, he hasn’t done anything to earn it. I’m not too sure he ever will.