Election Environment

Students marching in the student walkout on November 14th, 2016.

The much anticipated election of 2016 has come to a close with the elect candidate being Donald Trump. The wait for this decision has been a tense, stressful, and frightening one for many residing in our country. The theme of this election that most are familiar with was the phrase, “picking the lesser of two evils,” and while that meant Trump for some, it meant Hillary for others. While Hillary won the vote of large voting states such as California and New York, Trump pulled through with the win. And now we ask what this all means.

Donald Trump, in the eyes of many, is racist, misogynistic, fascist, homophobic, and more; for others, Donald Trump is a symbol of power that could be reached even when you follow the previously mentioned agendas. Whether Trump was being dramatic in his campaigning and simply putting on a show as some may speculate, he represented many discriminatory beliefs. Now, in his new stature of power, it is understood that you can make the discriminatory comments which he has, act upon the things in which he’s done, and participate in such ignorant beliefs and get away with it!

In the small amount of time since his election, acts of violence have occurred based on race, sexuality, gender, and religion. People feel a sense of entitlement, confidence in their ability to harass. Within 24 hours of the election, KKK members were seen marching and celebrating. People are afraid to be who they are now, to embrace their culture or sexuality or being, in fear that they could be verbally or physically harassed.  A country founded on diversity and unity has become divided on the terms of negativity and hate.

While this negativity occurs, those who don’t support such ideals have taken to the streets. Much like in the 1950s and 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement, people have taken to initiating and participating in peaceful protests. Marches have taken place, media trends, and walk outs all around our country, with the understanding that it will not change our president but that it will raise awareness to the injustice that has began to occur on account of the election as well as making people feel safe in their environment. Furthermore, these likes have reached our community.

Students captured marching on November 15, 2016.

Students captured marching on November 14, 2016.

Immediately following the results of the election, a post began circulating the Internet encouraging all high school students to participate in a walkout at 1:30 P.M., Monday the 14th of November. This form of peaceful protest was encouraged by staff at schools like Casa Grande, but discouraged by staff on our campus of Rancho Cotate, students being told to take it off campus if they wished to participate. A mass of students from Credo could be seen marching down Southwest Bvd. holding up signs and chanting, and a number of our school’s students ran to join, while many other students simply resided as bystanders, heads seen peeking out of many classroom doors. This is just a minor account of the protests that have taken place nationwide.

While there is no further discussion of upcoming school walkouts, peaceful protests and marches will predictably continue for weeks to come. It is important to raise your voice and stand up for what is right and to recognize the injustice in which minorities are facing, simultaneously being safe and respectful of our community. The election and the elected will be a buzzing topic of conversation in media, households, workplaces, and schools, and hopefully this will educate many on our current environment caused by the election.  It’s not the Trump who is committing acts of violence based on hate, it’s members of our community; we must not conform to such ideals and beliefs. Stand up for what is right, help out those who need it, be respectful, peaceful, and safe.

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