I write this on November 2nd, less than a week before the presidential election. I choose to write this now for multiple reasons: 1) it’s becoming pretty clear who the next POTUS will be, and 2) I’m honestly afraid of what the consequences will be.
This evening in my Facebook Newsfeed, towards the bottom of the trending bar, was the label “Black Church Burned” (The Atlantic, 2016). Immediately I felt my stomach sink, and when I clicked on the link to learn more, I came across an Atlantic article that explained a Black church in Mississippi was devastatingly burned and vandalized with the words “VOTE TRUMP” on the side of the building. The headlines are upsetting, but the pictures are simply nauseating.
Before I get into my thoughts on this event, I’d like to first address that of any movement, whether progressive or not, I think there are extremists. There are individuals that do things out of the norm and go significantly farther than average members of the movement would agree with. Sometimes, these acts can be violent, and/or done by individuals with a mental disorder, or a whole host of unrelated issues. But, in the end, that movement informed their actions, and that needs to be considered. I do not know why this person did this, nor am I offering an excuse for this person – their actions should be outright condemned. However I think it is important, when we analyze this, to leave potential room for outliers/external factors.
The fact that this incident was done in the name of Trump speaks volumes about what Trump’s campaign has done. It has brought up a whole host of underlying feelings in America that are shocking and sickening to see. Videos of his rallies, shirts and Internet posts made by his supporters, political commentators on the news, other acts of vandalism and hate…there is overwhelming evidence that the most avid of Trump supporters are extremely angry at the current state of American politics. When considering all this evidence, all of this hate and anger, this incident may not be the case of an outlier. This person or group was informed by Trump’s politics, a presidential candidate. And that is scary to say.
What will be the consequences of this election? All of the political scientists who have visited our school this election season have all stated that they are not surprised that this has happened, and that Trump-ism is not going away any time soon. In fact, xenophobia and anti-establishment rhetoric appears to be a global phenomenon.
I think unfortunately, discrimination, fear, prejudice, and hate will continue for a while in American politics. What is terrifying to see though are acts of violence committed against marginalized communities that mimic the Jim Crow era. It makes all of us question, how far have we really come?
What do you think will happen post-election? How advanced are we from the Jim Crow era? What does “Make America Great Again” even mean?
1 thought on “Trump-isms: What’s Next?”
Now that we are post-election, we actually have some evidence of how it’s affected our nation, and some people’s reactions are nothing short of horrifying. The KKK is alive and well, victory marching through the streets after Trumps win, and there has been an outbreak of hateful crimes from his supporters (graffiti tagging of swastikas, the N word, etc. in public places and on people’s personal possessions, Muslim women having their hijabs ripped off, assaults and robberies, etc.). I don’t think I’ve ever felt more unrest or fear in our country than I do now (honestly I remember 9/11 but I don’t think it impacted me as much because I was too young to really process it), and the one thing that really has been getting to me, is people saying “I don’t get why everyone is so afraid, he really doesn’t have that much power,” or “give him a chance, it probably won’t be that bad,” or “everyone is so upset about this election, I hate how people get so worked up over politics,” mind you all of these people have been White. No, he doesn’t have a whole lot of power, but that isn’t what I’m afraid of; it’s the fact that his campaign and victory have attracted a certain demographic of people who now believe it is okay for their White Supremacist sentiment to resurface, and yes it is politics but the politics were VERY personal this time. Everyone who is afraid has every right to be afraid, because it feels like we’ve taken 20 steps back as a country, and all the things the people of the past have fought so hard to overcome are reemerging in a big (and terrifying) way. While all of this is very scary, I can honestly say that I still have a lot of hope. The sheer amount of people I have seen protesting, supporting people of color, the stories I have heard(nearly 300 students walking a girl from Baylor University to class after being called the N word), all give me hope. Love always trumps hate, and in the midst of everything I have seen so much love being spread to people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities, etc. It warms my heart to see that so many people are not willing to sit idly by, and no matter what happens we will show solidarity with underrepresented communities.
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