Now What?

By Cara Anderson

IG: @carajojo

The fact that Donald Trump will be president is scary, but what’s even scarier is that everyone who voted for him has become validated in their hatred. Living with the threat of violence is not new for people of color, LGBTQ+ people, or women, but it seems that that threat is amplified now that Donald Trump is the president elect. Since he has been elected, countless people have been targeted for their race and religion. The hate crimes since Trump’s election have not been limited to red states. Election fueled hate crimes are happening right here, in beautiful, blue, California, where 61% of voters chose Hillary Clinton.

On Wednesday, November 9th, the day after the election, a Muslim SDSU student was accosted, robbed, and had her car stolen by two men. The men made comments about Donald Trump as president elect, as well as remarking about the Muslim community.

This incident is only one of many that has occurred since the election results shocked America. By now, I’m sure everyone understands what Trump meant with his slogan “Make America Great Again,” make America a place that is run by white men and all minorities are disenfranchised. For minorities, America was never really great, so why would anyone of a minority wish to revert to a previous version of America?

These hate crimes are perpetuated by the ideals that Donald Trump has wielded. Trump poses a direct threat to marginalized communities. Even if Trump can never successfully build his Mexican-American wall, even if Trump cannot ban all Muslims from the country, even if Trump can’t defund Planned Parenthood, his sentiments to do these things will put racist, homophobic, misogynistic people in motion. Trump’s racist, homophobic, misogynistic banter will continue to ignite the ignorant, radical, hate groups that will terrorize our marginalized citizens.

We all know that being racist, homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic is bad. Even still, there are so many instances where I hear or see hateful microaggressions being played off as a joke. My point is that these microaggressions, however small they may be, are not acceptable.  In the wake of the Presidential election, it’s more important than ever to be considerate to oppressed minorities. Not all ignorant bigots are a lost cause, and it’s more important than ever to check your friends when they are being racist, homophobic, or misogynistic. Your silence is validation. It may seem small, but letting people you know aware that they are not welcome to use hate speech around you may cause them to analyze their actions a bit further. Without speaking up, you are allowing people to feel comfortable being hateful. Speaking up is a preliminary step to making sure that violence is not inflicted on people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and women.

I truly felt, prior to this election, that our country was on it’s way to equality. It seems as though Donald Trump poses as a road block, a challenge that we must overcome. Oppressed communities have been banding together stronger than ever and utilizing social media to document their experiences. Corruption will be aired out. Despite the outcome of this election, I truly believe that people of color and people of the LGBTQ+ community will be granted the respect that they deserve.

I, like you, can’t sit around and feel discouraged, it’s imperative that we change what we can. America has so much potential to be great, and all hope is not lost. In order to see change, we must support each other. We must look for ways to dismantle the current system. We must work towards a stronger and more effective system that does not block minorities from the privileges that they have been denied. You can say Trump is “not my president” all you want, but he was elected. Look out for the safety of your friends and family, be an ally to those who are facing danger.