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By Joe Goncalves
I am writing this on the ninth of November, 2016, a day which I don’t think many of us will ever forget.
Many today had to come to terms with the fact that Donald J Trump was elected as the next president of the United States of America, a reality many of us thought impossible. Nonetheless here we are. A man who has openly spoken on sexual harassing women, mocked the disabled, called for a ban of muslims, vilified entire cultures of immigrants and seemingly endless other disgusting acts has been elected as the man to lead the country.
The level of fear in the world today is staggering. Every social network on the internet today was flooded with American people’s concerns. Muslim mothers and fathers talked to their kids about no longer wearing their hijabs, out of fear that they will be attacked or harassed for doing so. Parents are telling their daughters to look over their shoulders a little more carefully today. The black community is concerned that police will be even more violent than they’ve already been.
I saw on Twitter the story of a man who spoke to his aunt, who was a Holocaust survivor, and in tears she said to him, “I never thought I’d have to see another man like this come into power.”
These are the stories that have broken my heart today.
Everyone is afraid, and in many cases, rightfully so.
So where does that leave us?
What are we to do with a man in power that so many of us despise?
We’ve heard everybody making jokes about “moving to Canada” or leaving the country, while some are making those claims more tangible. Canada’s immigration website crashed today due to overcrowded servers, because that’s how disastrous and dangerous America feels this man is.
Maybe some of you don’t feel this way, and think that his hate speech won’t affect you. We live in a fairly liberal state, and it’s very possible you won’t have to deal with the hate that many others do. Perhaps you won’t, but others will.
The gay couple whose neighbors vilify them because they’re the only gay couple in town will have to deal with it. The Muslim family in an all white neighborhood will have to deal with it. The black family who has already been harassed by police officers repeatedly is going to have to deal with it. The list goes on. So I understand why so many people want to leave, and want to run away from the plague of hate that Trump has reawoken.
If you’d let me, I’d like to propose another option.
Many here think this is the end, but on the contrary, things have just begun. The fight for the rights of minority groups, of LGBT groups, of immigrants, for everyone, begins today. It begins with every single one of you. To bow your head in sadness and disappointment, or to flee your homes, is to give in to hatred, and we, as people, are better than that. When I say “we as people,” I speak on behalf of all people, not just the American people. We as human beings are better than that. We cannot give in to hate, bigotry, and fear. Human beings are powerful and adaptable, and like we have done through the course of human history, we will continue to push up against the heel that attempts to stomp us out.
If you find yourself today thinking that you are alone, if you say to yourself, “What can I, just one lone person do?” I beg you to reconsider, because you are never alone. For every hateful mind there are more who will stand against it. There will always be good souls here to stand with you.
Your fight may not be my fight, but we will stand with you as brothers, sisters, parents and kin.
However you feel you should stand against this hatred, with your words, with your protest, with your social media posts, do it. Vote in your local elections. Vote for your congressmen and congresswomen. Write to your officials. Do not be intimidated into stagnancy. There will always be those who stand with you.
If you want to stand against this resurgence of hate, I implore you to make your voice heard. With a unity of hearts and minds, we can send a very simple message to Donald Trump:
This may be my country, but you will NEVER be my president.
Disclaimer: This is a blog post in which an opinion is established. We encourage our readers to reach their own conclusions based on reading several articles that support and refute an opinion. The opinions established in this article do not represent the beliefs or ideals held by the Stony Brook Independent.