Unless you truly live under a rock, you probably know by now that Donald Trump is the president-elect of the US. In fact, you are probably sick and tired of hearing that Donald Trump is the president-elect of the US. This news seems to follow you no matter where you go—every news site ever, your Facebook feed, your lunch table, your classroom or workplace—like that piece of toilet paper that sticks to your shoe and trails you everywhere you go until you physically extricate it.
Some, especially at SIS, despair at the news in varying degrees (disappointment, resignation, shock, rage, tears) while others, hello conservative red states of the Midwest and South, celebrate their successful “revolution.” And as there always seems to be wherever there are two majorly differing opinions, there are those in the middle ground—sure, it is a little disappointing that someone like Trump got elected as president, but we need to suck it up and deal with the fact that he will be our next president. After all, it is not going to be that bad, and most people probably will not get affected directly anyway, right?
As our president-elect put ever so eloquently, WRONG. The biggest problem, other than the obvious ones about Trump’s alleged future policies such as building a wall or forcing deportation, is the ideas that Trump has put forward, and the enormous following that those ideas got. To put it simply, the problem is the condonation of racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, islamophobic, and homophobic behavior demonstrated in Trump’s language and actions.
Already, not even a month after Trump’s election, the number of hate crimes and blatant white supremacist behavior has skyrocketed. According to released FBI statistics, hate crimes against Muslims in the US rose 67 percent in 2015. White students in DeWitt, Michigan “formed a physical wall of students to block Latino kids from entering the school,” a female student at San Jose State University had her hijab ripped off by a white male, a USPS worker of Hispanic descent in Cambridge, Massachusetts was told to “go back to [his] country” by a white male, five high school students attending Arlington High school were arrested in connection with racist and anti-transgender graffiti, and “colored” and “whites only” hand-written signs were posted above two water fountains at a First Coast High school. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The fact that Trump won the election sends out a strong message: a “majority” of people living in the US can stand behind a potential president who called Mexicans “rapists,” said to grab women by certain explicit body parts, ordered a wall to be built around the US, and stated that all Muslims needed to carry identification around with them, and a potential vice president who called for electroshock therapy to “cure” homosexuality.
Saying that Trump probably won’t be that bad, or claiming that judgment and protests need to be held off until his actual presidency and the policies he presents, blatantly disregards the increasing discrimination and fear that people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals—basically anyone outside Trump’s circle of followers—are experiencing. Stop saying that we need to blindly accept and move on with president-elect Trump. It sounds inconsiderate and almost racist.