By: Emily Miller, Alicia Chirstine and Alicia Whavers
Yesterday, Donald Trump was sworn in as President. Today, millions of people march in protest.
This is real. This is reality. This is scary.
I’ve had a lot of issues processing this, and I know others have too. So I asked two of my friends, coincidentally both named Alicia, to talk about their feelings. Because we needed an outlet, and who better than the internet.
We want people to listen. We want to people to read and share. We want to start a conversation. Together we can get through this.
It’s time for good trouble.
The love and admiration I have for Hillary Clinton is matched in passion only by the sheer hatred I have for Donald Trump. I have been a very loud critic of his, and now that he won, I’ve been asked what will I do with my hatred? His supporters have argued that he is the sitting president, and no one should wish ill will towards him.
I am not actively rooting against him. I want more than anything that this man, and his tiny hands, prove me wrong. I want him to be the Best President in our country’s history. But I will not be silenced into complacency just because he is the President. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
He should be held to the highest standard in the world because he represents all of us. I will not sit back and allow him to continue tweeting and bullying individuals and entities. I will continue to fight, I will continue to point out when he is wrong and unjust, and I will not give him my respect simply because his office demands that of me. He needs to earn that from me first.
Still, I attempted a sign of good will towards him. I watched his Inauguration in the hopes that he would prove me wrong.
He said we should “Buy American. Hire American” when Trump Ties are still being produced in China.
He said over and over again, “America first” which goes against the ideas this country was founded on. “America first” was what politicians used as a rallying call to not intervene in WWII and help stop the Holocaust.
He dismissed and attacked Obama, a tactic usually exclusively reserved for campaign speeches.
He used a slew of negative words like “bleed,” “carnage,” “ripped,” “stealing,” “tombstones” and “trapped.” These words had never been used in an inauguration speech before.
What hit me the hardest was after his speech David Duke tweeted, “We did it! Congratulations Donald J. Trump President of the United States of America!”
It was the “we” that got me. David Duke was the President of the KKK, a white supremacist, and most despicable of all, a Holocaust denier.
And he said we did it.
I swear, I really tried to like Trump. It’s not my fault he already made a mockery of his job and our country in the first twenty minutes of office. -Emily Miller
Last week I started reading the March trilogy by John Lewis. In the first book, Lewis mentioned Dr. King’s commitment to the “social gospel”; that the message and principles of Christianity (i.e “the gospel”) should be applied to social justice. The message of Christianity is that no matter who you are, what you have done, where you live, what color skin you have, what your gender is, where you are, that Jesus loves you. Dr. King took this message of love as well as the countless teachings of Christ and applied it to the world around him. Because I believe in Jesus, I already believed in “the social gospel” but something about reading the term and effect of “the social gospel” a week before the inauguration was encouraging to me. It was so inspiring, in fact, that I was shaking.
So when I read Trump’s insults of John Lewis last week, you’ll understand why I was both angry, afraid and discouraged. To say such blatantly incorrect, insulting comments about a Civil Rights leader on the eve of Dr.King’s birthday was freaking surreal. Doing this speaks volumes on Trump’s preparedness to lead a nation, his knowledge of history, his approach to race relations, and his character. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the only time I’ve thought “this speaks volumes…” when it comes to Trump. The timing of it all just stung me. I was so angry, in fact, that I was shaking.
Today, I woke up and remembered what was happening today. I felt dread and sadness. There’s not one ounce of me that has any excitement or patriotism today. I have not clicked on any articles or watched any coverage because I refuse to contribute to those ratings. I haven’t spent a lot of time on social media because it feels like everyone is fighting again. If the past two years are any indicator of Trump’s presidency, I am going to be angry, discouraged, shocked, and afraid many times in the next four years.
But I’m not despairing. The peace, hope, forgiveness and love that I find in the “gospel” portion of the “social gospel” counteracts my fear and discouragement and turns it into hope, motivation and empathy. I’m ready to take those counteractions and put them into action. I am not despairing. I am not despairing because of the following truth that I feel like we will all need to remember for the next four years:
“Mercy triumphs over judgement.”-James 2:4b. -Alicia Christine
On January 20th 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated. I keep thinking “what does this mean”? No, honestly! What does this mean? Yes, everyone is up in arms about our future now that he is president. What will happen to health care? Social Security? Will the minimum wage rise? What about the state of our international relations? What is our relationship status with Russia? Friends? In a relationship? It’s complicated?! Is Taiwan our new side chick?
Everyone is talking about our future. That is the tag line on all the “Trump-Watch” footage. But what does this mean for us now? What does it mean that we allowed this man to attain such a state of power, that he is now our leader? I know, I know. I’m asking a lot of questions, but these questions need to be asked, and no one seems to want to provide the answers. Because we cannot talk about our future if we refuse to evaluate our present. And until we have the ability to travel into the future, we have to focus on the present (well, if we did travel to the future it would no longer be the future but the present…but it is the future of what we now call the present…so is the future only future because we are presently present…I’m going down a rabbit hole here).
Back to the present! Let’s evaluate our present, and do what the Baby Boomers seem to think Millennials do best: judge. Here’s a list of all of the things that I have learned about Trump as a person. Subjective? Yes. Factual? Definitely.
What I know about Donald Trump
1) He mocked a disabled reporter
2) He does not mind grabbing a woman by her genitals
3) He has referred to minorities in some of the most derogatory expressions I have ever heard
4) He believes that $1,000,000 is a small loan
5) Did not believe that Obama was a U.S. citizen (bonus points for Trump’s wife being from Russia)
6) Has stated that African Americans choose to live in a state of poverty and socio-economic inequality
7) Said the same thing about women
8) Speaking of women, heavily implied that he would have some sort of relations with his daughter if she wasn’t his daughter
9) Wanted to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico
10) Stated that Mexicans should pay to build said wall
11) Spoke at rallies and told the crowds that he promotes violence
12) Said that Hilary Clinton should be thrown in jail
13) Throws hissy fits on Twitter
I stopped because I realized that I could continue on in this fashion for a while. Now, supporters of Trump might be able to ignore these “trivial” (as those supporters would like to say) acts and qualities in the 46th president. Instead, they choose to go based off of what he said he will do. But I can only judge a man by what he has done. And there is absolutely nothing that Donald Trump can do to make me believe that he is a good person, let alone a good leader.
This man taking the presidential seat tells me that this country is looking to take major steps backwards. I have always tried to gauge the social climate of my country; I have to as a minority. I need to know what I am up against. And this election has given me a clear read out of our current state. And I am not liking what I am seeing.
I’m hearing you loud and clear America. You support a man whose bigotry is only equaled by his misogyny. Whose tolerance is thinner than his hair. Whose behavior is more akin to a 2nd grade student than a president of a country. He is our president. I didn’t vote for him, but I have to accept it all the same. Just like I have to accept that this is what America wants for a leader.
And if you don’t think this is what America wants, I want to hear it. I want to see it. I want to see America reject this new reign of governing that supports intolerance, prejudice, and inequality. Prove me wrong. Make me eat my words. America, put on your biggest smile, your best clothes, your fanciest shoes, and prove me wrong. Until you do that, I have to look at our bleak present, and prepare for an even bleaker future. -Alicia Whavers