It’s a week now since the shock of the presidential elections result last Tuesday. I’ve been deeply depressed about Donald Trump becoming President, but I still congratulate those who are Trump supporters for being involved in this political process. I mourn with the Hillary supporters, as I supported Hillary too.
I’m sad and disappointed, but I still love America. If we love our country, we have to continue fighting for America to live up to its highest values especially during times when it’s easy to lose faith in our country.
Now we have to defend our Muslim American friends from being scapegoated. We have to fight for our Hispanic friends and for those illegal immigrants from having their families torn apart. We have to fight for African Americans who are victims of racial profiling. We have to fight for our LGBT friends, as Trump has vowed to choose Supreme Court nominees that will overturn the ruling on Marriage Equality. We have to continue the fight for equal rights for women. We have to continue fighting for the poor and the marginalized.
That is our obligation as Americans.
D.D. Guttenplan wrote an article for The Nation where he noted:
…if we withdraw into our private grief and abandon those who, this morning, feel most threatened by the result—Muslim Americans, Hispanic Americans, LGBTQ Americans, women, inner-city youth—history will never forgive us.
Instead, we have to stand up, and fight back…
… Where Trump’s proposals are progressive, we should back them—regardless of his motives. But when—as will far more often be the case—they offer pretend solutions, we should expose them. And when they pose a threat to our rights, our fellow citizens, or the health of our planet, we must oppose them by every peaceful means at our disposal, from filibuster in the Senate and endless amendments in the House to physical obstruction of the machinery of repression, including massive mobilization and demonstrations on our streets and in our cities.
Given Trump’s rhetoric, we would be foolish not to expect repression in return. So we must be prepared for that, too, politically, by strengthening groups like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, and the immigrant-rights movement; emotionally, by practicing solidarity; and practically, by picking our battles and not wasting precious time and energy on infighting and sectarian hair-splitting. If we’re going to survive the Trump regime, and have any hope of blocking it in 2018 and overturning it in 2020, we’re going to have to work together: Clinton and Stein voters, gay and straight, black and brown and white, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, socialist and liberal (and even some libertarians).
The next four years will test our country—and our movement—like nothing else we have seen in our lifetimes. Welcome to the fight.
Julia Preston, Katharine Q. Seelye, and Farah Stockman wrote an article for the New York Times which they describe the fears of the Muslim American, Hispanic and African American communities. They wrote:
Now that Mr. Trump has emerged victorious, Latino, black and Muslim voters, each with their own issues and agendas, are bracing for a long four years. Some Latinos already felt threatened on Wednesday and feared that Mr. Trump would pursue his mass deportation pledge, tearing apart their families and communities. Black voters anticipated an era under Mr. Trump in which intolerance would become acceptable. And Muslims worried that they would be branded as terrorists because of their beliefs.
“I don’t fear Trump as much as I fear the monster he’s awakened,” said Aysha Choudhary, a Muslim American who works with the aid group Doctors Without Borders in New York City. “It feels like he’s normalized discrimination, and I’m afraid it’s open season.”
On the morning after the vote, many said they felt more vulnerable, just because of what they looked like or what they wore.
Aura Bogado wrote for The Nation:
As election results began pouring in last night, so did a steady stream of anxiety-ridden phone calls and messages from immigrant friends and family members—ranging from people born here in the United States to others who arrived more recently. Most explained that they were calling out of some kind of desire to not be alone, and all explained a very tangible sense of fear. Young people with deferred-action states, who’ve enjoyed a reprieve from deportation under President Obama’s executive order, are worried: They’re in a database now. A database that Trump, who has promised to end the program as a first action, can easily use to come after people when he assumes the presidency in January…
… Now, more than ever, all progressives, but particularly white progressives need to make unequivocal declarations of solidarity with vulnerable communities. As protests spread in response to Trump’s victory, demonstrators need to remember that the stakes are different for people of color, whose very bodies are targets. The stakes are especially different for undocumented immigrants—the people whom Trump turned into ridiculed objects of hate, and won an election by doing so. The least white folks who care about social justice can do right now is check in with immigrants they personally know to make sure we’re surviving.
The New York Times had an editorial where they wrote:
The peaceful transfer of power — the swift counting of votes, acceptance of results, dignity in defeat — that’s the system, and these two powerful politicians, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, defended and strengthened it through their humility…
…We Americans can be heartened by Mrs. Clinton’s and Mr. Obama’s decency. They were right to be gracious…
…we cannot give in to fear or despondency. There is too much to be done.
There is a planet to save. The earth is in peril from a changing climate no matter how many deniers say otherwise. There may be millions of immigrants to shield from a Trump homeland-enforcement regime. State and local governments may need to step in if the federal government retreats from protecting consumers or helping educate children. And there may be sick people to care for, should Mr. Trump dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
All Americans can help in this work, whether as activists or volunteers, or simply as neighbors who show, through reaching out to someone who looks or worships differently than they do, that they reject bigotry, misogyny and fear. Let’s give Mrs. Clinton the last word, an exhortation to young people who supported her candidacy and the values it embodied. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said. “We need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.”
If there is any common ground with Trump and the Republican Congress, I’ll support those issues. I just don’t see that much common ground though. America has had troubled times in the past. I hope to gain inspiration from Americans who spoke out during troubled times: Martin Luther King Jr., Dalton Trumbo, Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, Eugene Debs, Muriel Rukeyser, and many more. These Americans kept fighting for America to live up to its highest values when it was easy to lose faith in America.
To make myself feel better these past few days, I’ve watched these two speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. They tried to bridge the divides in American society and bring Americans together.