The Aftermath Of The 2016 Election On College Campuses
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Politics and Activism

The Aftermath Of The 2016 Election On College Campuses

Our President will change, but we don't have to.

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The Aftermath Of The 2016 Election On College Campuses
Euclid Public Library

"The power of the people is stronger than the people in power." This quote from Wael Ghonim emphasizes the unity needed in the coming years.

The 2016 Presidential Election took place 11 days ago, and while some may argue that things have calmed down since November 8th, others would argue the complete opposite. These past 11 days have been filled with confusion, shock, anger, hatred, celebration, and protests. For some, happiness and celebration have been at the forefront. Conversely, others have been met with violence and racism more than ever before.

While it is important to take into account that people all over the United States have been affected in the same way, it should also be acknowledged that students on college campuses are having to face these issues every single day. They cannot escape it; they have to deal with it when they walk around campus, and they do not feel safe in what is supposed to be their home away from home.

In the past few weeks at the University of South Florida, a number of incidents have been reported regarding racist, threatening graffiti on dorm walls, as well as threatening messages. In addition to that, a group of students has reportedly been terrorizing minorities around campus. Many reports cite a group of students running around and tearing hijabs off of some female Muslim students in the hallway. As three robberies have occurred within three days at USF, the campus sent out an e-mail to all students to notify them that they are investigating the robberies and other incidents. But USF is also the school who just recently hired a convicted sex offender as a professor, so who knows if they will truly look into these incidents and punish the students accordingly.

USF is not the only school where these things are happening. Incidents similar to this have been reported at the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida and, probably the most publicized, Baylor University. If you have not read about it, a female student at Baylor University was pushed off of the sidewalk by another student and called the N-word, and the student's justification for it was that he was "trying to make America great again." After the incident was reported and the student was condemned for his actions towards her, over 300 Baylor students met up to walk her to class the following Friday.

It is extremely easy to make this into a Trump vs. Clinton argument. Numerous tweets and Facebook posts promote the idea that if Clinton had been elected President, then none of this would be happening. To an extent, these posts are right. Maybe if Clinton had been elected, the streets of the country would not be littered with protesters. Maybe we would all be celebrating the fact that Trump did not win, and rejoicing over the fact that we have lived to see the very first woman President. The fact of the matter is that we will drive ourselves crazy thinking of the "maybes" and the "what-ifs". Donald Trump is going to be the President, and now we have to do what we have done after previous elections: we have to move forward.

One of the biggest issues that we face is the fact that people are choosing to interpret Trump's 'President-Elect' title as a way of justifying their racist, homophobic, and downright hurtful actions. You cannot justify these actions. There is no justification for putting somebody down because of their race, religion, gender, or sexuality. Donald Trump is not the poster child for being accepting of other people and their differences, as shown by the numerous accusations he faces and the crude comments he has made during his campaign and in the past. But here is the good thing: we don't have to agree with Trump.

The people that use Trump's words and his history to justify their actions are immature and uneducated, and they do not represent every person that voted for him. Let's not forget that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were arguably the most hated Presidential candidates of all time, and that many people voted for Trump simply because they didn't want Clinton in office and vice versa.

The people who spew these hateful words do not have to govern our lives, they do not have to win. This is easier said than done, but standing together with others to fight back against them is the first step. If you want to implicate Clinton's campaign slogan 'Love Trumps Hate', then you have to unite with others to stand by the people who are directly affected by the hatred that is being spread throughout the country. Stand together to help stop this spread of hatred.

Although it is extremely cheesy to say, it is true: we need to treat people like they are people. Labeling people by their gender, race, sexuality, or religion is outdated and relatively primitive at this point in time. The labels need to be put away, permanently. Stop labeling people as gay, straight, white, black, muslim, christian, etc. We are all people, and we are all Americans.

John F. Kennedy said it best, "Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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