Written by World Lens alumnus, Caryssa Dieni
HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR UNITY WITH A TRUMP PRESIDENCY
Step 1) To begin with, you’re too afraid and you’re starting to panic. You were just hit by what feels like a ton of bricks. A ton of racist, hateful, sexist bricks. The majority of America believes that Donald J. Trump represents their values.
Step 2) You argue with yourself all day long. This country is not racist. This country is not sexist. This country does not promote rape culture or Islamophobia, and when you find out that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, you try your hardest to maintain these beliefs. Unfortunately, once again, you’re hit by those bricks. Except this time they come in the form of “Build a Wall” banners and “Make America White Again” graffiti. You cannot deny what is right in front of your eyes in every article and panicked Facebook post.
Step 3) You find comfort in the fact that Trump did not win by majority, and fear in the fact that the Anti-Trump protests are causing more division than they are unity. You want to protest. You want to scream at the top of your lungs that he is not your president.You see the hate towards protestors build online as the days drag on and you know that there must be another way. You have to find a way to protest the hate without causing more of it.
Step 4) You start by admitting one of the problems. The problem is that too many Americans think they aren’t racist if they have an African American friend, homophobia is basically gone because we have marriage equality now, and women and men must be equal because the wage gap is smaller than it’s ever been. You then go on to explain a frightening truth. Racism lives and breathes in our institutions and laws, the LGBTQ+ community is constantly threatened by people who don’t believe in the separation of Church and State, and our president elect literally admitted to grabbing women “by the pussy” without their permission and still won. The majority voted for Hillary Clinton, and while that is very good news, it is not enough, and We The People must unify and educate if we hope to combat the lies that we’ve told ourselves for far too long.
Step 5) To begin with, you take advantage of social media. Those friends and family members that you were too afraid too argue with? You go back to their post and if someone hasn’t beat you to it, you explain why, even if they aren’t racist, Donald Trump’s statements are and you let them know that they hurt thousands of people when they promote these ideas. You share with them that there is another way. When you’ve built up your confidence, you bring it into your classroom, the dinner table, the shopping mall with your friends, and you let everyone around you know that racism is something to be feared but you (along with the others whom you’ve persuaded), are willing to advocate against it. Through education and a lot of bravery, you take your stance against racism, sexism, and every other -ism that stands in the way of improving our country.
Step 6) The ton of bricks is still weighing you down, but you’re not afraid anymore. You recognize the problem and you see the solution. Our job is to face the truth and educate our people. You work all day long, all week long, all month, all year, the rest of your life, to empower and educate. While it may seem like all we can do is sit and watch while Trump decides our fate, you recognize (and you help others recognize too), that no amount of ignorance is enough to stop you from spreading love, unity, and equality. These values, they mean so much more than any brick and if we work hard enough, fast enough, those divisive bricks won’t build a wall.