A Silent Protest Everyday for the Next Four Years…
As the dust settles from one of the most contentious elections in United States history, there are all kinds of reactions across the country. Here on the west coast, there has been an unspoken dismal cloud of uncertainty hanging above us for the last week. While some people are silently mourning, others are taking to the streets to protest the rise of a narcissistic bigot. There is no need to go into all of the nasty things said over the course of this election, but it is truly hard for people to come to terms with the idea that close to half of our country supports someone with such evil ideals. As a result, it is reasonable to understand why people are so angry and protesting the outcome of the election.
Unfortunately, protesting can only go so far. And posting a status on Facebook or a meme on Instagram will surely not fill the void that so many of us are currently feeling. The results of this election are final, and Donald won fair and square. So instead of occupying freeways at rush hour or walking out of classrooms, this young generation of millennials needs to find other ways of expressing themselves. While we patiently wait for the next election that is four years away, we must think about productive ways to let the rest of the country know that we will not accept racism and white privilege as the status quo. Below are some ideas on how to do so:
1. Starting with Trump. He won a campaign filled with lots of hateful verbiage, appealing to Middle America. He is a smart man and successfully beat the system, changing American politics forever. And regardless of everything he said, we must all support him as our president and hope that he serves our country well. We can only try to be optimistic that he does not completely undercut all of the social progress we have made over the last fifty years. However, while we should support him as our commander-in-chief that does not mean we have to support him as a businessman as well — so boycott everything Trump-related and make his brand obsolete. Let’s ensure the failure of all of his hotels, golf courses, “crooked” university, and other business ventures. A president should technically not have so many financial conflicts of interest anyway.
2. Taking it even further, people can also consider avoiding financial support of businesses owned by people supporting the dangerous and racist Trump rhetoric. This includes wealthy business moguls like Sheldon Adelson, who owns hotels in Las Vegas and also donated $25 million to our “pussy-grabbing” president-elect. It is known that millennials frequent Vegas in their 20s, and while Adelson’s Venetian or Palazzo hotels are appealing options, maybe think twice next visit and consider opting for another abode for your weekend of debauchery. There are many others like Adelson, who voted to alienate certain minorities because they do not fit in with the traditional American mold. What is beautiful about this country is how diverse it is, and we should let these wealthy influencers know that we plan to keep it that way.
3. The last point I would like to make focuses on athletes, who have a major influence on this country’s youth. A South Park episode during season 15 that resonates heavily with society compares college sports to a community of white slave owners profiting off of their players. With this in mind, high school athletes thinking about which college to attend, should consider the quality of people living in that area as well. Schools are profiting off of student-athletes’ success and only care so much about them in terms of the income they can bring in. These athletes can and should opt out of traditionally successful programs that attract a largely confederate fan base. The same applies to professional athletes — some people question Kevin Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City to join the super-team Golden State Warriors. Sure, maybe he wanted a better chance of winning a championship, but maybe he also wanted to get out of a Red State and play somewhere with fans who believe in a more tolerant society. All this is just some food for thought…
Ultimately, the current political climate feels volatile, and it will be interesting to see how things progress over the next four years. Putting the idea of Democrats and Republicans aside, we must not forget that we are all Americans. And putting our nationality aside, we must not forget that we are all humans. There is hope for our future given a large majority of people 18–25 years old voted blue this election cycle. Treat EVERYONE with respect and let us actually make America great (again???)!