The Passion to Persevere: Fighting Through a Trump Presidency

It is no secret that this past election been unprecedented, and broke many norms. Never before have the differences between candidates been so polarizing. Clinton had scandal after scandal and a personal and political record that was ravaged by conservatives. On the other hand, Trump ran a campaign placing blame anywhere he could, but often on marginalized groups, for an unsteady economy. He answered questions of policy reform with his “Make America Great Again” rhetoric that rallied many.

Though Trump’s comments overtly showed how racist and sexist he is, his supporters were not afraid to back him and have those same views attached to them. With a backlash on many different groups, it is no wonder this election seemed more personal than ever on each side. The results have since sparked many protests and have even influenced a spike in hate crimes.

Undoubtedly this is not the way for either side to cope with results. But then what is?

I was devastated when I woke up the day after the election, realizing that a Trump presidency was not a nightmare I had only dreamt. My day went on like any other, only with a dreary tinge attached to it. I felt justifiably fearful. Routinely doing homework at my local Starbucks, the distraction lead me to open my Word processor and just vent…

Maybe I was coddled by an encouraging environment and too strong a will than I deserve. Maybe it was an illusion to believe that my voice was a valid, and important one. Maybe asking to be respected, listened to, and empathized with is a request too heavy for my country.
I simply do not understand.
Last night my country elected an excuse for a man to be our next president. And while sexism in my own realm has always existed i don’t know how to begin to explain how traumatizing the past couple months have been. Looking at the events that have transpired it seems women are taking ten steps back. With Brock Turner’s slap on the wrist, another covered up domestic violence case in the NFL that came to light, recordings of a presidential candidate casually bragging about grabbing women’s pussies BECAUSE HE CAN.
When America elects a man with blatant hatred, entitlement, and power over women, racial minorities, and even certain religious groups, I cannot comprehend the how.
And many do not mind that they are co-signing his actions, his beliefs, and his treatment of marginalized people by siding with him, by voting for him.I am a woman of color and I will undoubtedly be affected if Trump is a man of his word.
I woke up today realizing I am not trustworthy when it comes to my own body. Furthermore, should I choose to have a medical procedure that you do not agree with, I deserve to be punished for it. My country thinks I should be stopped and frisked, my skin alone being a threat to the whiteness that envelops my country. The people in my country will not defend me should I be sexually assaulted and are even okay with joking about it.
How bad does my country hate women that they are not only wiling to vote against her but use that vote to put into office a man so unapologetically sexist.
How could I have woke up yesterday feeling secure and confident in my own little world, almost certain I would see history being made and then wake up the very next day feeling disposable and hated by my country?
Best case scenario Trump’s lack of experience stops him from getting his proposals done. Then what? I am still sharing this country with people who are threatened by my skin, my femininity or lack of. There is something so deeply disturbing in realizing the security and faith in humanity you held was an illusion.
I cannot hide from this.

The fear of being a woman negatively impacted comes from plenty that Trump said and did. His comments about grabbing women by the pussy aside, Trump was against abortions and suggested women be punished for having the, In his third debate his rebuttal to calling for overturning of Roe V. Wade, was to pin Clinton as a supporter of late term abortions. He stated, “Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” His descriptive answer, disturbing and hard to watch, was untrue but his stance was reason enough for many conservatives’ support.

Since Trump’s victory, that was as unpredictable as he is, some blame has been put on the media. The media, which did not hold back in showing Trump’s deeply rooted misogyny and racism, also saw the election as a shoo-in for his opponent Clinton. The media,more than ever, is trying to keep up with the way the Internet and social media are changing and impacting our lives.

One way to address the media is to show personal narratives rather than dismissing liberals as delicate snowflakes who are whining over the election.

A couple of my friends had similar reactions to the Trump victory and for different reason.

Sarah, who studies at Cal State Los Angeles and works waiting tables when she is not at class, expressed the “I won, you lost” attitude she saw at work the day after the election results.

“This lady came into black bear by herself and was wearing a Trump pin. She kept smiling at everyone. I don’t know if it was my own paranoia or if she was just happy. But I felt like she was being smug while she was wearing the pin. She was proud to show her support, yeah but I felt like she was also proud to show that she’s for all the hatred he represents. It was so weird.”

Many people have tried arguing against Trump being responsible for the backlash that has ensued but it seems there is no question that his extremism allows for others to have a similar outlook. With a president who makes racist comments, others feel they can so the same without consequence. Jon Stewart argued that we are still the same country. “The same country, with all its grace, and flaws, and volatility, and strength, and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago,” Stewart said. “The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama.”

That argument is hard to agree with when the people who elected Trump are undoubtedly angry, and maybe rightfully so, but that anger has manifested into hated and blame of certain people, and that is not the America I thought i was a part of before this election.

As for the people who were not born here, the fear can be even scarier. Trump promised to deport 3 million illegal immigrants and even called them rapists and murders. He questioned a judge and his ability to effectively do his job because his parents were from Mexico.

“Well I’m scared of being deported again. Since the Dream act passed in 2012 I felt safe from deportation and I was even able to get a work permit and driver’s license. But now since the election I’m scared those privileges will be taken away. Trump stressed deporting 3 million undocumented immigrants. I feel like because of DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) the government now has my information and it would be easy to find me if Trump decides to send back the undocumented students along with the criminals he talks about. I wouldn’t want to be sent to a place that I know nothing about. I was only born in Mexico but I was raised and grew up in California so this country is my home. I’ve done my best to be a law abiding individual so for Trump to say all “illegal” immigrants are rapists, murderers, and drug-dealers is not okay. I’m scared that my dream of becoming an American citizen will not come true or it will take longer and be even harder to make come true.”

So here’s my list of how to mover forward through these trying times.

  1. Donating to Planned Parenthood

The funding of Planned Parenthood has already been threatened before and with Vice President-elect Pence and his stance that no employer have to pay for their employee’s birth control, reproductive health for women may not be included in many insurance policies. To ensure your health is taken care of, visit your local Planned Parenthood for services you may need that might not be covered. Or simply donate to keep them providing the care they do for many women and men across the country.

2. Strongly opposing changes or threats of change

We all know that plenty of people took to Facebook and Twitter to vent about the election or gloat about their win. Whether you are a fragile snowflake or not, putting out well-though out and researched content is only the first step. Protests calling for change, as well as calling and writing to your local government to take a particular stance on policy needs to back up that shared Facebook article. Efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built temporarily put it on hold and that can be the first step in stopping it completely. Speaking up works.

3. Question the media, produce your own.

The latest shared story on Facebook can not always be trusted. Be critical of the news you receive and if there is a bias in the reporting. Be skeptical, knowledgeable, and able to see both sides of any argument.

4. Electing diverse candidates for smaller local offices.

Media Representation is extremely important. Trump promised to elect conservative supreme court justices, which may also predominantly mean white and male. After the first black Supreme Court Justice retired, he was replaced by African American Clarence Thomas. Though they have a world of difference between their views and politics, once a minority holds an position it is often easier to keep that diversity. His choice was Clarence Thomas, a forty-three year old, conservative, African-American from Pinpoint, Georgia. Thomas would maintain the racial makeup of the Court, yet would add another conservative voice on decisions involving Affirmative Action and abortion

5. Color your stress away

If all else fails grab some colored pencils, open the illustrations below in a new tab and hit CTRL+P Coloring some politically fueled art can be destressing and fun!

Illustrations by Alice Skinner ( turned into oloring pages
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