Opinion Editor: ‘We Must Not Lose Our Voice’

November 10, 2016

Opinion

The Catalyst asked scholars to weigh in on their reactions to the 2016 election; look for them  throughout the week. If you are interested in writing a letter, send it to agonzalez@theaskacademy.org. Below, Opinion Desk Editor Ashana Gonzalez discusses the atmosphere of election night from her perspective.  

This year’s election was intense, to say the least, and the results were either terrifying or amazing. People all over the country were celebrating or bawling in worry. Two days later, everyone from celebrities to well-known Internet personas, to regular people on Facebook are expressing their opinions on the election results.

Election night had everyone on their toes: the Trump headquarters were full of his supporters, chanting while wearing the trademark “Make America Great Again” hats, a symbol that means different things to everyone who sees it. Then there was the Clinton headquarters, full of people nervously watching, wearing their “I’m with her” merchandise, hoping for the numbers to change in their favor.

With the electoral votes so close for so long it was hard to tell who would win; there were millions of people on both sides, and millions hoping to see their candidates’ numbers rise.  There were emotional ups and downs in both the Clinton and Trump headquarters for hours while watching the numbers roll in. Protesters and supporters in the streets of major cities voiced their opinions, some even going so far as to start fights outside the White House before and after the winner was announced. Social media was blowing up with people hoping for Clinton to take some sort of lead, blaming the Democratic Party for the loss of votes, and others blaming third-party voters for “ruining our country.”

As the night continued and it became evident who was going to win, people started blast Trump with hate, even more so than usual. People calling him everything from a sexist to a KKK supporter, with women all over the country reminding people of the multiple sexual harassment accusations he has against him. Members of the LGBT+ community posted articles as proof that Trump wants to set the country back decades, saying that he supports conversion therapy and that he wants to push people back into the closet.

This is just what we have seen covered so far. There is definitely going to be more to come, but one thing the media hasn’t talked about yet is how there are many in this country now living in fear. Minorities are terrified, some worried about their families being deported unfairly, others worrying whether their right to get married will be gone, others just fear for our country and how future generations will see this election as a symbol of hate running our country. Women are terrified that their basic rights to healthcare will be taken away, because of the person we put in office.

Images and videos of Clinton headquarters show men and women of all races crying, and comforting one another. While images and videos of Trump headquarters show white men and women celebrating and saying obscene things about other races, genders, and those with differing sexuality. We took this election and we battled it out: the hate speeches, threats, and rumors from both sides.  This is proof enough that we are divided, but now even more so than before.

This was a difficult election to watch, and the results were even harder to swallow, but all we can do now is stand together and make this work. We have before and must again. We cannot give up our voice and our power just because we are scared and angry.  

-Ashana Gonzalez

Opinion Desk Editor

The Catalyst

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