Trump Protests Bring Out The Best And Worst In America
Protests have been sprouting up across the United States within a week after President Elect Donald Trump won the 2016 campaign against Hilary Clinton. Some demonstrations, while passionate, were not violent, unlike the protest that took place late Thursday night in Portland. According to the Associated Press, around 4,000 protesters took a stand, chanting, “We reject the president-elect!” 19 cars were damaged at a car dealership in Northeast Portland, and the crowd continued to pass Broadway Bridge and to the Pearl District where multiple businesses’ windows were smashed. KGW-TV reported that the protest was peaceful until a group of anarchists joined the demonstration, which helped to add violence to the crowd by vandalizing cars and taking down the power.
This is an instance in which the right to freedom of speech was taken too far when it grew into violence. The President Elect and his team responded to the protests that have been taking place every night, on Twitter with a tweet that stated, “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!” While he addresses the fact that people are coming together to protest, Trump does not address that fact that they are coming together to protest the things that have resulted as an after-effect of his win.
On Thursday night, another protest took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, starting at Red Arrow Park and going through the downtown area – heading west on West Wisconsin Avenue and turning onto North 6th Street, then west onto West McKinley Avenue. Besides a small fight that was broken up, there was no other word of injuries or violence taking place. Many students from Marquette University, situated in the middle of downtown Milwaukee, found their way to the protests, and joined in on the demonstration.
One Marquette University sophomore, Hannah Seeman, who is currently studying public relations, joined in on the protests along with some friends to speak up for what they believe in. It was a powerful moment for a young college undergraduate. Seeman was moved by the passion her fellow Americans showed on Thursday night as she stood among hundreds of others with the same goal as her: to be heard.
(Photo courtesy of Hannah Seeman)
Seeman, along with most other Americans, accept the fact that Trump will become president in January, “That isn’t why I am out here. That’s not why I am protesting,” Hannah states, “Our generation was taught to make friends in a color blind fashion, and it kills me that America is still like this, still against people who are different from us.” Seeman understands that Donald Trump has been elected president under constitutional democracy, but refuses to believe in the policies and moralities that he has shown to America.
Hannah is not the only one who feels this way. College campuses around the world are speaking up, fighting to be heard. Trump is starting something he may not be able to control. Seeman says, “There’s been a beast that’s been awakened and any progress we’ve made towards oppression, even climate change, could possibly be pushed so far backward in the eyes of the government, but not in our eyes. Now that we have had a taste of the freedom,” freedom we took for granted under Obama’s presidency, “We will be outraged if they try to change it.”
The people of America are not protesting Donald Trump, and the fact that he is the presidential elect. America is protesting the hate, disrespect, and discrimination that are resulting from the election. It is up to Donald Trump to hear America’s cries, and it is up to us, as a public, to be heard. Seeman said, “America should be fighting hate with love. It is so easy to turn anger into evil, but forgiveness and respect will help to heal our wounds, and that’s what America needs to remember.”
America is one community, and according to Dorothy Day, “love comes with community.” We the People have the choice to decide how we act with Trump as president. Let us act in love.