“We are not taking a loss right now. What we have to do is to stand up. Make a movement right now. We are responsible for a revolution right now.”
These were the words I heard after attending my first protest the night of the election. I remember the night so clearly. Emotions were high. People were angry, confused, and frustrated. Questions were asked: How did this happen? What do we do now?
Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, this election was difficult to witness for all. That night I saw people speak from different communities. Women, people of color, and LGBT folk voiced their fear of what was to come. However, I think this further showed how strong of a community they actually are and even justified my own reasons as to why I thought the University of Oregon was a special place to attend school in the first place.
The emotions I felt that night will stay with me forever. Sure the initial reaction was anger, and it’s easy to turn that anger into violence, but at the University of Oregon: students knew how to act responsibly. Students turned that anger into something else: peace. They protested calmly and expressed their thoughts and opinions with ease. A community came together in a time of need. People supported and took care of one another. Overall, the speaker was right: we are not taking a loss right now. Regardless of the outcome of the election, a positive outcome can come out of this. No one knows what the future holds, but I know I’m surrounded by an accepting and supportive community who will be by my side through it all.