Protests against Trump

Protesters march near the Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Well, I think it is safe to say that this past week has changed the course of American history; we witnessed one of the most surprising turn of elections that we have ever seen. Donald Trump has been elected the next president of the United States. No one it seems, not even Trump’s supporters, actually believed that he would win.

Since Donald Trump was elected as our next president, social media has been blowing up with some support, but mostly with disbelief, horror, fear and sadness. There have been riots and protests breaking out across the country due to this election, and that says something important. This says something to me about Trump; if it was not clear before what affect his words have had on people, it should be obvious now. This is not normally how elections end.

What is most frustrating to me is that we are only several days past hearing this news and people are already calling for anti-Trump rhetoric to stop, that we all need to get over it, respect the fact that he will be our president and essentially just shut up. To that, I say that you have your right to vote him into office, while I and millions of other Americans have our right to not be happy about it.

I firmly believe in the fact that we all need to come together in order to move forward as a country, but for goodness sake, just give us a little time. Do you realize how many people this impacts? If you are not female, black, LGBTQ+, a part of any other minority group, an immigrant, a veteran, a sexual assault survivor or a disabled individual, then maybe you have not been feeling too much pain over this election.

Maybe you do qualify under one of these groups and just do not feel that very much is at stake, but for so many others this result is a serious threat to them. If you are not part of these groups, how can you know what they are feeling? How can you know the fear or sadness inside of them enough to tell them to shut up about it?

This is not a joke. This is not a hilarious turn of events. This is the end of the world for some people. I understand that many people did not like Hillary Clinton. I get it. I get that future Supreme Court nominations are an important factor that influenced a lot of votes, but at what cost?

This man denies climate change, has said that women should be punished for having abortions, has mocked disabled people. He wants to break up families and deport millions of undocumented Americans. He has called Mexicans rapists, has advocated for a ban of Muslim immigrants, has consistently failed in his business ventures, has made racist comments and has disrespected our military and veterans. He has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct more times than I can count on both of my hands, and has bragged about doing so.

We are allowed to be upset when Trump has threatened our livelihoods and the livelihoods of those who we hold close to us. Most people recognize that there must have been something going on that resulted in so many people voting for this man. I understand that their concerns need to be heard, but so do the concerns of those who are upset about this.

Please do not call millennials or liberals crybabies and tell us that we are throwing tantrums because our candidate lost the election. This is so much bigger than that. This is about America telling the world that it is not only okay for someone to be a racist, misogynist or homophobe, among many other horrible qualities, but that we are so okay with it that we are going to elect him president. Please do not pretend that this is just like any other election and that people simply are not handling it well. Regardless of who you voted for, if you do not see why so many people are broken by the results of this election, then that is part of the problem.

We also need some time to grieve Hillary Clinton. I understand that millions of Americans despise her. But for myself and so many others, she was our champion. She was our beacon of hope that we would finally break through that glass ceiling and land a woman in the White House. To me, she was amazing, and I am truly saddened that we will not get to see the amazing things she would have done in the White House.

In all honesty, I do hope that Donald Trump is a good president and that he succeeds in bringing America together. To think otherwise would be hypocritical, and amidst all of the protests and heartbreak, we all still want what is best for the country. I just think he will have it harder than those before him, as he was the one who so dramatically divided us in the first place.

Please let us grieve, let us cry and let us voice our emotions. Please do not criticize people for not jumping on board with this man immediately.

For those hurt by this election and struggling to find their next move: first and foremost, please take all of the time you need to grieve, seek someone to talk to or just get away from it all. But we need to let this push us forward. Let this motivate us to continue our fight and push even harder. As Hillary reminded us in her concession speech, fighting for what is right is always worth it. So that is what we will do. Let’s get up in the morning and continue to fight for what we know is right, and hopefully, one day, the rest of America will follow suit.