photo contributed by Redlands Bulldog Photo Editor, Halie West
Written by Lexi Toney
The night of the 2016 election remains a blurred memory of disbelief, tears, and the gnawing sense that I had never felt so small. “It’s only four years,” my dad had offered.
Here’s what’s happened in year one.
Trump has announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, scared Obamacare recipients with a plan that would rob 24 million Americans of healthcare, attempted to ban all Muslims from entry into the United States, tweeted (a lot), bashed the NFL, put the lives 800,000 young immigrants at risk by pushing to end DACA, personally threatened Kim-Jong-un, been called unstable by psychologists, attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the military, kept the world on edge with the murky and confusing Trump-Russia scandal and committed to defunding Planned Parenthood — take deep breaths, because there’s more.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, Hurricane Harvey and Irma rocked communities that received second-class treatment from the government, the U.S. economy is relatively fine, a fifth of hate crimes are reported to be in Trump’s name, white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, two of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history took place, Flint, Michigan still has no safe water and #MeToo takes social media by storm.
It’s difficult to keep up. It’s also difficult to stay angry, to remain active, to stay educated on this ever-expanding (U.S.-centric) laundry list of issues that never seems to cease, knowing the above list is hardly a fraction of the events that have transpired, can transpire and will transpire.
It’s difficult because — for people of color, women, the LGBT+ community, and minorities as a whole — the election of Donald Trump was a reminder of the inequality and discrimination that has been perpetuated by the U.S. government and population for centuries.
It’s true though, it’s not always about race (or religion, or gender, or disabilities, or sexual orientation, or religion)! Except it usually is. It’s difficult to fathom anyone who has immigrated to the U.S., having to repeatedly hear the soundbite, “[Mexicans immigrants are] bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” And then attempt to defend the man who made these statements, turn to someone, and say: “At least, have you seen the economy lately?”
It’s always going to be about race and gender for me because I will always be a woman of color, and Trump’s statements have not ceased to exist simply because he took office — but rather, the opposite.
One year of Trump is one year of headline after headline of “Make America White Again” graffiti and (legal) fully functioning KKK operations and, yes, what may be the “acts of the few.” Unfortunately, “some thousands of people may not want you here, but at least it’s not the entire country,” will never be an adequate consolation.
One year of Trump has been emotionally taxing. It is difficult to want to care about potential economic achievements when his presidency is a ringing reminder and representation of the voices that serve to push us down — and it’s tiring to continue explaining such things, as if racism, sexism and all forms of prejudice are new phenomena that haven’t plagued minorities for centuries.
As journalist and author Reni Eddo-Lodge voiced: “I cannot continue to emotionally exhaust myself trying to get this message across, whilst also toeing a very precarious line that tries not to implicate any one white person in their role of perpetuating structural racism, lest they character assassinate me.”
One year, for many, has merely been an intensified mirror of a lifetime of discrimination put on repeat, and feeling the need to remain optimistic, an activist, and a person, foremost, with their own individual lives can be overwhelming.
For the next four (and beyond), lending ears, empathy, and allyship to those who are being marginalized is essential to moving forward.
Eddo-Lodge put it best: “Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can’t afford to stay silent.”
Written by Zach Williams
November 8th, 2016. After an intense Presidential election, the people of America cast their votes on this historic day, leaving their fate in the hands of two candidates. Emotions ran high for many as the night wore on. Finally, a decision was made. With a total of 306 electoral votes, Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. Now, one year later, after an unforgettable election, there are still mixed feelings in the air. Across the nation, people are not afraid to state that they despise the current administration, while just as many are standing up and saying they stand by the man they helped bring to the White House.
So where do I stand? Personally, I don’t believe in preaching about my political opinions, considering we all have our own. That’s the beauty of America. However, there is a great theory in physics which states “you can’t separate the observer from what’s being observed” and what I’m observing is one of the best presidencies we have seen in our great country.
Let’s dive into the facts. After all, they are the essential backbone of any argument or educated discussion. Since the election of Donald Trump, the Stock Market has risen 21.3 percent, and has cleared over 61 record highs. This number has only been beat by two other Presidents in their first term, George H.W. Bush and John F. Kennedy. Additionally, the U.S. has gained approximately $5.2 trillion since Trump took office. In just 10 months, we have gained back a quarter of our national debt!
The Trump administration is also doing well in foreign affairs. For years, North Korea has threatened the U.S. with nuclear destruction, with China supporting them. That is until this year, when China agreed to implement sanctions on the hostile nation; a feat that many other previous presidents have tried to accomplish and failed. North Korea isn’t the only malicious force the U.S. is standing up to. On Oct. 16, an American backed militia reported that they have captured Isis’ “Capital” known as Raqqa, located in Beirut, Lebanon. This proved to be a major blow to the militant group that has been inspiring terror attacks on innocent citizens all over the globe.
On top of this, roughly 1.5 million Americans and counting are off of food stamps along with millions of new jobs being created. Illegal border crossings are also at record lows under the Trump administration. During his first month alone, illegal crossings dropped 40 percent according to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.
One year after the election of the 45th President, America has experienced numerous victories in almost every field. With all the facts presented above plus numerous more, I am proud of our country and our President.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of these massive victories due to the widely talked about mainstream media’s negative coverage of Trump. Just during the election cycle alone, 91 percent of Trump’s coverage was negative. And this isn’t even including his first 100 days in office, or the few months before his inauguration. This hugely bias coverage of the President has caused those who don’t know any better to take action and victimize anyone who wears a “Make America Great Again” hat which makes me extremely nervous to wear anything Pro-America or Pro-Trump. That’s not the point of America. We as Americans hold presidential elections every four years because we believe in the philosophy of freedom. We get to choose our leader, our laws and our destiny, something that can’t be done anywhere else in the world. So during this one year anniversary let’s take the time to appreciate all we have accomplished and all that we are capable of, no matter what political party we identify with.[/column]