By Jesse Rice
On November 8, the world was shocked when the American citizens elected Mr. Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. The reaction afterward has been equally shocking: riots and racism.
Reactions against President-Elect Donald Trump’s election were immediate. Wednesday, #Calexit started trending, as Californians found themselves at such a disparity with the rest of the United States. California voted 60 percent in favor of Secretary Clinton (CNN). Broader Anti-Trump protests took place across the United States. In New York, protesters took the streets in front of Trump Tower, chanting “Not my President” (CNN). In Miami, a peaceful protest shut down Interstate 95 (Miami Herald). In Oakland, however, protesters became violent, vandalizing property and starting numerous garbage fires.
Unfortunately, many of these protesters’ fears are not unfounded. Since the end of the election, there has been a spike in racist, but not necessarily violent, acts. At the University of Pennsylvania, all incoming black freshman were added to a group chat that had a post about a “daily lynching” (Washington Post). In Illinois, a school bathroom had “Whites Only” scrawled across it (Washington Post). International Business Times reported the story of Luis Rivera: “‘A man started yelling “Get ready to be deported!” as I was on my way to work… I was in shock. I told him I’ve lived here all my life, and he replied Trump was going to kick out my illegal parents. My parents are American citizens.’”
Yet, in the midst of all of this post-election chaos, there are some who are acting for the sake of unity. In Columbus, St. Philip Episcopal Church had three services centered around uniting their community after this divisive election season. On Wednesday, Columbus College of Art and Design held an open house that was a safe-space for those who feared for their future after the election results (Columbus Dispatch). In a speech Wednesday, President Obama called for Americans to remember that “We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first” (Time).
Comedian Stephen Colbert, who had the difficult job of hosting a live show while the election results slowly came in, closed out his show with repentance and a bit of hope. “How did our politics get so poisonous? I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison…. Above all, we, as a nation, should never, ever have another election like this one…. Now, please [audience]. Get out there. Kiss a Democrat. Go hug a Republican…. The election is over. You survived. Good night and may God Bless America” (USA Today).