Two months ago, campus was shell-shocked by the results of the presidential election. Classes were cancelled and discussions were opened in classrooms across every discipline. The entire campus came together to advocate for safety in a historically difficult time. Then we all left for break, and the support train screeched to a halt.
The eerie silence regarding Donald Trump’s victory is not unique to Lawrence. On Nov. 9, my Facebook feed rang out with love, protest and support. Then it all disappeared. The New York Times continues to dutifully print Trump’s latest cabinet picks as we all pretend to be surprised, and the Chicago Tribune tries to predict how Obamacare will fare under the Trump administration—spoiler alert, not well. As families across the nation fear the looming inauguration, it seems that many of us have forgotten the issues we had with Trump to begin with.
In case you forgot, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country and proposed to track Muslims who are already American citizens. Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Trump said women should be punished for having abortions. Trump mocked a disabled reporter. Trump bullied his way through every debate. Trump called Mexicans rapists. Trump continually objectified and sexualized underage girls along with his own grown daughter. Trump said, regarding women, “You have to treat ‘em like shit.” Seriously. And when questioned about saying that, he denied it, claiming that the woman he said that to was lying. “I didn’t say that. The woman’s a liar, extremely unattractive, lots of problems because of her looks.” Apparently, women who don’t fit Trump’s schema of attractiveness must be liars.
This is old news. We as a nation have discussed Trump’s disgusting rhetoric to no end and analyzed it from every angle. What more could there be to talk about? Trump the Terrifying Fascist is old news now, and the fast-paced media has been quick to skip to the next chapter in American political history, Trump the Important Political Player. However, it is worth remembering just who we as a nation have elected to our highest position of power.
We cannot forget that Trump is a sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, Islamaphobic pile of garbage under a blonde hairpiece. No, he is not just “exaggerating” or “telling it how it is.” His hate-fueled words have claws that have sunk deep into the American people and created a dangerous environment for millions of people in their own country.
We have so quickly forgotten the disgusting rhetoric and actions taken by Trump, but it is still worth talking about. I refuse to move on and support peaceful bipartisan action. Trump is not, and never will be, my president. Because of this, I refuse to support his inauguration. I will not lend him my ear. I urge you to do the same.
On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald Trump will be sworn into office. As a woman, an American, a Jew, a daughter, a friend and a human being, I refuse to acknowledge him as my president. Instead of watching his inauguration, I will continue to vocalize this refusal and actively reject his dangerous rhetoric. I encourage others both on and off the Lawrence campus to do the same. Regardless of your political affiliation or level of support for Trump, his presidency is a source of fear for many Americans—including but not limited to Muslims, members of the LGBTQA+ community, non-binary people, immigrants, and women—and it is our duty to continue to rally around our friends and peers who need support. Just because the media has grown suspiciously silent regarding the dangers of Trump as president does not mean that I will be silent. Nor should you.