Don’t Despair. Don’t Cry. Don’t Give Up.

Hello Dear Readers,

The results from last night’s election were heartbreaking. Many of my peers have said that they no longer feel safe walking outside or that they are disgusted and ashamed about their country’s compatriots.

I understand. I am with you. If you are one of the many constituents who Trump disgraced, mocked, and otherwise discriminates against you have valid reasons to feel betrayed and afraid. But we can’t just end it here.

Last night, I made a post on Facebook where I ask people to not give up. Here it is:

This election was a MESSY affair, and I’m still shocked by the results. I guess I hadn’t realized just how secluded I was at UCLA from people who thought differently from me. Many of you have felt shocked, angered, betrayed, and hurt during this election season, and there’s no surprise there when people you have close ties with side with a candidate who has no respect for anyone but himself. But we can’t start calling for separation — this is a time when we need more connection, friendship, healing, and compassion. So, I ask 3 things of you.

 

1. Stop saying you want to move to Canada or anywhere else. Whether you are serious or joking, if this is your home, stay and work to make things better. If you truly care about your country, your families, and your friends, stay strong FOR THEM instead of abandoning your joint responsibility as people of the United States. Joking about this matter can seem like a lighthearted way to vent your frustration, but it’s disrespectful to refugees who have come to America and it DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING.

 

2. Don’t cut ties with people who supported ideals that didn’t align with yours (i.e. Trump supporters). We need CONVERSATION, not separation. Connect with the people you don’t agree with. If it doesn’t make sense to you why they think the way they do, KEEP TRYING. Don’t just say that they’re stupid, or crazy, or hateful and leave it at that. Understand what’s going on and help them see just who are the people who will be affected by the decisions they made. More human connection will have more emotional impact than throwing shit at people, and this is what will help us recover our sense of dignity and pride. Think: how many times have you changed your mind because someone yelled at you and called you sick, or nasty, or selfish? My guess is never, or rarely. I’m not saying “kill them with kindness”; I’m saying “be civil and communicate.”

 

3. Don’t despair. Don’t cry. Don’t fucking give up on the people in America. This was one election out of many, just one day out of many more to come. Don’t forget what it was like today. Keep learning and stay involved. Keep voting and advocating for yourself and the people you know. Change is achieved through continuous effort, not through once-in-four-years fads. Being political should not happen only during election season. Make it part of your everyday lives – eat and breathe politics – because politics shape the American condition.

–  View the original post here

I want to add one more point to this. Last night, violent protests (1 2 3) broke out in several UC campuses and in other parts of the country. Injuries, arson, hitting… This is not what we should be doing. If you are angry that a person who encourages violence and widespread discrimination was elected president, engaging in violent protests will accomplish the exact opposite of what you want to do.

Stand for the ideals of what you voted for. Trump won the election, but that doesn’t mean we have lost. If you are dissatisfied, use civil disobedience, peaceful protest, be active — but by all means do not engage in violence. If not for your country, do it for the safety of the people around you and for your own mental wellbeing.

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