Trump is President. Now, let’s get to work.
As millennials, we’ve had our fair share of battles to wage. Young people-of-color have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. We’ve seen gay marriage legalized. Fearless women have made strides towards gender equality. I would never take those struggles away from these groups and from our common experience.
It’s different now.
Look at the Civil Rights Movement. It was hard fought at the stake of so many impassioned people. The Stonewall Riots stirred a movement towards queer visibility that took the lives of a great number of individuals. Women have worked tirelessly to gain equality, and have lost great fighters in the process. We look to these movements now to arm ourselves as they did.
Though we cannot see into the future, it is likely that these next four years will see pain, prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Our president-elect has said so himself with pride. He might not have the power to bar an entire group of people from entering this country, repeal laws put in place to protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals, or start unnecessary wars. There are checks and balances in our government to prevent totalitarian powerplays.
What Trump does have the power to do, as he’s shown us already, is to vilify and further marginalize these groups. He has, and will likely continue to shift conversations towards ignorance and discrimination.
So, while Trump as president may not have the power to close our borders, he can rally the people to violence. He might not repeal rights for queer individuals, but he can encourage hate mongers, like the one who murdered dozens of queer people in a Florida night club. He has the power to stoke the fires of hate that we’ve tried so hard to quench.
It’s time now to look at our past and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes. It’s time to look at our present situation and understand what changes must be made. It’s time to look to our future and make sure we do everything in our power to stand up against any person or entity that tries to break us. We’ve been here before, and we are ready.
I am praying for our lives. I am praying for our futures.