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Friday, October 22, 2021

Guest: Silence is violence: a call for student action

AMY HOANG / AGGIE
AMY HOANG / AGGIE

Trump’s election requires the active participation of students everywhere

Donald Trump became President-elect of the United States of America late in the evening of November 8, 2016. Within hours, students on college campuses across California joined others nationwide to voice their collective refusal to honor his vision of America. Many thought a Trump presidency would never happen. But now that it will, we need to recognize that we are not outnumbered; we are out-organized.

Only 120 million out of 231 million people eligible to vote actually did so in this election. A tradition of decades of deafening silence has culminated in this moment. Silence is violence and the violence needs to end now.

This isn’t politics as usual. From 1968 to 2004, presidents have on average fulfilled 67 percent of their campaign promises. Trump, with full executive power and conservative control of every other branch of government, also has much of a chance to fulfil his ideas. At this point, we should underestimate nothing about this man or his capabilities. If he gets his way, over 20 million people will lose health insurance, efforts to curb climate change will be virtually annihilated, the right to choose won’t be supported by our federal government, gun control will be significantly relaxed and criminal justice reform will be completely forgotten. Our cultural progress has already been dealt a devastating blow. Because our President-elect has admitted to sexually assaulting women and our Vice President-elect has supported conversion therapy, Muslim, Hispanic, Black and LGBTQIA people everywhere now live in a country where their leaders actively declare they don’t care about them — and the public follows their lead.

The time is now. Take your time to grieve and process, then be ready to finally stand up and speak out. Groups on campus are already mobilizing and we’re asking for your participation. We need to send a loud, clear, and strong message of unification, preparedness and protection. Students do not stand for this vision of America.

Our work is more critical than ever. We are mobilizing the student voice to preserve progress. We are invoking our rights to freedom of speech, press and assembly to protect our collective interest.

Students are leading a concerted objection to the cultural devolution this election has legitimized. This is a point-blank refusal to erase the rhetoric of the past year just because Trump is now “President-elect.” Normalizing this election is being complicit in the legitimization of all the problematic behavior he has encouraged.

This fight to preserve decades worth of progress and prohibit cultural downfall is intersectional. This call for mobilization is rooted in strong allyship. We acknowledge the people for whom a Trump presidency poses a disproportionate threat to themselves, their families and their communities. We are committed to protecting you. We stand together.  

Students are organizing to preserve progress, prevent cultural decay and protect communities for which this is personal and legitimate threat. Get on the right side of history. It is our responsibility to make sure Trump’s America does not become our America.

Katelyn Costa is a former California Aggie columnist.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.

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