Since the results of the election were announced, there has been a rise in the number of incidents of harassment reported in the country. At a high school in Michigan, students at lunch went around chanting “build the wall!” Women all over social media have been sharing their experiences of being groped or verbally harassed by men. AU itself is not exempt from the recent growth of hate-fueled attacks, with a recent chapel being interrupted by a racially-charged comment yelled at the young woman who was speaking.
Many people across the country are worried that attacks like these are going to become commonplace now that we have a president-elect who ran on a campaign of attacks and comments like those, and those concerns are valid, especially when the president-elect’s own words are being used across the country as both the script and the justification for spewing hate.
It’s easy to feel “better” than the people who are making those comments and taking those actions meant to insult and intimidate. However, that isn’t going to help anything either, though it may make you feel good. The only thing that is going to help in times like these is love and community.
There is a story that has been told time and time again about English and German soldiers during WWI who took part in an informal ceae-fire on Christmas day to celebrate in No Man’s Land. That is what we Americans need to do now. We need to put down our weapons, crawl out of our trenches and come together as one people.
If we do not put down our weapons or picket signs, or bite our tongues when hateful words come to the surface, or if we do not turn our backs on violence, then we are only aiding in the fight of what will surely, one day, be the fall of our nation.
Will we “Make America Great Again”? Surely not the way that things are going now. Some would argue that America already is great, and some would argue that it never was to begin with.
The world is watching. Our children are watching. The innocent and the oppressed are watching. Whether or not their fearful, tear-filled eyes will lead us down a path of redemption and grace is up to us.
Now is the time to decide what America shall be remembered for. Will it be for the time that we reinforced the glass ceiling with steel beams from China, or will it be for the time that, regardless of our differences, we banded together to shatter our prejudices and grow despite the things that separate us?