Letter to the editor: Overreaction

To the Editor:

Since the results of the 2016 presidential election, I have been told too many times that I am overreacting. I have been told that in every election one candidate must prevail and that I should try to accept this outcome with hope for the future. However, I refuse to be complacent and I refuse to be silenced because the act of electing Donald Trump to office has already severely impacted our nation.

Despite what many may believe, I am not angry or fearful because of what Trump may do in terms of policy and legislation. I am angry and fearful because of what Donald Trump has said and the way his comments will and already have influenced the people of the United States. By putting a man filled with hatred and disrespect into office, we are normalizing, encouraging, and even applauding racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and hatred.

Over the course of Trump’s campaign, closeted racists have found the validation they have long-awaited to be vocal and proud of their hateful beliefs. These individuals are beginning to see their disrespect of others’ cultures as an American value. The aversion Donald Trump has expressed in regard to the entire Muslim religion is already influencing the actions of many citizens. He has begun to normalize the idea that all Muslims are terrorists and Americans who once feared expressing this ridiculous sentiment are, again, being validated.

The most terrifying attitude that Trump’s victory encourages and applauds is in regard to sexism. When listening to the derogatory comments made by Mr. Trump, it is nearly impossible to argue that he has any respect for women. And beyond that, whether or not Donald Trump actually sees women as nothing more than “pieces of a**” is wildly irrelevant. The inappropriate comments that haunt his past have already done enough damage. When children see the president sexualizing his own daughter, they will begin to internalize these ideas. They will begin to wonder: if the president does not need to gain consent before “grabbing a woman by the p*ssy,” then why should I? Children are raised to see the president as a role model so they will see this behavior as more than just acceptable but also as applaudable.

I do not angrily oppose Trump supporters’ beliefs in terms of policy, I simply disagree on those matters. However, when he crosses the line into perpetuating the heinous injustices this country has worked long and hard to put to rest, I openly, proudly, and angrily oppose the belief that he is an acceptable president. I will not sit idly as the many years of civil rights’ progress America has made are reversed by the inappropriate comments of a hateful man. It does not matter whether or not he follows through with his absurd and unconstitutional promises. All that matters is that closeted racists, sexists, and homophobes in this country can now proudly voice their opinions because their views are being validated and normalized.

I generally have a strong belief that you must consider people’s intentions and not just their words. I do not need strict political correctness and I do not scrutinize every day citizens for their word choice. So if Donald Trump was not going to be our president, I may be able to shrug off most of his comments as “locker-room banter” or jokes from a crude man with no filter. But being the president of our country comes with an inherent responsibility. A responsibility to be a role-model and positive example for the people of our nation. A responsibility to speak with eloquence and intelligence, not hatred and ignorance. Even if you believe that political correctness has begun to go too far, you cannot use this reasoning to stand by Donald Trump. This is not a case of political correctness, but a case of our country’s role model using disgusting, misogynistic, and racist language that will be heard by generations to come.

I do and will hope for the best when it comes to what Mr. Trump does in terms of policy—but I will not forget that so much damage has already been done. Donald Trump’s victory in this election is a travesty because of the mentality that is supported and perpetuated by all of his shameful rhetoric. If you voted for Trump, whether you intended to or not, you voted to normalize and validate the comments of disrespect and hatred he uses on a regular basis.

Sincerely,

Priyanka Junankar ’17

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