Two years ago today
Photo By: Fortune
Julia Guerrein, Editor-in-Chief
Two years ago today I woke up for school and found out that Donald Trump had won the race for President of the United States. I remember laying in my bed and staring up at my ceiling. My vision is pretty bad, so it was all a blur (literally) and I cried. I felt like a shell of a human as I rose from my bed, got dressed, and went on my way to class. The campus had a heavy and sad feel to it overall. It was very quiet.
I remember seeing some men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. One of them was in my 9 a.m. chemistry class and I just felt numb. What they saw in that hat was a victory. What I saw was a threat. A threat to “grab em by the pussy.” A threat to build a wall. I saw flashes of our president-elect mocking a disabled person. I heard his voice saying disgusting and degrading things about women and I really, truly, in my heart of hearts, feared that someone, one of those men in the MAGA hats, would try to grab me (no one did). I was so afraid and sad and did not really understand where we could go from where we were.
But then it was November 10 and then December and then January. I attended the Women’s March in Erie and got to be there with my niece who had just turned four. People cared and it was a beautiful movement, captured in a moment. February, March, April. My Greener Behrend friends and I marched in the March for Science, and, again, felt hope. May, June. I attended my first Pride and felt so much joy in seeing other people’s expressions of love and individuality. I heard stories of discrimination, people being shamed for trying to use the bathroom. My heart doesn’t understand the hate.
Time has continued to march on, even though some weeks feel like forever. I reached my emotional breaking point when I read about the children of illegal immigrants being taken from their parents. I have three nephews and a niece and babysit a number of other children. I love all of them dearly. Knowing that children who are the same as “my” children, but just from somewhere else and of a different skin color, were being ripped from their parents tore me apart.
The election of Donald Trump has changed our country and world to an extent that will never fully be understood. I have changed myself in response. I have worked harder to educate myself on important issues. I have attended numerous marches and rallies, sent letters to my representatives, written many articles and shared many articles. I’ve tried to make this newspaper a place for people to share their thoughts and a place where truths can be read.
I still feel like I’m not doing enough. I don’t think I ever could possibly feel like I am doing enough. People are still dying in mass shootings or at the hands of their neighbors or their significant others or from addiction. Children are hungry and separated from their parents or being abused. There are so many people without homes and without health care. Young people are being sent to fight wars. I can’t wrap my mind around all of the sufferings and hurt and it’s overwhelming. There have been many moments over the past two years where I am listening to a song or reading an article or writing and I just cry and cry. I weep for all the pain and suffering in the world. I let my emotions run wild for a few minutes before I collect myself and logically think through what I must do with my precious life in order to lessen the suffering on this planet, even if it’s only a small amount.
The election of Donald Trump has caused me to become more active and to do the most with my life every single day. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but this is where we are and we must keep on trying and fighting each moment of each day.