WALLED OFF: Campus groups feel harsh rhetoric has chilling effect


  Following Donald Trump’s victory, various demographic groups here at Branham have been responding differently to Trump’s victory. These groups include immigrants, women, Muslims, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

  Many undocumented immigrants have told news media that they are terrified in the wake of Mr. Trump’s win for fear of deportation. While Mr. Trump did show his appreciation for Mexico in his immigration speech at Arizona with remarks such as, “my love for the Mexican people” and “the close friendship between our two nations,” he has made other comments that make certain immigrants question their safety.

  In his speech announcing his presidency and throughout the campaign, Mr. Trump has claimed that Mexicans bring drug, crime and rapists to the U.S. Many undocumented immigrants claim that they “do not feel safe” according to The Washington Post.
It is “extremely painful to watch other immigrants, especially Latinos and Muslims, have to deal with unwanted hate,” said junior Johnny Atwal, who recently immigrated to the United States, though he is a longtime a U.S citizen.

  A factor that plays into their fears is Mr. Trump’s mention of the deportation of “criminal aliens.” With no hard line that defines who is a “criminal alien,” undocumented immigrants worry that they could easily get swept into this category based on appearance and be more subjective to false accusations of criminalization and deportation. It is not surprising that many are living in fear.

  Even though 53 percent of white women voted for Mr. Trump, many women say that they are disappointed and disgusted by his win.

  He has widely been criticised for his “objectification of women” according to The Telegraph, using terms such as “pig,” “slob,” and “disgusting animal” in reference to the female population.

  Mr. Trump has also made remarks that women should be “punished for having abortions” and that it is “their fault.” He openly supports the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which seeks to ban abortion nationally. He also has promised to completely defund Planned Parenthood if they “continue to perform abortions.” Planned Parenthood, in reality, actually does not even provide the majority of abortion care; instead, they work on providing health services and other important services for struggling women that need the help.

  “Women have a right to (their) own bodies and (their) own choices,” said junior Sara Robertson.

  Sara said that many women choose abortion because they can’t afford to raise a child and it is the ethical thing to do to have the child never be born and “therefore never suffer.”

  Sara also said at this time she is feeling “afraid, outraged, heartbroken, and ashamed of the U.S.” after Mr. Trump’s election.

  She believes her concerns echo those of many women.

  Women have mainly been reacting in the form of protests. The biggest movement, a “Women’s March on Washington,” is set to take place Jan. 21, one day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Women mostly see the rally “as a way to move beyond despair they felt following the election,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Tens of thousands of people have admitted so far they plan on participating in the march.

  Mr, Trump’s relationship with the LGBTQ community stands in contrast, and sometimes in conflict with his supporters, who are largely anti-LGBTQ. Fourteen percent of LGBTQ members voted for M. Trump. He has delivered speeches at anti-LGBTQ events and has supported homophobic and transphobic legislation (i.e he supports North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ laws). He has pledged to sign the “First Amendment Defense Act” that would legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination, according to the watchdog group LGBTQ Nation. Trump said also thinks businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

  However, he had also mentioned that people who transgender should be able to choose the bathroom that they believe fits their identity.

  The aftermath of the election has LGBTQ members largely frightened for a “surge of hate crimes” according to the newspaper Salon. The hatred and discrimination that comes with Trump towards LGBTQ validates hatred and discrimination by other people who may have been “quiet” homophobes for a while.

  A member of LGBTQ community at Branham (who wished to remain anonymous) said that, “the community is really worried about how Trump and Pence are going to affect LGBTQ+ rights like marriage and such.”

  The Branham student continued, saying that “many are worried about Pence’s support of conversion therapy. [But) I think the most prominent feeling is concern for the safety of LGBTQ+ individuals with Trump as president.”

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