Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69 held that these two words symbolized the unity of this nation, its people and mosaic of communities for better and worse. Many of us found solace in her desire to emphasize harmonious progress in her campaign, while her opponent, President-elect Trump, chose to sponsor sentiments of fear and division. As a community, we unsurprisingly favored the Clinton campaign. We are women against sexual assault and female exploitation. We represent a diversity of thoughts, faiths, identities and aspirations. We believe in the inherent goodness of humanity and reject demonstrations of hate. We agree that conversion therapy is wrong and that it’s their body, their choice. We are united with Clinton in a siblinghood far greater than that of a shared alma mater, but by our subscription to and an embodiment of the ideals of equality, equity and liberty.
The results of the presidential election validated the hatred held by many and invited the rage of the frustrated. Not only did we underestimate the angry, we also did not listen. Now, we find ourselves living in a deeply divided country, facing racism, sexism and radicalism. Across the nation, the validation of prejudice has empowered individuals and populations to commit hate crimes against minorities on college campuses, street corners and in online forums. According the Southern Poverty Law Center, 201 such incidents have been recorded since Trump’s victory on Tuesday. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Muslims have surged 67 percent in the past year.
Although some have argued that Clinton supporters must set aside their differences in opinion, this election is a statement that transcends political disagreements. During his campaign, President-elect Trump insulted, disparaged and directly attacked a number of communities. His victory sends a direct message to these groups that they are not wanted or cared about in this nation. Asking Democrats and minorities to simply move past these abuses is unrealistic and ignorant. Non-violent protests conducted in response are meant to indicate to the rest of America that we still have a voice and place in this country. There is value in activism against what we perceive as fundamental offenses against our siblings. We need our solidarity, community and strength to fight on for justice — for our greater community and to our shock, at Wellesley as well.
Just this past week, we watched as Edward Tomasso and Parker Rand-Riccardi of Babson College drove to Harambee House, a gathering space for students of African descent, and harassed our classmates, all while flying Trump’s flag. Some news outlets argue that this is akin to the public actions across cities; however, while these protests are conducted under the protection of free speech, the invasion of private communities to behave in an abusive, misogynistic manner is not in line with Babson’s institutional values. To those who assert that we liberals are too sensitive, we would like to point out that both Babson and the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity agree that there is no room for hateful actions. In the words of Jalena Keane-Lee ‘17, who wrote for The Tempest, “These men came to our campus. They sought us out. They came to our space in a purposeful effort to make us feel unsafe. But we found them.” Today, we march with Babson students against this hate crime as well.
While many Trump supporters have chosen to harass those with contrary opinions, let us remember that we are the world’s most powerful women’s network. Our community has demonstrated that when much of the world endorses anger and hate, there is strength in love and reason. Both Tomasso and Rand-Riccardi may have attempted to challenge us of our safety through fear-mongering endeavors, but we will continue to fight back, whether that entails honing our skills to dismantle the structures that enforce inequity or using our degrees to propel ourselves into protecting the rights of the marginalized and ourselves. While we expected to shatter the highest glass ceiling on Nov. 8., we can find solace in knowing that women across the nation have succeeded in a number of historic firsts. Across our nation, a movement has been started to push women, particularly those of color, into high political offices. Nevada, for instance, elected its first Latina senator on Tuesday night, while California and Washington voted to send Indian women to Capitol Hill. Furthermore, as students at Wellesley, we may take pride in the fact that our siblings successfully campaigned to place dozens of politicians into their offices, and there is no doubt that we will continue to do so.
We at The Wellesley News stand in solidarity with our siblings and extended community. Together, we must endeavor to keep fighting for the values that we hold close to our hearts. We will not be stripped of our basic human rights. Let us not allow the Trump administration to minister fundamentally incorrect legislation unto us, but let us minister and hold his government accountable during these next four years.