(High School Insider)
Orange County School of the Arts

Opinion: The intersection of activism and anger

This week, social media accounts titled “Exposing Trump supporters” have taken high school Instagram culture by storm. Account after account popping up, all with the same objective — exposing Trump supporters at your high school.

These accounts, specifically the one at my school, have ignited a conversation among my peers and myself. I was taken by surprise by the people that laughed at the account, supported it or spoke out against it. But one general idea took over everyone’s thoughts regarding the account: it wasn’t activism.

Although, in my opinion, supporting Trump is an act of violence against women, POC and members of the LGBTQIA community, but that doesn’t mean that young Trump supporters deserve to be bullied.

The reason I say young is that high school student’s political views are often influenced by their parent’s views. So, if all a high schooler is reading, watching and hearing at home are words in support of Donald Trump, of course, the high school Trump supporters’ mind is going to be filled with twisted facts and half-truths, because it’s all they know. 

I believe that some of the best activism comes from a place of good anger. The type of anger that motivates you to write an Op-Ed and sign petitions and have difficult conversations with your family and friends.

However, the anger that motivates accounts like “exposing Trump supporters” is unproductive, and in a way makes a joke out of the real issues that come with supporting a person like Donald Trump. And “doxxing/canceling” someone for a political view that is spoon-fed to them and they don’t totally understand is very problematic. 

Beyond Instagram accounts, bullying people that support Trump for things that go beyond their political views is also very problematic. People will make fun of Trump supporters for their size or disabilities, but making fun of people for those things isn’t activism, it’s ableism and fatphobia.     

Activism should come from a place of desire to educate and speak out about issues that either affects you or people you care about. Activism should not come from a place of pettiness and misplaced anger. 

Accounts like “exposing Trump supporters” do nothing to educate Trump supporters or change their views, rather it drives them further into the MAGA universe, and drives us all backward.