Protesting not Trump’s victory but his words

Emphatically voicing their discontent, many students at Troy High School staged a public demonstration against the protested the rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump in the quad Nov. 18.

Students spoke up against what they viewed to be the incendiary undertones of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which they claim has provoked greater racism and hate in the local community. The protest, organized by Troy senior Audrey Fan on Facebook, consisted of an opening statement, short speeches rallying Warriors against discrimination and a closing statement urging increased student activism .

According to protester Soham Patel, although demonstrators accepted Trump’s electoral college victory, they wanted Warriors to be cognizant of what they believe is the racism and misogyny that has accompanied Trump’s campaign and subsequent election.

“We are trying to send out a global message to denounce all the hate, Islamophobia and homophobia that the Trump campaign used to garner [its] votes,” Patel said. “We’re trying to send a global message that we, as American citizens and students and future voters, do not agree with what the current president-elect has done to get his votes.”

Some Warriors staged a counter-demonstration against the Trump campaign protesters, holding up various signs and chanting pro-Trump and anti-protest slogans. According to counter-protester Vijay Konka, the counter-demonstrators mocked what they perceived to be the close-mindedness of the protesters and argued that the protesters should accept the election results.

“Instead of protesting, we should unify,” Konka said. “We are stronger as a whole, and the election is over. Trump [will likely be] president. We have to move forward as a country.”

Regardless of student response to the protest, Warrior protesters hope that the event raised awareness of the need for more democratic participation. According to Patel, protesters believe the demonstrations will facilitate a dialogue between people with opposing ideas and encourage discussion, understanding and mutual respect following the tumultuous campaign season.

“This is not a Democratic versus Republican issue,” Patel said. “We [should] start discussing ideas that we are protesting today because you can find common ground and move forward. Diverse solutions come from diverse discussions.”

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