Red Storm: Campus Climate after Elections

By Kate Frimet
NEWS Reporter


you support Trump, you’re racist. If you support Trump, you’re sexist. If you support Trump, you’re able-ist. If you support Trump, you’re homophobic. If you support Trump, you’re transphobic. If you support Trump, you’re xenophobic. If you support Trump, you’re Islamophobic. If you support Trump, you’re fascist. If you support Trump, you are not a good person. These are not insults. These are facts.”

To my friend who posted this on social media: Are you kidding me? Are you – a self-proclaimed liberal, a crusader of equality – really trying to convince me through an Instagram post that half the population of the United States are bigots? Apparently, yes. You are going to corrupt the ideals of acceptance and tolerance to insist that everyone who voted for Trump is a horrible person.

I realize this election was heated. Emotions ran wild, hurtful remarks were spewed, and biases were formed. That’s no excuse to generalize half the population. That’s no excuse to make those who supported Trump feel inferior. That’s no excuse to disregard the justification, opinions, and logic behind their vote.

There are many people on our campus who support Trump. They are not bad, ignorant people. They’re people who have favorite colors, and pets, and books they like, and movies they hate, and stories about summer camp, and people they love. They’re like any other person. They are people who looked past the denigration of this campaign to figure out which policies they believed in. Does that make them horrible? I don’t think so.

I do think that the way the majority of people on our campus talked about the people who supported Trump was deplorable. Trump supporters were mocked, insulted, condemned, shunned. People treated their political opinion like a scarlet letter. It was spoken about like some big secret, in hushed tones behind closed doors. Meanwhile, many who supported Clinton flaunted it. They spoke proudly about her policies and past, and didn’t care who heard. They talked about how they were open and accepting, yet when anyone supported Trump, they made snap judgments about their personality.

Mercersburg Academy’s mission states, in part, that it “prepares young men and women from diverse backgrounds… for life in a global community. Students… [learn] to live together harmoniously in a supportive residential environment.” What kind of supportive environment makes people uncomfortable talking about their ideas, opinions, and beliefs? How will people get through life in a globalized world if they cannot learn how to accept and understand those who differ from them?

So to the person who unfairly labeled half the population: Sit down and have a real conversation with someone who voted for Trump. Find out who they are because people are not one-dimensional. Then come back to me and decide whether all Trump supporters are bad.

Posted in: Opinion

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