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The Blue & Gray Press | September 21, 2017

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Oppressed work to empower each other under Trump presidency

Oppressed work to empower each other under Trump presidency

By DANIELLE HOWARD

Throughout the entirety of his campaign, President Donald Trump actively insulted and attacked large margins of American citizens while empowering a select few under the guise of his slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’  His words and beliefs against people of color, members of the LGBT+ community, women, Muslims and more were met with horror and praise.

It was heavily debated, whether or not a man with such a temper and willingness to fly off the handle would be capable of acting presidential. Whether he is capable now, is no longer the only question many still ask. Since his confirmation as president, many feel that his election has left them with sentiments that their identities and beliefs are not validated as being acceptable under the current socio-political climate, myself included.

For some, this is just another drop in the ocean among numerous other acts of oppression against their respective groups. However, for many, they feel that the remarks made against them by the president are not only a threat against their humanity but also emboldens many who feel empowered by the election to actively initiate harmful behavior or actions against those that look or identify a certain way.

Due to the perceived lack of acceptance by President Trump and his supporters, many activists took to social media to vocalize their contempt by starting the hashtag #notmypresident. This trending hashtag was met with strong backlash. Many felt that using this hashtag was disrespectful towards the highest elected office in the country. Often the words, “take the higher road,” or even Michelle Obama’s famous statement, “when they go low… we go high,” is used as a rebuttal or a way of shutting down people who speak about their discontent with the current president and his cabinet.

These sorts of statements can be harmful and used as a way of downplaying or discrediting people’s feelings or lived experiences. When those expressing their feelings are told to “take the higher road” it plays into the myth of respectability politics and in a way, attempts to tell the oppressed to act in a way that is more pleasing or acceptable, in order to gain the respect of those that oppress them.

Because many of those who feel personally affronted by remarks made by Trump are considered to be on the societal outskirts, they have to find a way to amplify their voices or bring attention to the systems that continually marginalize them. It is best to hear them out, rather than to simplify their claims.

Just because someone is in the president’s chair does not mean that they are without reproach. Disagreement is not a bad thing, it allows genuine conversation to flow and understanding between different groups to arise. When we work together to allow the perspectives of those who have been overlooked by society to be heard, we collectively have the responsibility to make sure that they feel their existence is being validated and to ensure that the world becomes much safer for us all.

As James Baldwin once said, “I love America more than any other country in this world and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

Comments

  1. William Galt

    What odd corner of social media do you occupy where the lefts ability to criticize Trump is threatened? If there were ever a threat to free speech, it’s not coming from people being told to “take the higher road”. Now the modern college campus on the other hand….

  2. Snowflake Detector

    WARNING: Snowflake Detected—-

    What is with this trend of obtuse language? Example/– “many feel that his election has left them with sentiments that their identities and beliefs are not validated as being acceptable under the current socio-political climate…” Is that even supposed to mean anything? Was that from a random word generator? No clue.

    I think what this article was trying to say is that if a political figure doesn’t lavish praise on a group of people it means they are being oppressed. Then the article says that “taking the high road” is unacceptable and that radical leftists should take the low road. Trust me, they don’t need any encouragement to do that. Leftists are the hobgoblins of low road taking. This is another demonstration of how the left lacks any semblance of principles.

    There are many legitimate criticisms of President Trump: His continuation of the Obama Doctrine of using drone strikes to pointlessly kill people in other countries is abhorrent. His support of Obama’s Patriot act is anti-american. His healthcare policy of repealing/replacing Obamacare instead of simply repealing is asinine.

    —“These sorts of statements can be harmful and used as a way of downplaying or discrediting people’s feelings”—-

    The feelings of radical leftists need to be downplayed. Leftists are essentially children.
    You don’t indulge the callow behavior of a child and expect them to grow to be well-adjusted adults. A well-adjusted adult would never whine and moan about some political figure not lavishing them with enough praise. This leftist yearning to have a Strong Male Father Figure to approve of them is the result of an absence of a strong father figure in their lives. This article is a potent reminder for men to step up to the plate and be strong fathers. Without that positive male influence children never grow up and remain mewling babies.

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