Yesterday America mourned. Silence filled the air, chatter less light-hearted, eyes dimmed by the prior night.
Many of our hearts are heavy with the undeniable state of politics our nation faces these next 4 years, or better yet, our world. Many of us are angry and active, ready to fight for the progress we have accomplished these past several decades.
It is embarrassing to imagine Donald Trump portraying our country on international media. It is tragic to imagine that the face of our flag shows no compassion, and portrays so much hate. It is scary, because if the big guy does it, others will find no fault in complying.
But amidst the heavy hearts and sullen eyes, there are bright sides in being forced to recognize the shittiest parts of our nation. These bright sides are found in a fortified solidarity, the augmented connection that arises from a common fight.
Take a look at the universities around the country — the thousands of students at each campus already organizing, speaking, sharing thoughts, concerns, and avenues towards action.
Take a look at social media — the millions of posts ensuring others that their fight will not be waged alone, ensuring America that the decision we made last night was not an accurate portrayal of all red, white, and blue.
Take a look at your phones and computers — the texts and emails from family and friends extending nurturing words to lean on, and a common message to grasp onto.
The Trump Effect was coined during the presidential campaigns, when Donald Trump’s bigoted behavior and fear-based policies were evidently influencing the behavior of young children. Having a blatantly racist, childish, and incompetent figure as a national icon affected many students, instilling more fear and anxiety in children of color and increasing racial tensions within the classroom.
This was the Trump Effect before November 8, 2016.
Now, it is happening again.
Hundreds of individual cases of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual intolerance have taken place across the country, immediately following Donald Trump’s elect.
It is frightening, it is disgusting, it is downright heart-breaking.
But this Trump Effect will not be sustained, this Trump Effect will be defined by us on our own terms — not to strengthen or unify the ignorant crowds that derail individuals based on their backgrounds, the people who regress the progress that has been made by our comrades, or the cowards who commit acts of terror on the basis of their own blind, elitist views.
So what is the Trump Effect then?
Millions of people heart-broken, confused, yet ready to take a stand. Millions of people inspired to ensure that their country is not the heartless illustration of a privileged, ignorant, vindictive individual.
Trump broke us down. And now we have the opportunity to glue ourselves together stronger, brighter, and more diverse than we ever stood before.
In a world where Donald Trump undeniably stands as the President of the United States for the next four years, this is the Trump Effect of today: a conglomerating cause for the people, experiences, backgrounds, and conflicts that he attempts to pick apart, a symphonic organization of the voices he attempts to silence.
The Trump Effect is a stronger, more connected, more organized, more passionate, more unstoppable us. He, she, they, African-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, immigrants, undocumented individuals, refugees seeking asylum. The Trump Effect forces us to recognize that we may all assume integral roles in the forward progression of our society at large, in unison and in hearing. We adhere from different backgrounds and fight our specific fights, but in collaborating and recognizing one another we may fight for the great America we believe in, not the one broadcasted last Tuesday night. Together we will make the difference.
Because we are our friends, our families, our co-workers, our mentors. We are black, yellow, brown, white. Gay, straight, cis, transgender. Undocumented, dislocated, kept from citizenship. Poor, middle-class, or fighting for all of the above. We are Americans.