Beneath the surface of a terrifying election result sits a simple truth: More than 50 million voters proved ready to validate and legitimize the basest political pandering in modern history. Racism, xenophobia and misogyny characterized Donald Trump’s campaign, but throughout the past horrifying months, many resilient Americans vowed never to tolerate his brand of hatred and fear-mongering.
Now the future of the country seems bleak, but just because Trump’s beliefs will infiltrate the White House doesn’t mean they merit normalization.
In fact, it’s more important than ever to challenge the implicit and explicit prejudices that pervade American society.
The man to occupy the White House will have boasted on video about sexually assaulting women and will have constantly invalidated survivors. The man to occupy the White House will have suggested banning an entire religion from entering the United States. This election is surreal, in the most fucked up way.
Now the path forward is precarious but clear. The communities that Trump targets — Latinos, undocumented immigrants, disabled people, Black people, women and LGBTQ+ people — deserve unfiltered and undying support in the face of a federal government that promises to continue ostracizing them, or worse.
We all need to rally behind communities in any and every way possible. To combat Trump’s hate, we need to support survivors of sexual violence. To combat Trump’s hate, we need to rally behind undocumented immigrants. To combat Trump’s hate, we need to empower women and people of color. It means being everything he’s not.
It won’t be easy. Trump’s election marks a backward leap that invalidates years of progress fought and bled for by civil rights martyrs striving for a better future.
Our future vice president, Mike Pence, has already laid a roadmap for what the new order could look like. He used his position as Indiana governor to institutionalize anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. With the full weight of the federal government behind them, what’s to stop Trump and his cronies from going even further?
This will make fighting for social justice even harder, and activists aren’t likely to find an ally in the White House, as they often did with President Barack Obama.
People who think a Trump presidency will move the country in a positive direction kid themselves. Make America great again? Trump has cemented his commitment to ensuring our country’s position as a laughingstock.
And though Berkeley might be largely insulated from the rest of the country with its liberal state and local officials, the cultural shift that Trump promises to usher in will have further-reaching repercussions.
As marginalized communities across the country grapple with the fact that voters said “no” on a referendum of respect, everyone needs to voice unprecedented solidarity, rally in unconditional support and remember that love will always trump hate.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.