Being a College Student During the Trump Era

The majority of my young adult life, I have witnessed more destruction of a nation then what I have read in my history books in elementary school. I have never been a political person, or expressed my political views, except to those who are very close to me. I decided to put this piece together and put together unbiased views as a college student during the Trump Era. 

As a little girl originally from New Jersey, I grew up and was taught that everyone is equal. I had friends of different races, ethnicities, and religions. I was taught that violence was never the answer to anything. From elementary to high school I was taught about U.S. History and that was repeated at almost every grade level. One thing that I remember was that the United States of America was founded because the colonists wanted unity, freedom and hope. We are still being taught that today. But I have been questioning it, and I am sure many of you are all too. 

Ever since President Trump came into office, I have witnessed friends separating themselves by political party. If you did not like their party, you were not friends  anymore or family. I am not saying that one side is doing this, it is all sides. I have walked into classes or around campus and people start telling me off if I did not share my political view on social media. I  would be getting questions if I was a Pro-Trump or if I was a liberal. I would say no. It is no one’s business to know my views. Why judge me on my political views?  

During this era, we decided to put a label on everyone. I learned as early as 2017 with an old friend. She was going on about how she supported the Charlottesville riots. And I questioned her and I  said, “You support the men and women who are flying the Nazi flag?” and she looked at me straight in the face and said, “It was peaceful until ‘you people’ came along.” And I asked her, “What do you mean, ‘you people’?” Her answer was,  “You liberals are destroying everything and everyone around you.” I ended our friendship because my “political label” was more important to her than who I was.

The Charlottesville Riot was the first time I saw people in this country flying the Nazi Flag. I have seen someone a couple of weeks later in Winchester, walking in front of the University flying the Nazi flag as I was going to my 8 am class. Then another week later, there were posters and flyers to join the KKK on campus. As a girl from “the north” I have never seen or heard of these things until this Trump Era and attending school in Virginia. 

We witnessed more crimes of  people killing each other because of their race, ethnicity, and religion. I will give you 3 example summaries of these crimes: 

  1. Nov. 3, 2016: In Tampa, Florida, David Howard threatened to burn down the house next to his “simply because” it was being purchased by a Muslim family, according to the Justice Department. He later said under oath that while he harbored a years-long dislike for Muslims, the circumstances around the home sale were “the match that lit the wick.” He cited Trump’s warnings about immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. “[With] the fact that the president wants these six countries vetted, everybody vetted before they come over, there’s a concern about Muslims,” Howard said. Howard, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation, and the 59-year-old was sentenced to eight months in prison.
  2. May 3, 2017: In South Padre Island, Texas, 35-year-old Alexander Jennes Downing of Waterford, Connecticut, was captured on cellphone video taunting and aggressively approaching a Muslim family, repeatedly shouting, “Donald Trump will stop you!” and other Trump-related remarks. Police arrested downing, of Waterford, Connecticut, for public intoxication. It’s unclear what came of the charge.
  3. Feb. 19, 2020: The FBI arrested Salvatore Lippa II, 57, of upstate New York for allegedly threatening to kill Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, the top Democrat in the Senate, and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. In late January, he left a voicemail at Schiff’s office in Washington, D.C., calling Schiff a “scumbag” and threatening to “put a bullet in your [expletive] forehead,” according to charging documents. Two weeks later, he allegedly left a voicemail at Schumer’s office in Albany, New York, saying “somebody wants to assassinate you.” When federal authorities confronted Lippa, he “admitted that he made the threatening calls because he was upset about the impeachment proceedings” targeting Trump. Lippa has been charged with threatening to kill a U.S. official and is currently engaged in plea negotiations with the government, according to court records.

These are only a few examples of crimes that were committed that people were doing in the name of Trump. There are over 54 crimes cases that were committed “for” the President. 

What happened on January 6, 2021 was something that broke what this country stood for- Unity. The Electoral College is a ceremonial event. But never in U.S. history a group of people stormed into The People’s House to create a coup because their party wasn’t going to win the presidency. So what does that say about the United States now? The country that created this great democracy was now diminished because an election was not in a certain party’s favor. That is what broke our unity. 

I am going to finish this article with a quote about what I think we all need to hear: 

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own  responsibility for the future” – John F. Kennedy

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