This Man Does Not Represent the Values We Hold as a Society

By Henry Butler (Clark University Undergraduate)

Before anything else, I would like to thank everyone for their support as we all cope differently with the insidious effects this election is bound to bring to the future. Wednesday, I believe we can all agree, was an eerie day. The silence and discomfort within the community blanketed itself like fog and I felt almost dazed and confused with every interaction I had.

While working at Acoustic Java, for example, I found myself tirelessly working to remain calm, collected, and pleasant for the customers, but it was no use. Before each interaction I felt myself holding back my typical greeting of “good morning” or “how are you?” because it was not a good morning and I did not want to know how people were doing since I already knew the answer. Some people would smile and try to act as if nothing was wrong while other people appeared lost in thought.

I had my emotions under control for most of my shift, but one customer came in, more solemn than the rest. They leaned in to reassure me that what had happened was wrong and that something will be done to fix this and this hope and compassion shook me at the very core. Their words spoke of hope, but their eyes told a very different story and the sensation overwhelmed me. It took every ounce of my being to resist the urge to cry, I am still resisting this same urge now.

By mid-afternoon I had found some time to work through the election. What I have concluded is that there is no point in dividing ourselves farther apart as a nation. Whether you believe third party voters, rigged primaries, or negative media coverage towards Hillary is the root cause of her loss, none of that matters now. Whatever happened is done and we need to think of the future, however scary as it may be, and we need to work through what we can do as individuals and a community to strengthen ourselves against any hate that may come.

That being said, I am just as angry and scared as any other person is concerning this election. This election, regardless of the outcome, has proved that the United States is far from the land of the free. With nearly half of voters against the basic principles of human rights, it terrifies me to think that the years the LGBTQ+ community has spent fighting for human rights could be disregarded and actively fought against by the face of this nation.

In spite of this fear and anger I think that what we, the Clark community, need to do is reach out to one another and remember that these political changes do not change what we want and need as people. It will become a hell of a lot harder, but, for now, we need to check in on one another and offer support to those in need. We need to keep those dear to us close and remind everyone that this man does not represent the values we hold as a society. As young people we have the ability to shape the future and be catalysts for change. Let’s not allow this to stop that change, our futures and the futures of the generations below us are depending on us.