In the immediate aftermath of election night, disbelief dominated our newsroom. Anger, fear, grief, and confusion followed soon after, but by the next morning, we remembered what our role as is journalists: to tell the truth, minimize harm, and hold those in power accountable.
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States threatens not only our profession as journalists, but our existence as people. This is not the time to be impartial or neutral; neutrality is complacency.
Trump’s victory represents many things, but hatred and fear are prominent among those. We know what he has said and done throughout his life, especially during the last year and a half. He has mocked the disabled, exhibited unapologetic misogyny, encouraged and perpetuated sexual assault (for which he will be on trial soon), opened the floodgates for emboldened racists by leading by example, denied climate change, and has overall threatened the existence of anyone who is not a white man in America.
We condemn his election to the most powerful office in the nation as a bigoted, confused backlash against rapid social change. We acknowledge the role apathy and corruption have had leading up to his win. We recognize and empathize with the marginalized communities that are in the most immediate danger.
But now, we move forward.
Solidarity, advocacy, and resilience are what we look to now. Hope is nice, but actions are more meaningful. Women, LGBTQIA+, people of color, Muslims, undocumented citizens, and anyone else threatened by the Trump campaign will need our help. We must stand between our fellow citizens and anyone who wishes to harm them, even if that is the government.
Our collective health and well-being will be paramount in the next four years. If the results of the election have taken a toll on you mentally or physically, we encourage and support you in taking a step back and doing anything you need to feel better. Self-care is not laziness, it is crucial for resistance.
It can be easy to accept disillusionment and despair as the the new normal, but it is much more radical to mobilize. Vote in midterm elections. Organize and volunteer for causes you are passionate about. Befriend and learn from those who don’t look like you. When you witness injustice, act. The power of America doesn’t come from one position, it comes from us.
It is also important to resist giving in to hatred, the very thing we are so afraid of in this moment. Goodness still exists in us and our fellow people, and it must continue to thrive to prevent the next four years from becoming one large step backwards. While Trump may have won, numerous others who oppose his ideals did too. Pramila Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar is the nation’s first Somali-American legislator. Catherine Cortez Masto is the first Latina senator in U.S. history. Jay Inslee is our Washington state governor once more. These are individuals intent on protecting our values from bigotry.
The blame game is tempting, exclusion even more so, but to seal yourself off is to embrace the xenophobia championed by Trump. Physical and mental spaces of inclusion and safety are vital to our survival, now more than ever. Do not lash out against opinions different from your own. Seek to understand and educate instead. It’s not easy to admit, but divisiveness and alienation on both sides led to this outcome. We must do better, together.
What does moving forward look like in concrete terms? It looks like support and unity. Reach out to those closest to you that you know are more affected by this than you. Don’t wait for someone to ask for your support, offer it willingly and fiercely. When you are sure you’re alright, that your loved ones and your community are alright, begin to take action.
Here are some resources for tangible actions you can take now and for self care on the route to making our country greater than hate.
Volunteering and advocacy:
- UW Ethnic Cultural Center — email@example.com
- Planned Parenthood — (206) 328 7715
- Leadership Without Borders — depts.washington.edu/ecc/lwb/
- Citizen University — www.citizenuniversity.us/
- WashPIRG, UW Chapter — Facebook @WashpirgUW
- Huskies on the Hill with ASUW Office of Government Relations — firstname.lastname@example.org
- Engage UW committee — volunteer.asuw.org
- Women’s Action Commision — women.asuw.org
- La Raza — email@example.com
- Queer Student Center — firstname.lastname@example.org
- The UW Counseling Center — washington.edu/counseling
- Hall Health mental health clinic — (206) 543 4716
- Forefront suicide prevention — (206) 543 1016
- Huskies for Suicide Prevention and Awareness — hspauw.com
- UW SAFE Campus — (206) 685 7233
- UW Health and Wellness — (206) 543 6085
- The Crisis Clinic — (866) 427 4747
Editor-In-Chief Mohammed Kloub
Opinion Editor Rebecca Gross
Arts & Leisure Editor Colin Piwtorak
Sports Editor Alexis Mansanarez
Wellness Editor Aleenah Ansari
Science Editor Emma Bueren
Photo Editor Aurora San Miguel
Copy Chief Angelina Caplanis
Copy Chief Molly Quinton
Development Editor Susana Machado
Podcast Editor Alex Bruell
Special Sections Editor Makayla Kinsella
Reach the editorial staff of The Daily at email@example.com. Twitter: @thedaily