There’s more than a handful of looming policies threatening to take effect after Jan. 20, but despite the drastic political changes that the Trump administration has promised, it is important to remember that some things shouldn’t change.
Values which President Barack Obama continuously supported throughout his terms in office, one of the most important being inclusivity, and straying away from one of the worst issues staring us in the face – Islamophobia.
After the Paris attacks in Dec. 2015, Obama gave a speech in a mosque of the Islamic Society in Baltimore, stressing the importance of remembering American Muslims and how they’ve been an integral part of our society.
“This is a struggle between the peace-loving, overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world and a radical, tiny minority. And ultimately, I’m confident that the overwhelming majority will win that battle,” he said.
And in not-so similar words, our President-Elect responded with a proposal of a “ total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.
Notice how the proposal didn’t call for a shutdown of “ that radical, extremist, minority of Muslims”, but instead, “Muslims”.
Georgia State is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and it’s inevitable that horrific things will most likely one again take place within the next four years, but targeting a religion, or any kind of group of people, should never be our response.
Obama has taught us to be inclusive, something that we’re proud to say our campus has been excelling in, and it’s important to stay that way despite the circumstances that arise within the next weeks, months, and years.
Support each other, and don’t fear standing up for what you believe in – when people’s rights are endangered, when they’re forced to be sent back to countries of war, violence, stand up for them when those in power do not.
It may be a great four years, or it may be a terrifying four years, the future coming into this administration is certainly uncertain. One thing to hold on to over the next years, is letting go of stereotypes, not getting caught uneducated, and staying inclusive, and loving towards everyone.
It’s crazy to think that in 2017 we still have to have to keep bringing up the conversation about not being hateful, but unfortunately these are the times we live in.
It seems as though people feel emboldened and even encouraged by on-going racism, or hatefulness to make it more “OK”. It’s certainly easier, when your country’s leader promotes that kind of behaviour – after all, if not our president, who are we supposed to look up to?
But no matter who does it, being racist is not okay, marginalizing is not okay, and downgrading groups of people is certainly not okay. We’ve come so far, and it’s unfair to go back now. In 300 years, this country has made gigantic strides towards equality, fairness, and while we’re still not there yet, the past eight years have done us good. It’s a shame to forget now what our past president tried so hard to teach us.