LOS ANGELES-There are people who are more than a little pissed off that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. They’re angry. They are outraged. The epidemic of marches and rallies across the countries underscores this fact.
More than likely, those demonstrations are going to carry on for quite some time if you listen to protesters. How long they’ll last, no one knows for sure. But right now, it’s on and popping around the country with chants of “Not My President” and “F**K Donald Trump” blaring loud and clear in the throes of marchers taking their disgust to the streets.
The Saturday after the 2016 Presidential Election, was one of those days as more than 8,000 demonstrators walked down the streets of Los Angeles with a unified voice of fear, consternation and hostile displeasure that Mr. Trump won the presidency.
In the case that you have been living under a rock for the past 16 months and have no clue why people are venting about a Trump presidency, the list of insults and discreditation is pretty long.
There are claims that Trump is racist. Women have come out and said that he sexually assaulted them. He’s been blunt about his stance on a woman’s right to choose (abortion). He’s been more than adamant about curbing the flow of illegal immigration into this country. His campaign stance to take away Obamacare from millions of Americans has ruffled more than a few feathers.
Yes, that is a lot to chew on. Did Trump win the presidency under the assumed ideology that “Make America Great Again” was nothing more than coded language for “Make America White Again?” Judging by the comments made by demonstrators recently, that is exactly why and how he won the election.
In their eyes, Trump preyed on the fears of the white working class and got elected. That seems to be the driving force of protesters who have denounced the business mogul as everything but a nation unifier.
“There are several reasons why Donald Trump’s campaign offends me, said Suzanne Down. “The fact that someone who has bragged about sexual assault has been elevated to the highest office in this country…as a mother, offends me to my core. We live in a culture (where) it’s been okay for rich white men to take what they want, where men of color are serving years and years in jail for rape, and when we just had this young, white swimmer just get off with a wrist slap because he had such great potential with his life ahead of him. What kind of world is that we are living in?”
For Down, the thought that flipping back time on progressive stances by the country on several societal matters, is a scary idea.
“I feel like reproductive rights can be overturned. Gay marriage can be overturned. This is super dangerous,” Down said. “The reason why I’m out here protesting is letting the world know that there are thousands of Americans that reject bigotry, that reject sexism, that are pro-immigration, that stand up for people’s rights, and I want every person in our country, just like me, who are scared right now, whether it’s a woman, a transperson, a person of color, an immigrant, all of these people are out here risking either getting tear-gassed or arrested for their rights. They need to stand up against hate and against bigotry.”
Actress Daleeleh Sada (American Crime, 2017) said she isn’t trying to re-live the kind of American history where full frontal bigotry ran rampant and race hatred spread like a sickened virus across the nation’s landscape with an open arm embrace.
“I just want America to know that we don’t accept Donald Trump as our President,” Sada said. “He’s not for minorities. He’s not for immigrants. He’s not for women or for women’s choice. We’ve fought so far and (have) gone so far in this country, as far as acceptance. I don’t want to turn back.”
Sada is especially appalled that half the nation voted for a man who she believes has a lack of respect for women.
“Grabbing our you-know-what…it’s a sexual assault,” Sada said.”That is who we put into our White House. It’s insane. Then he numbers us by the way we look? I mean, who did we elect? We elected a nutcase. On top of it, I don’t necessarily know that he really believes everything that he said, but the fact that half of the country has voted for this man is despicable, and it’s scary.”
In walking and speaking with protesters, the angst is high. The fear is real. The rebuke of racial intolerance is clapped with an iron grip. Many in the Los Angeles demonstrators feel the next four years will come at the expense of women, minorities and immigrants, undocumented or otherwise.
The mischaracterization of Muslims has been a lightning rod. The alignment of white nationalists supporting Trump only adds to the racial division that is playing out in spiked hate crimes since the election. It’s no surprise to Johnny, who chose not to give his last name, that the race card has become front and center around Trump.
“I think that it (racism) is one of those blue lights that you shine on a hotel room bed, and the room looks clean, and then all of a sudden you shine that blue light on it and you see all the stuff that has been there forever,” Johnny said. “I think that he (Trump) is just a blue light that got shined on a nasty hotel room.”
The solution to fixing all of these anti-Trump feelings is to be diligent and to act, said Johnny.
“I think we have to be more aware, we have to be more involved and we have to not let this slide,” Johnny said. “We can’t let things past. We can’t feel that the government doesn’t filter down to our very own individual lives. And some people feel that way.”