Jacob Cunningham, guest columnist

I’d like to start off by saying I’m open to a conservative viewpoint. I’m open to frank dialogue on policy issues that Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents see differently on. I believe our country’s diversity is our country’s strength. Through debate, we can get to solutions that benefit everyone, not just the few.

However, the recent protests over President-elect Donald Trump are not only justified — they are needed.

Trump and his supporters were not shamed into silence by a biased media. They are not now the recipients of an irrational anger. Since Trump first announced his candidacy, he made his platform clear — kick out illegal immigrants, ban all Muslims from entering the country, build a wall along the border with Mexico, overturn Roe v. Wade and many policies that represent other alt-right viewpoints. In the debates, he expressed that he wanted a national stop-and-frisk policy (already ruled unconstitutional), and instead of offering anything of interest to the African-American community, he simply asked them, “What do you have to lose?”

What truly disturbs me about this election, is how quickly individuals are willing to look the other way. The KKK supported Trump — not a big deal. Numerous neo-Nazi organizations endorsed him — eh. He offers a known white nationalist and leader of the alt-right movement a prestigious cabinet position — hey, give the guy a chance. It’s this type of thinking, which has been prominent throughout this election, that scares me the most.

What we are seeing with the massive protest is not a group of people crying because they didn’t win. It’s people banding together to continue to denounce the racism, sexism, anti-immigrant and nationalism that President-elect Trump won this election with. To be frank, he won using Lee Atwater and the Republican Party’s southern strategy.

What I’m trying to say is the type of rhetoric Trump used during his campaign and certainly plans to implement as policy should be vigorously denounced and shamed.

It is not OK. It is wrong.

It should be protested and fought against any time it is made apparent. I write this as a heterosexual white male, one who has no reason at all to fear a Trump presidency, because I’m exactly the kind of voter he promised to fight for. However, I am scared for my immigrant, Muslim, African-American and LGBTQ friends and family. I would not be fulfilling my obligations to them, or to my country, to stand quiet while their liberties are under attack. I’ll leave you with the words of Malcolm X, because I couldn’t say it any clearer,

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” - Malcolm X.

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