First Hand Accounts: Love Trump Hate Rally at Texas Woman's University
TWU “Love Trumps Hate” protest? I was all on board. Around 75 - 100 students and local anti-hate peaceful protesters gathered on the Texas Woman’s University campus Tuesday afternoon at 4:00pm to share stories and march through campus.
Although many people are still in disbelief, myself included, that someone who is so hateful could be our president, we won’t stand by quietly. I won't stand by quietly. As a part of Generation Z, this was my first presidential election, a heartbreaking one if that. Most of the people in the generations above me think protesting this election is pointless. They call us cry babies, sore losers. We have the right to vote, we have the right to protest. The idea of protesting a Presidential Election and other political movements isn’t far fetched. You know, I’m assuming the founders of TWU didn't build a concrete platform in the middle of campus for nothing.
There were many signs, clenched tightly by the attendees. Some signs read “Love Trumps Hate”, “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”, “Don’t Normalize Hate” and other uplifting messages. We spoke to three protesters; Lena Glover, a TWU Alumni, Anjelica Frega, a post-bac student, and Robert White, a Junior. The three protesters mentioned that the campus was relatively friendly towards the protestors, aside from the occasional eye rolls.
During an interview, a passer-by supported by saying, “I fuck with y'all, I love it. I’m so glad you have common sense.”
The protest consisted of roughly 75 - 100 people and was broken down into two parts. During the first part, a circle was formed where different participants introduced themselves mostly using their gender, race, and sexual orientation as an identification to tell their story, most of them following underneath the list of people Donald Trump has belittled. This was followed by the second part, a march. We chanted, ”Together united, we’ll never be divided” and “Love Trumps Hate.”
The protest was organized by a TWU alum, Sean Sala. As the protest marched through campus a few people joined and emphasized the protest, even instructors joined. “It gives you hope that there's still normal people in this city. It helps with the two college campus, you hope you can get more liberal people in one area.” White said.
Since Donald Trump has been elected president, there have been several outcries of racist acts, some reported just down the road in Coppell and Plano. Racist flyers were passed out at the SMU campus in Dallas earlier this week, chalk drawings of racial slurs appeared at Plano East High School, a racist card saying “Goodbye” and hinting at deportation was left on the desk of a Hispanic student in Coppell. The list, unfortunately, goes on. And I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.
There have been reports of Muslim women having their Hijab’s ripped off their heads from across the country, leaving Muslim students in fear for their well being. “I don’t know a lot of Muslim people, but I do know one woman in a class I am in, and I think of her all the time when I see those posts. If anyone did that to her I would be so upset,” Anjelica Fraga said. Many people have been waving confederate flags and leaving swastika drawings in various places, or calling each other racial slurs. Boys even making Twitter posts about “grabbing girl’s by the pussy.” All like it’s a fun game.
During the protest, a gay Latina woman stood up to speak. She spoke about how afraid she was for her family, for herself. Her parents, two illegal immigrants, fled back to Mexico recently. She expressed her concern about being alone and not having anyone around to support her. (editors note: If you are that student, and you are reading this right now, we would love to support you in any way possible. Please, please send us an email if you are that student -- firstname.lastname@example.org)
“We don’t have equality at all,” Glover said. “[Trump] is such a misogynist. People are just letting the sexism and racism out. I’m just scared, I feel like there been progressed made with that movement but I feel like it’s all going to go backward. People think it’s okay, like it’s been approved since your president is racist and shitty that you can be racist and shitty too.”
After the protest, on November 16th, I joined an open conversation about the Presidency in the CFO hosted by the Student Government Association. The room was filled with at least 12 people of different ethnic backgrounds; white, black, Latino, gay, straight. The open discussion touched on many topics like citizenship, diversity, racism, and the importance of talking it out.
At TWU we are fortunate to have students and incredibly inspirational professors who really care and promote safe spaces and safe space events. These safes spaces are marked by safety pins that are printed and posted around the buildings on campus. These spaces are meant for students to come talk and express themselves freely without judgment.
“We weren't talking to each before it happened,” a student said. “We all pretended it wasn't as bad before.”
“Maybe it’s the fact that there were two controversial people running,” another student said, “that it got everyone excited, but I hope it maintains that momentum I hope out of all this, this generation brings out some ass-kicking women.”
Although the election was heartbreaking and terrifying for most of the people in the room, everyone seemed to remain hopeful for change for the future. “I just have to let this sink in,” TWU student Emory Wolfe says. “I don’t know if we are supposed to accept this sad defeat like Hillary did, or try to fight back. This is the result of our democracy. What does that imply?” The open conversation ended, on the topic of we what as students, and what they, as our student government can do help stay positive.
I am Generation Z and I refuse to see hate be exercised in world where so much progress has been made. That is what is heartbreaking for me. It’s not that he won, but that we are letting his victory take over our morals and compassion toward other people. I believe that the main focus of this protest was to spread a safe place for those who feel threatened and to separate the idea of someone who is a “misogynist, sexist, racist” as our president, from our own morals that respect all human beings. Whether Donald Trump paid his way to the top or actually earned it, he is not my president, and I will never stop using my voice even if you think a change won’t happen.
"First Hand Accounts: Love Trumps Hate Rally at Texas Woman's University" is an opinion piece written by Jackie Thompson, a biracial student at Texas Woman's University and a regular contributor of The Dentonite.
Photos by Brian Doore
Header image design by Sara Button