Hannah Spitzer, Class of 2018

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Hannah Spitzer, Class of 2018

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Here are the facts: Donald J. Trump will be the next President of the United States of America, the country is more divided than ever and hate has consumed our people.

Just like so many people, I never saw this coming. This election feels like a joke taken too far. I am disappointed in America: peers, friends and even family members.

This election has caused me to question what it means to be an American. At the beginning of the school year, I was given an assignment that asked me to illustrate what being an American means to me. My poster displayed my pride for our democracy, diversity and, ironically enough, past Presidents. I have always felt proud to be an American— and despite the dismay this election has brought me, I still am.

Being American means the same thing now as it did when our Founding Fathers signed the constitution, and it will mean the same thing for centuries to come— in the words of my hero, Michelle Obama, “when they go low, we go high.” Such wise words of wisdom have come from a strong black woman who has received so much hate from so many Americans, but she knows, “this hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country.”

I know the grief many of us are experiencing, I know how much you loathe Trump and everything he and his supporters represent. No matter how scared we feel, no matter how powerless you think you are, no matter how badly you want your voice to be heard— we must never lose hope and admiration for this country.

We are America.

We are America and no matter how angry and frustrated it makes you— we can not afford the privilege to stop fighting for what is just. Do not tolerate homophobia, discrimination, racism and hateful people.

I feel angry, scared, and sad. These are valid ways to feel. Neither I, nor does anyone else, have the right to tell Trump supporters the anger, fear and loss of hope they have felt is not valid. It has become apparent that there are too many Americans that feel this way. It is the American duty to hear them out. This is what it means to live in a democracy, all voices are heard. I pity Trump and all his supporters and feel sad for whatever caused them to feel such hate; I hope they find whatever it is they are looking for in America because I will.

As Americans we can not root for Trump to have an unsuccessful term in the White House. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Be your own flame, no, be America’s flame.

The only thing stronger than fear is hope. Trump has run a campaign that has validated hate and brought about fear. Your hope is pure. Your hope is strong. Never give up. Never stop fighting for what is right. Do not relent. Do not hate. We are America’s future— be strong. It starts with us.