America is on the cusp of some of its most divided days. As the new President-elect enters the White House, the rest of country is picking sides and sticking to them.
As presidential election votes were being tallied throughout America, a cut was being formed. This cut seeped deeper than most, piercing the emotional minds of millions of Americans. This cut caused a political divide exemplifying that America might be at its worst times historically. Many factors can be blamed for this political up rise, including our newest president elect, Donald Trump.
The rise of the Donald Trump campaign and other factors have caused an up rise in southern confederation, racism, and has built a disconnect between minorities and the rest of the world. A once unconstitutional and unethical past time is creeping back into the minds of many.
“I did not see myself as a potential person that this would happen to,” said Professor Eddie Cuisinier.
Cuisinier, a 12-year French instructor at WKU, was on his way home from teaching when he was stopped and harassed by a stranger on campus. “I did not feel threatened, I just felt shocked. I just sat there after for two or three minutes thinking what just happened.”
The stranger told Professor Cuisinier that he “wasn’t going to stay here long now that Donald Trump is President.”
Before this instance, Cuisinier had not been harassed for years.
“This is the first time that I am actually nervous,” Cuisinier said. “I am nervous about my status here.”
Professor Cuisinier joins a long list of citizens in Bowling Green, KY that have been victims of verbal and physical harassment for the first time.
On October 5, 2016 WKU Sophomore and SGA senator Francisco Serrano was walking with his girlfriend, when a car pulled up next to them.
“They yelled Go back to Mexico spicks, throwing a cup at us with some random liquid and ice,” Serrano said.
Serrano was born in Bowling Green, but his parents immigrated to America from El Salvador. Though Serrano has dealt with discrimination his whole life, this is the first time where the hatred turned physical.
“I don’t think this is too bad of a thing,” Serrano said in response to the election results. “I think it’s opened a lot of people’s eyes to realize that the only way we are going to accomplish anything is if we work together. It’s creating divisions but it’s also bringing people together. It’s inspired courage inside of me to not be afraid.”
President-elect Trump said that he was “surprised to hear” that some of his protestors had been using racial slurs during a 60 Minutes interview that aired on November 13th. He has also claimed that he does not know why the white supremacist groups have been “energized” by his campaign,
Regardless of what Trump says, statistics have proven otherwise.
The Southern Poverty Law Center collected data after the election to find out how many hate incidents had occured across the country. After 10 days of collecting data from multiple sources, the SPLC reported 867 Post-election hate incidents happening throughout almost every state in America.
The number gathered by the SPLC is only a tiny grain of the actual number of election-related incidents that have taken place since Donald Trump secured the presidential nomination on November 8.
According to Bowling Green police records, around 20 incidents dealing with accusations of racism or discrimination have been filed since June 1 of this year. After the election, 14 incidents had been submitted to the SPLC after only 10 days.
This uprise in hatred and violence has caused many people to voice their opinions, and say how they feel now more than ever.
“I truly believe that a lot of the things that were said about Trump are strong accusations with not a lot to back them up,” Said Nate Washington, President of College Republicans at WKU. “We live in a country that is very media driven.”
Washington is a WKU sophomore and an African American male from Clarksville, TN. Washington has been a republican his whole life and was raised in a republican household.
“It doesn’t matter what ideology you have, you must give a little bit of something,” Washington said. “This is America.”
Washington stood true to his views during an anti-Trump protest that ensued on WKU’s campus just a day after the presidential election. WKU students and anti-trump protestors burned signs, chanted negative slogans towards republicans, and rallied while in the midst of Bowling Green Police and republicans.
Washington was one of the few republicans that were supporting trump during the protest.
“The people that are opposed to Trump see him as a villian,” Washington said. “They will never see what good he’s done.
Protests have not been the only thing that has popped up since the presidential election. A few formal events were held on campus at WKU after the election to discuss what has been going on.
“The world of incredible safety is not real…” said Dr. Lynne Holland during an National Pan-Hellenic Council forum held at WKU. “We navigate anyways because we must.” Dr. Holland was one of the panel members that spoke during the forum. Other panel members included WKU President Gary Ransdell.
“Going forward the battle is always going to be uphill,” said Kijana Beauchamp, senior communication studies major at WKU. K.J was recently on a panel for an SGA forum that dealt with racism after the election.
“We need to do everything we can to come together as a nation and get through this together,” said Beauchamp.