Protests are not going to dismantle Trump Nation, but they will let the president-elect know he cannot dismantle us without a fight.
Peaceful protests, as well as one riot, have been breaking out since the eve of Nov. 8. Signs with “NOT MY PRESIDENT” flash on the television as one half of the nation fights back against the president-elect. Screams and tears are a staple for those who do not support Trump. Their rage is justified.
Southwestern College organized a march against Trump on Nov. 17. About 300 students came to express their disgruntlement with a system they find lethal fault in. Their voices were heard. They were peaceful.
After two hours and a few arguments prompted by a handful of pro-Trump agitators, the rally ran its course. The leader of the pro-Trump counter protesters later admitted he was mad at Abigail Flores, the woman who organized the anti-Trump rally, a classmate he had a previous disagreement with.
Protestors are angered and march to demand change. Then they go home and complain about the alt-right, or neo-Nazi, agenda over the dinner table. Protests are a great step to collect likeminded people and find a source of power. But this cannot be the only step to effect change.
Protest organizer Flores said she plans to continue the movement at SWC.
“My main goal was to stop (Trump),” she said. “Obviously one protest can’t do that, but its to bring awareness that there are people fighting against him and his administration. The first step isn’t going to do much, but I’m going to continue. I’m going to give that guy hell.”
Where do the people with fire in their veins go from here? As people march and the crowds grow, what are they marching toward? What is supposed to happen next?
Organization and strategic planning are what make a successful movement. We are encouraging our more moderate and progressive elected officials to stay true because millions of us are watching. Let these protests against America’s new bleach-white government unite people under one cause: to not let The Donald and his comic book supervillain posse Pence and Bannon take over the world… At least America.
Even if this trio and their allegiance of white nationalist goons do not have superpowers like Hydra, the fictional terrorist organization in Marvel Comics, their soldiers are very real. Neo-Nazism is back. Swastikas and Nazi salutes are slithering out from under rocks and logs. People are no longer afraid to hide their grotesque racism. Yet right-wingers say with straight faces there is no reason for minorities to fear a Trump presidency.
“There is rarely victory for nonviolent movements without a strategic plan,” according to “Canvas Core Curriculum: A Guide to Effective Nonviolent Struggle.” Protestors need to see a bright future America and defend the light. Then they must determine how to get there. Education is important on both sides, which means being able to properly articulate the importance of this movement to a racist family member as well as a misguided Trump supporter who can be salvaged.
Few people respond well to being called a bigot. Most people, excluding organized hate groups, do not like being called out on their prejudices. They really do not like hearing from liberals that the right-wingers like Dallas News Opinion Columnist Jonah Goldberg call “weeping delicate flowers.”
Goldberg blames America’s election of a racist president on liberals who keep calling people racist.
“Here’s some free advice for all the liberals insisting that Trump was elected by racists: The more you say that, the more you help Trump… There are a lot more white people out there who are not racist and therefore do not like being called racist or being berated about how their country is racist.”
Princeton University Professor Omar Wasow agreed.
“Protests, particularly by stigmatized subgroups, risk alienating members of an often hostile majority,” wrote Wasow in “Do Protest Tactics Matter?”
Wasow’s findings also show that violent retaliation from minority groups is more likely to steer the white vote towards the white-power Trump Nation we see emerging today.
“The earlier period of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement appears to have influenced public opinion and tipped persuadable whites towards the Democratic or “transformative egalitarian” coalition. Violent protests of the latter period were also associated with dramatic changes in public opinion and caused a politically meaningful subset of whites to switch away from the Democratic party to the ethnocratic or white supremacist coalition.”
This election ignited right-wingers around the planet. Let’s hope that they have humanity left within them and can be redeemed as Luke Skywalker redeemed Darth Vader. Yelling is not going to work. Violence is not going to work. Education is paramount. Ignorance must be vanquished.
We must not accept Trump’s description of African-Americans (“violent folks who live in Hell”), Latinos (“rapists,” “criminals”), women (“pieces of ass”), Muslims (“terrorists”), POWs (“losers who got captured”), military personnel (“stupid,” “incompetent”) and children (“my future date”).
We need to let Trump Nation know who we are and that we will push back. Otherwise, we will get Trumped.