Ashley Chan: Is it really Hillary time?

Off the Binary


Andrew Hodowanec/The Observer

Read our full coverage of Hillary Clinton’s stop at CWRU last week.

Last Thursday morning on Bellflower Road, an eager mass of students, faculty and Clevelanders waited to enter Freiberger Field. The Case Western Reserve University air contained an aura of excitement as hype revved up the community. It was Hillary time.

As news made headlines about the Democratic presidential candidate, visiting CWRU for her first campaign stop in Ohio, I couldn’t help but feel exhilarated by the event. Hillary Clinton, a champion of women’s rights and celebrity in the left wing was visiting my school. Caught up in the publicity that CWRU received alongside increased political discussion on campus, group mentality also increased on campus.

Clinton has received much attention from the public from her perceived feminist flair and boldness, but this could be what’s blinding much of the American voting population. Propaganda and hype from political rallies and campaigns are intended to gather people in a movement and label them with a group identity. In Thursday’s case: a Clinton voter.

As an observer in the crowd, I witnessed inconsistencies between the Clinton she was advocating and what could be the true Clinton. A campaign for presidency should be interactive. It is a way for possible voters to understand the candidates better, based on knowledge of their respective platforms, or feel a personal connection with them, based on their story. However, as Clinton was speaking, she was interrupted by members of Black Lives Matter, who chanted the names of three black trans women who were murdered in Ohio. She responded to them by saying she’ll talk to them later, which she did not. Her response was followed by clapping and cheering.

But how is this something to be cheered for? Activists protest and chant to bring about awareness and notify others of issues that may potentially be overlooked. As a presidential candidate with glam and superior poise, Hillary silenced the protestors with support from the crowd.

Music cued the conclusion of the campaign event, and the presidential candidate made her way around in a circle to interact with participants. Of course, in the 21st century, this means shaking hands and capturing coveted Clinton selfies. However, even these innocent gestures were interrupted by two women from GetEQUAL.

“Hillary Clinton, will you support black trans women?”

The chanting continued without acknowledgement from Clinton that the women even existed, until they were slowly drowned out by the increased volume of the music playing. It was much too coincidental to ignore the increased volume tuned to drown the activists’ voices.

Why is she so hesitant to respond to a seemingly simple question? Could she not give an answer because of the possibility of switching positions?

Clinton claims to be an advocate for feminism, but how can she pride herself over this image when her actions don’t align with her platform? Members of the LGBTQ community are silenced to the extremities of seclusion and suicide year after year, but Clinton was unable to give the women her answer or her attention.

Clinton spoke of coming from an underprivileged upbringing to allow the middle class to trust and align themselves with her. She spoke of how her grandparents immigrated to America and built their lives from the bottom up through perseverance and hard work. But how are ordinary citizens able to give her their vote and trust her when she is accepting money from the giants of Wall Street?

The activists and members of the middle class are working hard, only to have their efforts shoved away in a pile of collecting dust that Clinton isn’t appearing to clean.

Ashley Chan is a lost, undecided first-year who gravitates toward free samples. #frugalicious