Patel: The new presidency meets social media

Riddhi Patel, Columnist

President Trump. It takes a while to sink in, or even accept. Personally, the news still has not even hit me yet. But it has been the hot topic all over my Facebook and Twitter timelines. People I have known since elementary school have been posting statuses and updates about the results, and what it means for them. The animosity is almost unbearable between all of my peers. People have their relatives arguing with their friends; former teachers have been arguing with students. Some people who have not used Facebook in four years have signed in to discuss the current state of America.

And by discussing, I mean nothing of the sort. The conversations people are having are anything but constructive. People are very close-minded and basically set in stone on their opinions. Regardless of who you voted for, it is important to try and respect people’s opinions.

While all of us will be impacted by the upcoming administration, a lot of people feel personally targeted by Trump’s presidency—minorities, women, LGBT individuals. One of the most disturbing posts I saw on my timeline was someone telling a fellow minority she had nothing to be afraid of—disregarding the increase in reports of hate crimes since Trump’s win. I also have friends telling me they are de-friending and cutting everyone who voted for Trump out of their lives. Both these stances are wrong.

It is important and necessary to check your privilege because of the current election. As an Asian-American, I know that in a lot of ways I will not be impacted by Trump’s tactics and policies. Most of his hate-mongering was targeted towards other minority groups, but that does not mean I should be silent. Lending a voice to those who will be severely impacted by the new President is the right thing to do. As a privileged minority, I and others like me need to realize that we can do something to help other minorities who may feel threatened by a Trump presidency.

However one aspect of my identity that will be affected by Trump’s presidency is my gender: I am a woman. Trump’s treatment of women throughout his life is disturbing to say the least. It makes me terrified to have him as a president—he is supposed to set an example. However what he has done in the past is extremely unpresidential.

Despite this, it is vital that we respect everyone’s opinions. It is ridiculous to completely write people out of your life because of who they voted for, unless they publicly came out expressing hateful comments regarding their choice for the presidency. Personally, I do not understand why anyone would vote for Trump because of the hateful things and comments he has made.

However, I am willing to listen.

That is the key thing—listening to people’s opinions and trying to understand their stance. People have their reasons for voting, and they are not always clear. Even if they are coming from an ideology that is considered hateful by some, I am willing to listen, learn and not assume the worst about anyone. I will most likely not change my stance on Trump; I did not vote for him. But trying to communicate with people is the only way to be civil right now. We are in the midst of a great divide because of the election, but we cannot stay this way. We have to listen. You can cut people out of your life, but right now, I think it is necessary to listen to them before you decide to do so.