Editorial: Moving forward at UP, the grace has to come from us

By The Beacon | November 9, 2016 11:23pm

Especially in recent years, celebrating diversity has become an increasing priority on campus, and The Beacon Editorial Board urges the campus community to continue this trend despite the change in national leadership.

Media Credit: The Beacon / The Beacon

“Where will the grace come from?”

On Tuesday night, this was the question CNN moderator Van Jones asked as the country witnessed Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.

Some students cheered in the Pilot House when Trump won Pennsylvania, while others put their heads in their hands. The energy on The Bluff on Wednesday was deflated, as many students wore all black and cried in their classes. One professor even started class by writing the number to a suicide hotline on the chalkboard.

Pilots, regardless of how you feel about the outcome, one thing is more certain than ever moving forward: The grace has to come from us.

The Beacon Editorial Board endorsed Clinton for President of the United States in October, and while we accept the results of the election, we continue to support Clinton’s values and ideals. In her concession speech Wednesday morning, Clinton wore a shade of purple — the combination of blue and red — and reminded us that her campaign was bolstered on the goal of “ building an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.”

This goal is not radical or unrealistic, despite the ideologies President Elect Trump has expressed. But it is something we all will need pursue feverently everyday for the next four years.

So the grace will radiate from each of us.

Now, more than ever, the University of Portland community needs to band together and recognize the beauty that exists in our diversity. We come from so many different places on the globe. We were raised in different churches, we love who we love and we need not apologize for any of it.

Donald Trump has expressed a vision for America that does not include all of the beautiful people that live in this nation. He wants to see a few demographics of people thrive, but has dismissed so many who differ from himself and his ideals.

We who are not white, affluent, cisgender, straight men must be dignified and unapologetic in who we are as the leadership in this country shifts. And we need those who do fit that description to support and stand with us. We must refuse to be silenced by a man who has called women “disgusting,” black people “lazy,” who mocked a disabled, refused to disavow white supremacist groups and more. Clinton asked in her concession speech that we “please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

The Beacon asks that of you, too.

As First Lady Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.”

Do not recoil in fear. Fear is what led this man to the presidency but it must not lead us to complacency or silence. It is time to step up to advocate for ourselves and each other, to lift each other up and create a space on campus where people need not live in fear.

Now, more than ever, the University of Portland needs to combat the hatred in this country by opening its arms to incoming students from diverse backgrounds. We need to hold off the toxicity of discrimination by reclaiming the UP Bubble. By being kind and accepting of those who come from all different backgrounds, we can begin to form a different kind of bubble: one of support, one that recognizes the humanity in all people, one of love and one of unity.

We need to come together in this difficult and divided time — there is work to do and it starts here.