Donald Trump is the personification of the dark underbelly of America.
He is the racism, xenophobia and white privilege that this country was built on and has built into itself. He is a born out of years of police raids on gay bars, biased arrests of trans women, mccarthyism and the systematic erasure of indigenous gender expression. Donald Trump is not an anomaly in this country, he is a distillation of the filth from America's past and present.
I am a proud transgender gay man. I have lost family and friends because of who I am, I know from personal experience that Donald Trump is not alone in his convictions. This election has shattered any shred of belief that LGBTQ folks, people of color, disabled people and women clung to that we live in a society that can rise above our past.
Looking back through history, whenever there is a movement towards affirming the rights of the people there is a pushback from conservative factions. This happened during the civil rights movement and in pre World War II Germany. In one example the people and the governing body chose to affirm the rights of the people (to varying degrees of success) and, in the other, the conservative pushback won.
America was on the edge of this dilemma. We had a candidate who was running with the most robust progressive platform that has been seen and another who used fear mongering and violent rhetoric to stir the disenfranchised working class whites into action. He gave the masses people to blame for their lost work rather than giving suggestion to create actual job growth. He spoke to the anger and fear already present and mobilized it.
This election result means that the strides we have made in the past few decades towards creating a more equal playing field are likely to be lost as well as a probable peak in violence and discrimination against oppressed groups.
I am on the front lines of Donald Trump violent rhetoric. I am cognizant of the danger that his election to the presidency poses for me and many of the people who I care deeply about. My only hope is that rather than being cowed by Trump, a republican house and the possibility of three new Supreme Court justices appointed by him the American people will fight against Trump before we tip any farther over the precipice into a very dark future.
Zeke Pralle is a senior sociology major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.