Rebecca G. Aguilar | Writer

SCBWI

What is that thing? | Quiet

Posted by Rebecca G. Aguilar, M.Ed. on November 11, 2016

Safety pin to show solidarity

The results of our bitter presidential election has certainly confounded everyone, including the winners. If anything is certain now, President-elect Donald Trump could run roughshod of protocol and be impatient to move past policy and bureaucracy to enact his will. Expect plenty of gloating in the forecast, too.

Hillary Clinton supporters look past the disappointment for signs of encouragement and compassion. The solidarity of the safety pin, helpful notes for vulnerable communities, suggestions for standing against hate.

Speech and peaceful assembly rights preserved in the U.S. Constitution have been understandably exercised by marchers in Austin, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and New York. The 48 percent who didn’t vote for him has clearly expressed anger, shock, fear and mostly uncertainty.

A tweet from Trump characterized protestors as phony and media-manipulated. Then, in a subsequent tweet, he praised their passion. If this is an attempt at unpredictability, the strategy fails with voters already outraged by his inability to modulate his thinking before speaking.

Nobody expects Trump to immediately denounce the bigotry he rode to victory, but the very unity he calls upon to heal our country could stand some quiet from him for a little while.

Or not. In uncertain times, pay attention to places where autocrats are the quietest.

Update: No words for the potential conflicts of interest being revealed about a Trump administration in the media. And appointing the former head of an alt-right media outlet to a chief strategy position fails to put forth conciliatory signs that Trump would discourage nationalist, racist or misogynist views in his White House. We losers could stand to be hyper-vigilant for the foreseeable future.

Journalist Masha Gessen, who has spent years reporting on autocrats like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman, says that the press could invent a new beat… that covers language. Tell the story as if there is a drift in normalcy. Document the truth as it occurs.

Category: What is that thing?

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