Since the triumph of Donald Trump’s presidential run last Tuesday, there have been increased racial tension and violence reported in schools and universities across the United States, according to ABC News (Whack, 2016). At San Jose University, as well as other universities across the country, minority students have become targets of physical and verbal attacks from primarily Caucasians, based on reports from Vice News (Gilbert, 2016). Trump’s seemingly prejudice attacks towards Muslims, Latinos, women, and many other disenfranchised groups, throughout his campaign, have fostered negative feelings amongst many throughout the country. For some it sparked a form of justification to be and act on prejudice feelings, while for others, Trump’s controversial discourses created a sense of fear and rebellion in reaction to his victory. Many holding prejudice attitudes towards minority groups have threatened both students and faculty promoting diversity in schools across the country (W 2016). The tension/violence emerging in the wake of Trump’s victory undermines many of the core values taught in American schools, such as tolerance, civility, and so forth.
Emerging tensions/violence is not only perpetrated and fueled by Trump supporters. In downtown Los Angeles student protesters, upset with election results, damaged property, according to the LA Times (Hamilton, 2016). Angry students in schools and universities across the country have been cutting class in order to protest election results. These protests have fueled tensions amongst Trump supporters and anti-Trumpers. Reports have surfaced of African American’s attacking Caucasians for the simple reason that they look like Trump supporters (G 2016). Racial tensions emerging in lieu of Trumps victory is creating an uncomfortable environment for all students across the country.
In the wake of the turmoil occurring throughout the country, schools have become a spaces were disgruntled individuals, with opposing political perspectives, express their animosity towards one another. Tension/violence fostered by animosity expressed by anti-Trump and Trump supporters have developed non-conducive learning atmospheres in many schools and universities. Not only are students afraid for their physical safety, but the psychological strains created from the growing hostility makes it difficult for students to focus in schools. For example, it is possible that many students who have various perspectives about the current political atmosphere fear to express and defend their positions in classrooms, due to fears of becoming targeted, shamed, or victimized. This fear suppresses the free flow and exchange of ideas that are used by universities to expand the minds of students, in preparing them for their various life goals.
Donald Trump Wins U.S. Presidential Election [Photograph]. (2016, November 9). Street Insider, New York. http://www.streetinsider.com/
Gilbert, D. (2016, November 12). Students Confront Hate. Vice News. Retrieved November 14, 2016. https://news.vice.com/story/hate-crime-reports-emerge-at-schools-and-universities-in-wake-of-trumps-election
Hamilton, M., Queally, J., & Demick, B. (2016, November 9). Trump win sparks student walkouts and protests across the U.S.: ‘I expected better’ Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 14, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-protest-trump-20161109-story.html
Whack, E., & Reeves, J. (2016, November 11). Schools Report Racist Incidents in Wake of Trump Election. ABC News. Retrieved November 14, 2016. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/schools-report-racially-charged-incidents-election-43476177