Editorial: Surviving America

Rachel Wong

Managing Editor, Lake Worth Campus

Election year has rolled around again and as usual, Americans of all races, colors, and creeds have had to pick a side. This November 8, 2016, the great country of America nominated the new president: Donald J. Trump. The news brought mixed feelings to many citizens. To some, it was an affirmation of their beliefs, a sort of formal confirmation that it truly was, “time to make America great again.” To others, it was less an announcement to be celebrated, rather one that hailed the beginning of a very dangerous period of four years to come.

What certainly made for interesting conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table, certainly dominated social media for the weeks following the election results. Protests sprung up around the nation, lasting many days and nights – so passionate were some people about their President Elect. Again, the people of America found themselves divided. Were the protests a well-justified and even commendable response of the people? Or were they simply an inconvenience to daily life, a borderline threat to the peace of this country?

Friends and loved ones were suddenly at opposite ends of a substantial argument. Political opinions are regarded as a reflection of personal opinions after all. Angry insults were traded and random acts of violence erupted in schools and other public areas. “Unfriend me, if you voted for … “became a popular and often seen Facebook status post. The news outlets reported new acts of discrimination every day with neither side being entirely innocent or guilty.

Counseling centers everywhere, including Palm Beach State College’s own College-wide Student Counseling Center sent out notices offering comfort for those negatively affected by the election’s aftermath. Palm Beach State’s president, Ms. Ava Parker, also sent out a college-wide email reminding staff and students to embody one of the College’s core beliefs: that a safe, secure, and supportive environment is essential. 

Throughout all of this upheaval, it is important to bear in mind the ultimate goal of a nation: to unite, protect and benefit all her citizens. It is at times like this that it is particularly important for the people of America to stand together. This does not mean, forgiving or forgetting, as some views on public matters are too important to be simply swept under the rug. Instead, recognize the differences that make-up America’s colorful demographic. Appreciate all people as they are, flawed, misguided or exceptionally stubborn as some may perceive them to be. Lend a shoulder for support, always be ready to listen, and realize that peace and safety for all are the most valuable pillars of this nation.