By Sammi Dorfan (’18)
“January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” the 45th president of the United States declared during his inaugural address earlier this month. President Trump’s declaration was true to some extent, but probably not in the way he had anticipated. As America’s most controversial man assumed his new position, leading citizens emerged throughout the nation to demonstrate their defiance as they were joined by thousands of followers who swarmed the streets of America to embrace democracy.
Women were the first to be heard, marching in every state and around the world during the president’s first day in office. Hundreds of thousands empowered ladies and some supportive men attended the Women’s March on Washington to advocate for women’s rights to health and safety. Just hours after the march ended, the Reagan National Airport flooded with rowdy, homebound women wearing pink pussycat hats. On the other side of the country, 22,000 gathered in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza to, in the words of Vivienne Blackburn (‘19), “Show that women have a voice and that we should stand up for our rights and for what we believe in.” Dalya Kahn (‘19), another attendee of the San Diego march, wore a shirt that read “feminism is a radical notion that women are people” and felt comfort “knowing that [she] is not alone.”
After instructing the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction on the wall separating the U.S. from Mexico and supporting the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump issued an executive order blocking immigrants and refugees from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan. This was done in an attempt to, in the president’s words, “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism,” which angered the masses, leading to more protests throughout the nation and the world. From Downing Street in London to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, protesters stood, and continue to stand, in solidarity with one another.
It seems as if these protests might become a new reality for America. With a president whose antagonists are as plentiful as his followers, we have only seen the beginning of what will likely be four years filled with protests. Sebastian Mayer (‘18) says, “It points to the division in American society. It points to the anger and it points to the frustration.” As angry and as frustrated as we may be, if for nothing else, this inauguration has brought out both the leadership and the subversion in America.