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The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

In a year: Reflecting on growth since Trump’s inauguration

in Beyond Our Walls/Editorials/Opinion/Our Voices by

A little over a year ago, I was preparing for Trump’s inauguration after he was elected President of the United States. After being filled with raw emotion, I poured my heart into an editorial speaking about what I hoped was to come.

In the year since Trump’s inauguration, I’ve noticed a downfall in our society and humanity. Rights that in the modern era and in the U.S. have always been assured are now being put up for debate.

Many Americans believe that Trump does not prioritize the rights of minority groups. He has not been open to criticism about his job skills. This is an important concern because he tends to backlash at those criticising him, which gives a negative name to our country. He also has not helped the minority groups that finally began to gain representation at the end of 2016.

An example of this behavior is when he signed off on dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which caused many people to lose insurance. This means that access to affordable and attainable birth control could plummet. Access to hormones and surgeries, which are necessary to transgender people transitioning, would also not be covered. In a different sense, he pitched the idea of a “travel ban” that normalized profiling and threatened to keep people from majority-Muslim countries out of the U.S. which was seen as a direct target to Muslims, which was blatantly racist and took our nation several steps back.

Under this presidency, it seems like we live trying to protect our thoughts and opinions to a point that has weakened our discussions and halted our progression.

Despite these feelings of oppression, it’s important to remember this has just lit a fire under those who want to progress and made their achievements even more prominent. People from all over the U.S. have celebrated the achievements of the oppressed and even helped share their own stories to further movements.

We see this in events like Danica Roem becoming the first ever transgender senator, giving a public voice to the trans community and amplifying their voices. We saw the unity when people stood up and spoke out about the sexual assault they and others have endured that will no longer be silenced through the #MeToo movement which quickly spread helping victims cope with their experiences and bringing justice to their cases. There was a constant supply of help to southern states for Hurricane Harvey recovery. People continuously banned together for many different causes to stand up against injustice faced and normalized and did not let the Trump Administration tear them down.

Although it may be hard, we have to remember it’s not over. Our fight has only just begun and we need to keep fighting. More growth is to come in 2018 no matter who’s in that office.

 

Aly Cerda can often be found spending time with friends, seeing live music, and working tirelessly in the clubs they are active in. They have been on the newspaper staff since their sophomore year of high school, and are currently in their senior year as Social Media and PR Editor. Outside of newspaper, they are co-captain of the cheer team, board member of GSA, member of Youth and Government, and Youth Leader for Real Talk. They enjoy being on newspaper, collaborating and using social media as a tool to instantly break news to the public.

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