Dear Public Health community,
In light of the results of the recent election, the editors of The Public Health Advocate wanted to send a message of support and solidarity to the members of our campus and community. The outcome of the 2016 presidential election has rightfully elicited shock, anger, and fear among students who worry what the next four years and beyond will bring.
During the presidential campaign our current president elect has directly targeted and intimidated those within our community both locally and nationally, with hateful and discriminatory rhetoric, inciting divisiveness and violence within the nation. These actions are unacceptable, but they have been accepted by those who made the choice to elect Donald J. Trump to the presidency.
Many of us who exercised our right to vote for the first time did so with initial feelings of hope and excitement, yet ultimately experienced a sense of betrayal and disillusionment. Our worldview has been shaken, in terms of our place in this country. We now question our understanding of what it means to be American, as there is such a large division within the country about what constitutes our beliefs and values.
We are proud of the state of California. We are proud of our Berkeley community, especially the high school students who came out to support marginalized communities and to protest the results of the election. We hope that their hope and vision for a better world continues to endure throughout the turbulent four years ahead. We hope that we may continue to be inspired to utilize our education and resources in creating a world that we know is possible; a country of inclusion, diversity, equality, empowerment, and optimism.
On the morning of November 8th, we had hoped that our next president and our nation would recognize and prioritize the fight against climate change, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all the other myriad injustices and forms of discrimination that we face in the world today. Twenty-four hours later, we realized that – under a Trump presidency – the fight is more urgent than ever, and we will not be complacent in the face of bigotry and injustice.
In the meantime, please take care of yourselves. Take time to process your thoughts and feelings towards these events, and reach out for support from your community. It is okay to currently be discouraged, but know that you are not alone in feeling this way. Do not doubt we will come together for the next four years and beyond to fight harder, speak louder, and stand united for the America we know can be.
Mercedes Li & Kaitlyn Rice
The Public Health Advocate