Wednesday, November 16, 2016

'We Reject the President-Elect:' University of Memphis Students Rally Against Trump

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 3:18 PM

click to enlarge JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon
Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Memphis rallied in the student plaza Wednesday to protest President-elect Donald Trump. Amid chants of "No Trump, No KKK, no racist USA," Cody Young stood on the edge of the crowd, holding a sign that read "I voted Trump and I'm not racist, sexist, misogynistic, or homophobic."

Next to him, a student lifted a sign that read "You're all cry babies."

click to enlarge JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon
"Everyone needs to have their side of the story heard," Young, 20, a criminal justice major, said. "It wasn't a vote for him. It was more of a vote against her. I don't believe in half of the things she stands for ... words may hurt some people, but at least he's straight forward. At least I know what I'm getting from him."

Young said said he voted for Trump because he didn't believe progress would be made under a Hillary Clinton presidency. He said, though it might be hard, he hoped Trump could unite the country.

Organized by the U of M's progressive student alliance (PSA), the rally was intended to unite students and create a vision for progress prior to what many in the organization believe will be four years of regression. Lindsey Smith, 27, the co-chair of PSA, said they have been running a campaign all semester to "dump Trump," encourage voting, and become educated on the issues surrounding the election. The results, however, called for more direction action, Smith said.



"Folks have been really upset," Smith, a philosophy major, said. "Last week, we decided that we needed to unite folks around this and make a difference with students, the community, and people all over the city. We have to be actively politically engaged."

Smith said she feared the president-elect would dash women's rights, all but eliminating their access to reproductive health services.
 
click to enlarge JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon

"I fear he is going to take away reproductive rights," Smith said. "I fear he has normalized misogyny and sexism with the way he's treated women in public and the way he's talked about them in private."

Mica Bender, 20, a bio-chemistry major, stopped by the protest after her physics class ended. Bender voted for Trump. She didn't trust Clinton or agree with her policies, Bender said, and aligned more so with him — namely his tighter immigration policies, though she didn't believe in mass-deportation.
She could look past the accusations of assault against Trump and his "grab her by the pussy" remarks, Bender said. While she doesn't agree with everything Trump says, that wasn't her only focus in deciding how to vote.
click to enlarge JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon


"Obviously he's not well-rehearsed," Bender said. "But I feel like that's not the main issue in this country at the moment. Our economy is in dire need of help, and I thought he had the best background for that."

Dennis Laumann, a history professor at the U of M, said Trump's speech and actions "warrant the comparison to the rise of fascism in Europe."

Laumann joined the protest to support university students, chanting along with a group of other faculty members.

"History is a series of struggles," Laumann said. "Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. We won a great victory eight years ago, and we lost this election. Rallies like this are important because we need to let the president-elect know we are going to watch him and we aren't going to stand for his hatred."


Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments (35)

Showing 1-35 of 35

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-35 of 35

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2021

Contemporary Media
65 Union, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation