On the Election and What We Can Do

Added on by SCOR UMich.

Dear SCOR Family,

Last Tuesday, hate and bigotry won a major victory in the election of Donald Trump as President-Elect. While many were surprised at this outcome, it only served to further validate the voices of millions of Americans who warned of the power that White supremacy and systemic racism still have at every level of our society.

The ramifications of this election have been immediate and extreme. Following the results, there have been a barrage of attacks - both verbal and physical - against marginalized groups and communities of color across the country. The University of Michigan has been no different; over the past week, "Kill em all" was painted alongside democratic and republican symbols on the rock, a student was forced to remove her hijab under the threat of being lit on fire, another student was pushed down a hill after being accosted over religion, and White nationalist flyers and graffiti continue to appear across campus.

In short, marginalized communities are in danger, both at U of M and around the country. This is not the time to “wait and see” what may happen under a Trump administration, because acts of oppression have already begun; since the election, Trump has reiterated his promises of mass deportations, closing borders, a labeling system for Muslims, and tapped Steve Bannon, a White nationalist, as his Chief Strategist. We need to act, we need to act now, and we need to act courageously in opposition to further acts of intolerance.

 

What you can do:

Short-term

  • Walk out. Participate in a school-wide walk-out today, November 16th, at 3pm. RSVP here and spread the word far and wide.

  • Sign the petition. Sign and distribute this letter to President Schlissel urging him to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), as well as this letter requesting that U of M become a sanctuary campus, to help protect immigrant and undocumented students.

  • Report hate. Report incidents of discrimination and violence to the Bias Response Team website. The administration needs to know the extent of the hate happening on and around campus.

  • Contact your Senator. Call Michigan Senators Gary Peters (202-224-6221) and Debbie Stabenow (202-224-4822) and ask them to denounce the appointment of Steve Bannon, a White nationalist, as Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist.  

  • Protect yourselves and each other. Share and take advantage of public safety resources and strategies. For example, the MSA (Muslim Students’ Association) has instituted a buddy system for students traveling across campus, U of M’s SafeRide provides students with safe transportation home, and the Ann Arbor Alliance for Black Lives is holding a self-defense class this Saturday, November 19th and Sunday November 20th.

 

Long-term

  • Know your legislators. Review these links to find your state representatives and local elected officials. The quickest and one of the most effective way to speak out against current and upcoming problematic legislature is through collective calling and town hall attendance.

  • Know your resources. Save this list of public safety, security, and self-care resources for both personal use and to distribute to those who may need them.

  • Stay informed. Keep up with the SCOR and Rackham Student Government newsletters and social media for updates on relevant school events, petitions, and protests.

 

A big thank you to everyone who helped compile these resources. Be sure to stay in touch with us about your own updates, suggestions, and calls to action. We have a community and we are not alone. Although these heinous acts continue to traumatize and oppress, there is still a need to surround ourselves with hope and light. Neither these acts nor this presidency will defeat us. We are grounded by the lineage of revolutionaries who dared to oppose the status quo. It has been and it continues to be our turn.

In the words of Assata Shakur, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

 

In support and solidarity,

Michael Medina, SCOR President

Asya Harrison, SCOR Vice President

Rosalyn Kent, SCOR Treasurer

Channing Mathews, SCOR Rackham Liaison

Gordon Palmer, SCOR Secretary

Raissa Barros de Carvalho, SCOR Marketing Chair

Bithia Ratnasamy, SCOR Political Action Co-Chair

Teona Williams, SCOR Political Action Co-Chair

Josi Banales, SCOR Community Outreach Chair

Ashley Jackson, SCOR Symposium Chair

Naomi Wilson, RSG Vice President