As you all know, our government has been beset by a series of scandals since January 20th, 2017. As Trevor Noah of The Daily Show put it recently, “scandal is the new normal.” We are facing a stream of executive orders that incite fear and distrust and are then topped with ‘alternate facts.’ But I guess ‘alternate facts’ were a long time coming, because many Republican politicians have been asserting ‘alternate facts’ for a while now–for example, the idea that global warming is a hoax. At the executive level, alternative facts like these are threatening on an international scale.
With all this tumult, I noticed a certain sense of calm right after the election– albeit a calm with a storm brewing under it. It’s clear that many of us are committed to a moral compass, an understanding and belief in ethics, and a general respect for the beings around us. The Women’s March, the protests at JFK and other similar political actions demonstrate this. So, thanks to all the people who participated in these events. It does a lot for one to see all this support and all the loving and accepting people.
On Inauguration Day, people circulated images of Michelle Obama on social media. Her expressions seemed to epitomize what so many Americans were feeling: everything from ‘Is this real?’ to ‘Why do I have to go through this?’
Poor Michelle Obama also had to go through Trump’s performance in person while many of us not at the Inauguration had the choice to tune out his speech if we wanted. His speech was one of the most dismal and misbegotten I have ever heard, especially for an Inauguration, which is usually a hopeful event. What Trump described in his speech didn’t sound like America but rather some war-torn country. Trump used words like ‘ravaged,’ ‘tombstones,’carnage,’ ‘despair,’ and ‘decay’ to describe the United States today. While these words may apply to specific areas in America like Flint, Michigan--which is currently in the midst of a water crisis– they don’t apply to America overall. America is a thriving nation with a lot of good in it. Trump’s speech was inconsistent with reality.
When I think back to November 9th of last year, I remember that Queens College was open but the campus was deadly quiet. The skies were dark and gloomy. Everyone seemed to hurry to their classes and back; it also seemed that many people just didn’t come to class. On that day, I spotted a huge hawk –which I at first thought was an eagle–sitting on Remsen Hall. The hawk sat there, just staring into space, for a long time. When I told about this encounter to my friend, her immediate response was “I think it’s thinking of retiring.” I don’t think any other comment could better sum up my feelings for that day. What were your thoughts on that day?