Keeping watch over student news at East Leyden High School

The Eagle's Eye

There’s this scene in Harry Potter where Voldemort finally returns back into the public eye. There is crying, disbelief, and tension so thick that the entire wizarding world seems to stand without movement - one half in unshakable celebration, the other mourning an imminent return to a much darker period in time.     Trump winning the 2016 election mimics the reaction almost uncannily. From the regressive rhetoric preaching division, to a campaign composed of silencing those opposed under fear - I’m not trying to say Donald Trump is Lord Voldemort’s reincarnate, but if the robes fit. But this isn’t a writing piece about the many similarities between Lord Voldemort and his death eaters to Trump and his alt-right supporters. This piece is instead a plea for the same message J.K Rowling and so many others have long taught us through the confines of TV pixels or ink on print, “In the face of injustice, we must resist.” Like in the stories before us, the resistance however must be unity in itself. Composed of not only the target or marginalized groups, but also of the brave few who choose to ally themselves. In the very same model, we must resist against the violent tide already turning in the wake of Trump’s victory: an explosion of over 700 hate crimes and ignorant acts which hope only to further split the great people of this country apart. So if your movement for solidarity or resistance group has any variation of “no white people allowed” or “no straights allowed,” please, stop yourself. This is the exact divisive nature that has brought the U.S into a “we” vs “them” stance in the first place. As a woman of color myself, I have extreme fear for the next four years ahead of us as I know many of my peers do as well. Not only do I fear for my own community shaking in anticipation for Trump’s immigration plans, but I also fear for all the communities that may be persecuted by alt-right thinking, including the black community, Muslim community, and trans communities. All these marginalized groups may face political submission under a VP who believes in conversion therapy, which includes harmful electroshock therapy, and whose very own president has entertained the idea of a ‘Muslim registry’ and  has also warned of impending mass deportation steps, such as workplace raids and forced e-verify use. A part of me even fears for Trump’s largest demographic, the straight, white male who will now be permitted socially-accepted radicalization because leadership now has ties to the alt-right: a name given to an extreme sector of conservative ideology with significant anti semite, racist, and white supremacist values. But after the initial fear and anxiety that left me and a very large portion of the population reeling, now lies the urgent need to come together and resist. Former Leyden student and current Dominican University student, Elizabeth Preciado states it eloquently, “I feel like people should become more politically aware and if they can, become politically involved.” This sentiment has very much echoed throughout social media amongst calls to organize rallies, funds, and acts of solidarity. And it’s a call certainly being answered close to home. “All we can do is stand up for what we believe, and it's gonna be a tough fight, but it will happen and I am confident in that,” East Leyden senior Paulina Cylwik stated. Among some of Leyden’s most vocal supporters for unity, Cylwik shows a prime example for what unity means under dark times such as these: sympathetically trying to understand the actual fear many minorities are going through at this time. An example of someone whose immediate safety has actually pushed them to seek means of resistance and solidarity is Brittany Acosta, an openly lesbian student at local Fenwick Preparatory. As a lesbian in a traditionally Catholic home and also one of a colored minority at the preparatory school, Acosta has already begun to fight back against what she predicts will be a rise in hate crimes by attending as many anti-Trump protests as she can and also handing out ACLU police cards, which state a person’s rights when dealing with police, at her local church. Such actions of bravery, whether manifesting online via the voicing of concerns or physically through marching in protest, are all great acts alone. Collectively, they raise the bar for the rest of America to show support, because whether you are specifically at the end of Trump’s hateful rants or not, America is not a white country, or a straight country, or a country of any specific trait distinction but that of the brave. Bravery which throughout history and, sadly, in years to comel will be needed to fight against facist and divisive rule. And just like in Harry Potter, we must fight for the good values and morals that make our society great. We must fight, maybe not with magic spells or invisibility cloaks, but with our voices, our numbers, and legislation. We must fight, persecuted or not, together to stop the ravenous hate suddenly emboldened and forcing itself between us. We must fight, not because it is the easy thing to do, but because no great evil has ever been defeated without a stronger good.

Mariana Urueta-Hernandez, News editor, Journalist

Sep 15, 2016
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Keeping watch over student news at East Leyden High School
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