November 12, 2016
People all across the United States are reeling from the aftershocks of the 2016 presidential election, by far and away the most divisive and disconcerting campaign in recent memory.
In communities and on college campuses nationwide, political hostility has spilled onto the streets and into our digital hangouts. As the country's political leadership calls for peaceful transition, many find it impossible, even unconscionable, to blink and move on without objection.
In the Philadelphia area alone, several disturbing incidents have invoked the intolerant themes blazoned by the antagonist rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump.
Swastikas painted on windows, insults sprayed on parked cars, xenophobic jeers at a local school, and a cyberattack targeting black students at the University of Pennsylvania have all transpired over the course of a few days. Late Friday night, a misogynistic message was keyed onto the car of a South Philadelphia woman.
Exactly how Americans regain trust in one another and our political system will have to be a work in progress. To reduce every Trump supporter to the worst of the man's traits would amount to a disavowal of human understanding. To accept any Trump supporter's wanton disrespect, or criminal behavior, would be to shrink from the dignity of citizenship in a free country. And to ignore the anger and absenteeism that led to this electoral outcome, to ignore their root causes, will be to snip the wings of democracy.
Sometimes, when what we all need is to share a laugh, even the comics of society fail to find much humor. But most of us can take some heart in Kevin Hart's message to fans: "We are in control of our destiny."