By Brianna Hamblin
When Donald Trump launched his Presidential campaign in June 2015, many people had a good laugh, rolled their eyes, and brushed off the possibility of Trump being our next president. Before Trump officially announced his campaign he told reporters, “I am going to surprise a lot of people.” Now, in March 2016, with the election only eight months away, Trump has definitely surprised many Americans as he continues to win the majority of states in the Republican primaries.
During his campaign, Trump has insulted the disabled, reporters, minority religions, minority ethnicities, and women. Many more millennials will be able to vote for the 2016 elections. Millennials are known for typically being more progressive than past generations. With Trump being this close to winning the Republican nomination, many millennials, especially minority millennials, are alarmed. Several Black millennials at the University of Virginia voiced why the prospect of Trump being our nation’s next president is so alarming. Tyler Kernodle, a second year in the College of Arts and Sciences, blames Trump’s popularity on a lack of education.
“First of all,” said Kernodle, “I’d like to say that I am disappointed in the American people for failing to educate everyone better about the truly oppressive and destructive history America has. Additionally, the country has lost its core values for how a democracy should operate. In no way should we have even entertained putting a demagogue in office in 2016. It’s embarrassing for a country like our [own] to be doing so and also to have not progress further in the past 50+ years.”
Fourth year in the College, Eli Stacy, is worried that everything our ancestors have fought for in the past is reverting right back.
“I’m sickened that we as a country have gotten to this point that he’s actually winning a lot of states. It almost seems like there has been a reversal of everything that was fought for in the civil rights movement… all of the stuff has just been coming to a boiling point and people are actually supporting this dude no matter what. Even if he doesn’t win just the level of him running…just him being able to run on the platform that he’s ran on and stirring up the people that he has stirred up, I don’t see us going back to normal after this as a country.”
Mariatu Mansaray, also a fourth year in the College, sees that Trump getting this far in the campaign reveals many Americans for what they truly stand for.
“As a Black millennial, I would be more hurt than shocked if Trump won the nomination. I experience my own personal racism and I hear ignorant things that people have to say all the time and these are always dismissed as not being indicative of a larger social problem and I think that Trump has proven this to be wrong,” Mariatu stated. “Trump has taken the hatred that lies in many individuals which we as a society have to been told to condemn and used a national stage to synthesize these bigots into his political base and it’s working quite well.”
Minority millennials have largely voiced their concerns over social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The shared concern will perhaps encourage more minorities to get out and vote have shown that minorities. Until then, some, like Stacy, think it is smart to plan an escape route out of America if he becomes president.
“I know what I’m doing; I’m going somewhere else,” Stacy said. “I’m going to leave this country. The things that he’s doing, especially when he’s talking about trying to destroy, trying to silence the media in the future, trying to get that stuff passed…he reminds me of Hitler in the early stages when I did historical research.”
The thought of Trump becoming president has left many, like Kernode, afraid of the future of America.
“Donald Trump makes me fear that a war, civil or abroad, will rise soon. I also fear that whatever he does in office now will affect my children (just like Reaganomics and Bush). What is most disturbing is that just like how in a lifetime we will cross paths with a murderer and never know, everyday I can cross paths with a Trump supporter and that can be my last day.”
At least Mansaray sees a silver lining in the success of Trump.
“I want to thank Trump for one thing though and that is for showing the American people what kind of people actually live among them.”