Numerous riots and anti-Trump protests broke out in cities across the nation after the election. Many feel Donald Trump is not fit to be President. At John Brown University, students shared these sentiments, but the consensus was hardly uniform.
Cristopher Proveda, a junior business major from Nicaragua, said that the election of Donald Trump “felt to international students, generally, like a slap to the face.” He continued, stating that “supporting hate and racism is a threat, especially toward Latinos and Muslims.” He asserted that Trump was a sexual offender, and that it was disappointing the United States would “support such a person”.
Proveda said this election has been a “general symptom of the division that is among the American people.” He feels that electing Donald Trump “speaks to the ‘us’ versus ‘them’” mentality that he sees among Americans. Cristopher believes that Trump is a symbol of hope for white supremacists, and believes that Donald Trump did not do enough to denounce these followers. In this failure, he thinks that Trump sent a “clear message” — one that does not value the diverse culture within the United States.
Proveda was adamant when he said that “having a diverse culture does not undermine whites’ rights.” He said he is very glad that many have been protesting the recent election. Proveda felt that now, more than ever, America must learn to “cope with multiculturalism.”
Another international student, Alexander Paniagua Campos, a junior international business student from Costa Rica, agreed with some of what Proveda had to say. He said that Trump seemed not to be “open to new cultures or new ideas.” Panigua says many people don’t know that “foreign affairs are very important” and they are “even more so for Americans.” He was concerned Trump was not going to be a very diplomatic President.
“Trump may be good for the United States in the short run,” said Paniagua, “but he will probably be bad for America in the long run”.
However, Paniagua said Trump has “some good ideas”, and that he ran a “very smart campaign.” Panigua said that “Trump could be a very capable president,” but still maintained that Trump could be a “very bad President.”
Concerning the recent election related riots, Panigua said “they could protest as much as they want to, but they won’t change the results.” Panigua concluded by emphasizing that “the United States has the Senate, the House of Representatives. Donald Trump has limits.”
Arturo Rivera, a junior mechanical engineering student of Latino descent said he supports Donald Trump.
“I have supported Trump from day one,” Rivera said, adding that he was “very, very happy that he was elected.” Rivera was concerned by the possibility of Hillary Clinton being elected. He felt as if she was largely responsible for the 2012 attack on the American embassy in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
Rivera stated that his support for Donald Trump generally stemmed from Trump’s promise to protect Second Amendment rights.
Regarding the protests, Rivera said they were “very idiotic,” saying that he “supported peaceful protests” and that those protests were “an important part of American society”. However, Rivera said that these rioters were “burning cars and attacking policemen.” Rivera said that this behavior had no place in the United Statets.
While many students have strong feelings about the recent election, others took a more reserved, wait and see approach. The opinions ranged from strong opposition to Trump to a vigourous support. The students interviewed were still very engaged in the aftermath of the election.