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It’s only been a few weeks and many people continue to say “I can’t believe this has happened.” While even Saturday Night Live gave a somber and emotional opener last weekend in response to Donald Trump being elected as the next president of the ‘United States’ of America, disappointment reigns for citizens who hoped for change. While some thought it was a long-running joke, it has become reality and president-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office have already administered ill-feelings in the people who will more than likely be negatively affected most by such plans. The campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”, was fueled with racist, sexist, and xenophobic remarks illuminating the ever prevalent hatred and divide that has plagued this nation from the beginning, leaving the question, “When was America great?” still unanswered.

On November 15, 2016, seemingly the same day White-Nationalist, Steve Bannon, was added to Trump’s cabinet, a Black student at The Ohio State University made a status on Facebook stating that a white student called her a “nigger” in her class.

Third-year Human-Development and Family Science major from Canton, OH, Ashauna Matthews, says she was shocked in that moment. “I didn’t even know who said it,” she said. “It was behind my back and I followed up with the professor who said he didn’t hear it, but he was in shock as well.” The remark likely came from a heated discussion that erupted during class. “We had to write our different perspectives [about the election] on paper and trade with someone. One person wrote that they voted for Trump to keep Black people as the minority.”

Black students make up 5% of the population on The Ohio State University’s campus. With almost 60,000 students enrolled in Autumn 2016, that’s only a little over 3, 000 students who identify as Black. “I’m probably one of four Black students in the class, out of 29 students,” Ashauna said. These type of remarks come hand-in hand with a plethora of flyers that have been posted around campus that support racial divide, and these past heinous, racially-influenced incidents include “Long Live [George] Zimmerman” being spray-painted on the past free-standing Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center in regards to the killing of Trayvon Martin.

“In that moment you don’t know what to do,” Ashauna said. “How many times are we going to have to debate ourselves? I didn’t feel like I had any support. I didn’t feel the other Black students were going to say anything and if I did, I didn’t know what would’ve happened. It’s scary.”

The professor sent an email to the class stating his disappointment and filed a complaint through student conduct.

As time moves forward and more people continue to come out from under their white hoods yet still promote hate in their daily lives, it’s clear that a sense of unity among Black people is a step to saving face. “This is our time to come together as it’s still affecting us head-on. I don’t want to say ‘by any means necessary’ and it’s sad that history repeats itself, but it’s happening,” Ashauna said.

“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill…and his tune is heard on the distant hill; for the caged bird sings of freedom” – Maya Angelou

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