A protest broke out on the campus of American University in response to the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. The student-led protest included numerous chants ranging from displeasure with the president-elect to the burning of several American flags.
In a Fox 5 News interview, a professor described the aftermath and how some are reacting.
“Students have all these feelings of grief, disappointment, anger and they need a space in which to work them out,” he said. “No one can start to talk about reconciliation without authentically grieving first. International students are scared. Students of color or LGBTQ are scared. How do we make them feel safe?”
American University has stated that it is giving the students a chance to protest due to the school’s commitment to freedom of speech. Campus security was brought in to monitor the event, which prompted a spirited debate.
AU Student Government President Devontae Torriente went on Facebook to express the views of the student body (many other students voiced their personal opinions): “Just as those who voted for the winner were excited about the outcome, for those who viewed it as unfavorable, anger, sadness, grief and frustration were brought to the fore. It’s important to note that those feelings are valid and justified. People are scared and people are worried about their futures and their lives.
“While we understand the dissatisfaction with the flag burning, especially as Veterans Day nears, we encourage you to love each other, but, if nothing else, respect the rights people have to express their emotions, even in the midst of disagreement,” Torriente wrote.
On Friday, the Westboro Baptist Church is scheduled to make a 4 p.m. appearance at AU to protest resources for transgender students. While no counter-protests have been announced, a student-body email has made the campus aware of the church’s plans: “A campus that embraces the LGBT community will combat a notorious group against LGBT rights.”