Last week, on the anniversary of Donald Trump’s election, I joined thousands of “cucks and snowflakes, safe spacers and libtards” at Washington Square Park for the funniest, most cathartic event of 2017. We all screamed helplessly at the sky to commemorate a year with Trump as president.
Attendees arrived whenever they pleased. On arrival, they let out a great, big yell, representing their frustrations with our current government and expressing their frustrations with the detestable actions of the Trump administration.
Some even yelled more than once; I was one of those people.
Most of the screamers, like myself, laughed at our silliness in between each howl. We knew that what we were doing was foolish. Yet for some reason — after I finally stopped screaming and laughing at myself — reporters bombarded me with questions, demeaning statements, and insults. Fox News, Breitbart, and other Trump-friendly organizations shoved their cameras in my face and said a few things to rile me up, eager to plaster me on their network as being a ‘stupid liberal screaming into the sky.’
One reporter, whom I recognized from Fox News, shoved a microphone into my face, and dozens of other reporters followed his lead by offering their microphones to me, too. The Fox News reporter, louder than the other reporters, asked me why I attended “this stupid event.”
I looked around, distraught for a moment, and said to him, “I mainly came here to have fun. I rarely have the chance to attend public, political events where I can laugh, have a good time, yet still agree with the event’s message.”
“You agree with this ridiculous screaming match?” He gestured toward two people who were screaming at each other in anger.
I said, “It’s ridiculous to organize an event to scream at the sky.” Duh. “Especially for political reasons. I want you to know that I know that.
But I don’t want to invalidate people who feel hopeless because of the Trump presidency. Regardless of what you think this event portrays, I believe that our democracy is strongest when people can peacefully speak their minds for causes in which they believe — that if we want to change our government, we must elect people whom we believe will progress our country in a better direction. Just yesterday, the people of Hoboken elected Democrat Ravi Bhalla as their new mayor, continuing the progressive efforts of the previous mayor; the people of New Jersey elected Democrat Phil Murphy as their governor, replacing Republican Chris Christie; the people of Virginia elected Democrat Danica Roem as a state legislator, making Ms. Roem the first openly transgender person in America to take office. The American people have been unsatisfied with the current political establishment, so they elected people whom they believe better represent their values.
Yet even with all of this, people still feel helpless. They feel so helpless that they think the only thing they can do on a Wednesday night is scream at the sky. Even with all of the small bits of good happening, the people here tonight still believe that the President doesn’t care about them. And, to be honest, I can’t disagree with them. For a privileged person like myself who is also a student, a young person, a gay man — I’m impacted by the actions of President Trump. For when our President supports legislation like the new tax code, making it harder for students to pay student loans; legislation like ‘a national Muslim registry,’ hindering Muslim-Americans’ ability to freely practice their religion in their country; and stripping Title IX protections for transgender students, isolating more students in our school system — it’s hard for me to believe that President Trump serves and cares about everyday people like me.
You’re right that this event is ridiculous, and that’s part of the point. People should be able to speak up loudly, criticizing the government whenever they’re unsatisfied, and they should be able to do it in whatever way they see fit. Tonight, we’re speaking up — and we’re being extra loud.”
My interview never aired. Instead, Fox News aired a woman wearing a ‘pussy hat,’ a few people spitting into the camera, and lots of people cursing into a microphone. But if you look extra closely, you’ll notice me in the background, chanting along with the rallying cry.
So, I never made it to Fox News, but I still advocated for my beliefs, even if it was in a ridiculous way. But I don’t believe the ridiculousness should affect the necessity of this event.
If I don’t attend events like this — if I don’t participate even in ostensibly small ways — if I don’t live up to my own values — I’d be part of the problem. I’d be complying with an administration that I don’t believe is fair, just, or representative. But by speaking up, I’m exercising my right to be upset, if not angry.
Everyone has the right to be upset about whatever they please. If the Trump administration ever stifles this right — a likely possibility and reality for some marginalized communities — everyone should be upset.