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Op-ed

I Won’t Be Watching the Inauguration And Neither Should You

Since the day I was born I have experienced three unique presidents. For a lot of that time I was not conscious of politics in the United States. In my memory banks I am able to recall being aware during the Bush and Obama presidencies. However, I have only ever been able to consciously watch and take in the thrills and infectious energy of our current Commander-in-chief’s inaugurations. Jan. 20 of 2009 and 2013, and of every prior inauguration, were days that the world watched the National Mall in Washington D.C.. The transfer of power in any country is an important moment, specifically when it comes with such historic weight as in the Barack Obama’s first go-around.

In less then two weeks, our country will put our most staunchly anti-woman, anti-equal rights, incompetent, and inexperienced President-elect ever on the world’s stage. Unmatched by any inauguration in history, the transfer of power is met with uncertainty by most. Surely every inauguration is met with nuanced uncertainties from all sides of the political spectrum with questions of legislation, or approach, or vision. The uncertainty of this year is incomparably distinctive, and not in a way that we would hope it would be for an incoming “leader”. It is distinctive in the way that many fear for their personal safety, their own human rights, and the physical safety of this nation.

Millions will be tuning in to watch Donald Trump become the 45th President of the United States. If nothing else, there is one thing that is for certain.

I will not be watching this inauguration.

Inaugurations should be unifying. People with at least one commonality should watch an inauguration with the idea that this is the future of a nation, and should have hope that at least some positive will come out of the presidency. Donald Trump is a peculiar situation. Even before taking the oath of office Trump has managed to be more divisive than imaginable, strike fear in many, and embolden already bold bigots across the nation. Bigots far and wide see an unabashed man full of hatred in a position of power and think this is their passage to hating out loud.

It is no question that bigotry and hatred have always existed in massive amounts in the United States. This country is one based on the marginalization of certain people for the social, economic, or egotistical benefit of others. But to see this come alive on a day that is supposed to be of unity is disheartening, to say the least. Maybe this is my far too optimistic, unaffected mind being slapped in the face by reality. But no matter the truth in that statement, on a fast-approaching Friday, hatred manifested in a human being will walk pridefully in front of rows of flags marking the 50 states.

Hatred will take an oath solidifying himself as the highest military power in the whole nation. Hatred will ride blissfully in his fortified presidential brigade, all the way to his new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, through a parade route lined by people that have never had the power to manifest their hatred so outwardly, and proud that today is finally that fateful day. Hatred will represent a nation always divided, always broken by systemic racism, sexism, and bigotry. And I for one, do not just disagree with, but refuse to participate in the ritualistic glorification of a day with such an unusually palpable aura of one thing: hatred.

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Written By

Will is a junior in high school who loves reading, writing, and anything but math. Avid Chance the Rapper stan. He is super interested in politics and how social justice can intersect with the political systems of the world.

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