UMD Asian American Student Union calls for solidarity at post-election town hall

Article Source: The Diamondback
Original Post Date: 11/20/16

As a member of the black and Latinx communities, University of Maryland junior Alexis Ojeda-Brown wanted to see more solidarity among minorities after the presidential election.

“In order to heal, we need to come together and understand what other people of color are going through,” said Ojeda-Brown, an history and English major. “By doing that, we need to reach out and support other [organizations] when they have town halls expressing their feelings. This isn’t just a Latinx problem [or] black problem; it’s a people of color problem as a whole.”

The Asian American Student Union held an emergency town hall to an audience of about 30 students Friday afternoon in Stamp Student Union to discuss ways to ensure the campus continues to be a safe place for all students.

“We just wanted to provide a space for anyone who wanted to come here to express how they are feeling after the election and to see what steps to take in the future,” said AASU President Amanpreet Kaur, a junior public policy major.

AASU partnered with the Sikh Student Association, a group of students who believe in Sikhism, a monotheistic religion, to “show that we won’t stand for xenophobia, Islamophobia and also misogyny with our people of color,” Kaur said. The groupĀ also partnered with the Pakistani Student Association.

“The election of a Trump presidency is not an indication of an end to the United States as we know it, nor is it an indication of the U.S. empire in its death throes, but of a consolidation, strengthening and resurgence of the U.S.’s core ideals: white supremacy, colonialism and imperialism,” said Elizabeth Kim, a junior government and politics major. “This is not a dead end, it’s a continuation. We are shocked, but not surprised.”

Sixty-five percent of Asian Americans voted for democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, while 29 percent voted for President-elect Donald Trump, according to CNN exit polls.

One student expressed her concern for the Asian-American community as a result of the election that has caused “a huge shift in society.”

“People think it’s openly acceptable to express their prejudices, and honestly, that is not okay,” said Cindy Jui, a junior finance and accounting major. “In the past week, there have been eggs thrown at Asians, as well as aggressive taunts telling them to go back to their country. This is our country as much as it is theirs.”