In the Shadow of Last Week’s Election Results

November 16, 2016 Statement

When President Obama was elected, many declared the U.S. would finally become a post-racial society. It was an optimistic thought, but one that many of us hoped and believed could soon be true. In the years since 2008, our work at CUE to inform and teach the value of equity in education was greeted with interest and enthusiasm. Even among those for whom the concept was difficult to fully embrace, equity’s importance was clear. It felt recently as though we were truly turning a corner.

And so I never believed that Donald Trump would become our 45th President. The list of bigoted, racist, and misogynistic statements made by this man is familiar to us all, its sickening tenor a constant in the media’s reporting. His kind of thinking seemed impossibly out of step with where I believed we’d advanced as a society.

Sadly, I was wrong. Many of us were.

The bigotry that Trump so openly espoused during his campaign is now giving license to racists, xenophobes, and misogynists to bully and terrorize vulnerable populations with acts of hate across the country, including college campuses. Trump’s election has emboldened extremists, and their empowerment threatens not only immigrants and non-whites, but all of us whose religions, sexual orientations, cultures, and languages are not his.

As I consider our work at CUE, I’m concerned that policymakers who have privately questioned the value of equity will now feel that Trump has given them license to reject race-conscious practices. They may foolishly believe that the public is against equity, and that advancing an equity agenda is dangerous. We are already seeing a sharp rise in hate acts reported since Trump’s election.

But we have never been deterred by ignorance and racism, and we won’t be now. We must remember that bullies are cowards. That extremists are the minority. That random acts of hate are the craven results of misdirected fear.

We must unite in our belief that we can continue moving this country forward if we work together to stand against those who would drag us backward. For our goal is to Make America Just.

This is the fight we face together, and despite the confusion and shock I know we all feel, I also know that we will not back down.

Estela Signature - First Name Only

17 thoughts on “In the Shadow of Last Week’s Election Results

  1. Thank you for a voice of reason, wisdom and courage.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  2. Thank you Estela for your strong declaration of how important it is to embrace and defend equity and an inclusive multiracial multicultural democracy.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  3. Good on you, Estela! Very well expressed. We join CUE in continuing the efforts for equity in higher education and in our society.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  4. This is a beautiful message. We won’t back down either. Thank you for your good work. Sending you a big virtual hug!

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  5. Thank you, CUE! In solidarity.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  6. Thank you Estela and Friends at CUE. We feel like strangers in a strange land and gather strength in the streets as we march with our brothers and sisters to decry this brutal development which makes a mockery of our democracy worldwide. Thank you for rising above the deafening silence of so many to bring us hope.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  7. Thank you for reminding us of the great work the CUE does to support our efforts in promoting student equity and student success.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

    1. I agree, it is comforting to know that those working in partnership with many of our colleges see the needs of our students as heart and center. Our work does not stop with or after an election, and it is good to know CUE is an ally in our efforts to support our students in equity minded practices and approaches. Thank you for your efforts!

      [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  8. I think that this post very much applies to our work in student equity. I think that it is important to be aware that:

    ‘As I consider our work at CUE, I’m concerned that policymakers who have privately questioned the value of equity will now feel that Trump has given them license to reject race-conscious practices. They may foolishly believe that the public is against equity, and that advancing an equity agenda is dangerous. We are already seeing a sharp rise in hate acts reported since Trump’s election.’

    and to figure out how to convince policymakers that our work is more necessary now than ever. So count me among those who think that we should not be blind to the political realities that influence our ability to work towards greater student equity. Thank you.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  9. Thank You for this Inspiring, Uplifting message! Just what I needed!

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  10. The importance of equity-across-disciplines, its intersections with race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic class and the diverse contexts where equity flourishes or is threatened, are important critical conversations that keep us mindful of the eclectic nature of our equity mission.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  11. Now it is more important than ever that we discuss the very real impact of biased and threatening speech coming from our elected leaders and elsewhere. As we have seen, hate speech and hate crimes have spiked since this rhetoric has gotten so much media attention. I and many colleagues I have spoken with are already witnessing the impact on our students, both emotionally and physically (e.g. not wanting to come to class). This will affect our achievement gaps and together we can brainstorm ways to support our students to minimize the negative impacts.

    For me, everything is political but this discussion can focus on the impact on our students. If we want to close achievement gaps and increase equity, we will also need to share analyses of the real and potential impacts of any new policies that are implemented. Furthermore, it will also help our students for us to have accurate information about issues and questions about issues such as deportation. As one example, one of my students was told, in San Francisco, that she and all her people would be sent home soon (that’s the G-rated version of what someone yelled at her). I would like to share resources for accurate information about what students rights are. For example, I listened to an immigration lawyer on NPR who said that it is illegal according to immigration law to round up and send whole groups of people to their country of origin. In fact each case against every single immigrant or refugee would have to be proven one by one. This information could help allay some very real fears.

    Many of our students are terrified and I would like to do whatever I can to support them, to do what I can to ensure people are aware of their rights (and I am aware of people’s rights) and make it more likely for students to complete their educational goals.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  12. Times like these, as frightening as they are, inspire forms of solidarity across cultural and ethnic borders, across class and gender lines. Now the Latino and Arab-Muslim communities are finding a common cause; trans people, our gay & lesbian brothers and sisters, find common cause with all women. Faculty are willing to (physically) stand between DACA students and deportation police. The large rock has been lifted, and now we see–and frightened we should be. How do these various at-risk communities begin to speak to each other; what are the various ways we can advocate and support each other?

    [This comment was originally sent via Facebook, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  13. Thank you for your message, Estela. Clearly the higher education community was too sanguine about rationality in America. The issue seems to be to figure out at this point what we can do, how we might take action to preserve everything from college access programs to academic freedom. How can the multiplicity of HE groups and organizations act together?

    [This comment was originally sent via Facebook, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  14. I stand with CUE!

    [This comment was originally sent via Facebook, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  15. Thank you for your thoughtful words Estela

    [This comment was originally sent via Facebook, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  16. Well said Estela!

    [This comment was originally sent via Facebook, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

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