Columns / Discourse / November 9, 2016

I am sorry, Knox

 

On Wednesday, I participated in the anti-Trump rally on the Gizmo Patio and the subsequent march. After a campaign with such explicit racism and misogyny, Donald Trump’s success in the election was demoralizing for many, including myself. I appreciated the opportunity to hear students share their grievances, and I was comforted by the idea of uniting with my fellow students in a time where so much hate is celebrated.

At the rally, I was pleased to hear positive messages celebrating a new commitment to political involvement and standing up for our values of equality and justice. Unfortunately, I struggled to truly find unity. While I empathize with the angry feelings that were shared, I was disheartened to see my fellow students actively antagonizing Trump’s supporters. I saw our fellow conservative students standing on the sidelines, and I felt their isolation. When we began the march, I heard my fellow students actively shouting derogatory terms toward some of our conservative students. How is it that we were calling for peace while simultaneously firing shots of hate?

On the march, our movement vocalized how black, brown and all lives mattered. Subsequently, we shouted “F*** Trump” and “F*** his supporters.” Did all lives matter to us then? We demanded that our democracy be protected, but are we not being hypocritical by refusing to accept Trump’s electoral success? We called for unity, but did we not just perpetuate the divide in our very own community? We shouted that love doesn’t discriminate, but didn’t our actions actively marginalize our fellow conservative students? I think it’s interesting we go to such great lengths to ridicule Trump’s idea to build a wall when it seems that we stacked the bricks pretty high on our very own campus today.

I’m sorry, Knox College. I’m sorry, Galesburg. I’m sorry, United States. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know I let you down today. While I kept silent when I didn’t agree with the words being shouted, I was complacent in an effort that isolated those who I must embrace most. I admit I am hurt by the election results, but I am not angry at Trump. If I cannot understand the movement that built his success, then I am not equipped to truly solve any of the problems I’m far too quick to identify. It is easy to be tolerant in my echo-chamber of liberalism at Knox, but my humanity is only realized when I accept the differences of others.

President Teresa Amott always says that we learn the most from those least like us, but the only way we can do that is if we open our ears and hearts to them. Now is not the time to grip our egos and be divisive. Now is the time to pull out a chair for those we disagree with, join them around the table, and truly start to craft holistic solutions together.

Sofia Tagkaloglou

Tags:  all lives matter anti-trump apology column discourse rally Trump

Bookmark and Share




Previous Post
Working toward the next four years
Next Post
We are the champions



Sofia Tagkaloglou




You might also like




90 Comments

Nov 10, 2016

Great article. Great writing. Awesome observation with so much humility. Hoping you engage in these conversations to help others have the same humility. It takes a lot to see something in self, and furthermore to come out and tell others about it, so good job.


    Nov 13, 2016

    Sofia means wisdom, doesn’t it? Sounds as if you gained some and are growing into your name. Well done.


Nov 11, 2016

Thank you. When I was attending Knox (years ago) I always felt that we were encouraged to be a loving and caring community. While I understand some people are upset with the outcome of the election I didn’t understand how promoting hatred solved anything.


Nov 11, 2016

Well said. And thank you.

I know plenty of people twice your age who have yet to realize this. And a few that don’t want to, that seem to want to keep hating.


Nov 11, 2016

Thank you for speaking this truth that is happening all over America. We’ll never have unity & peace with this type of behavior.


Nov 11, 2016

Dear Sofia Tagkaloglou, Thank you for your column entitled “I am sorry, Knox.” It shows remarkable maturity and impressive writing skills. It also shows, in my opinion, a respect for all of your fellow-men and women and your ancestors. The attitude you display here is rare indeed. And more than anything it shows a spiritual sense of Patience which we all must have before passing judgment upon anything. Time changes all, and in time we may find ourselves on a side we once never would have imagined ourselves championing. And finally, then, in our wisdom, we may see that, as Bob Dylan once said, “You’re right from your side and I’m right from mine.”
I am 71 years old. I was 18 years old in 1963 and at Beloit College. I lived through the rigid rules of the Fifties and the profligate indulgences of the Sixties and all of the changes in between. There is not enough room here to say all the ways in which I have changed through these times. But I do know this: I no longer think I’m right and I’m not even sure anymore if my opinion is ultimately worthy or if it will last long, but it is necessary to indeed show love and respect for Everyone, not just give them some empty ideological benefit or not just to love people who confirm us. People are not wrong because they hold different opinions, and indeed it is true now that all of these people who voted for Donald Trump are not wrong. They are hopeful, hopeful that their burdensome plight will change. Wait and see, maybe it will, maybe things will get better. Give Mr. Trump a chance now. He has won. Show him the respect he deserves. If he fails you, vote him out.

Peter Gorham


    Nov 12, 2016

    This 61 year old says yes to what you said sir as well. Listening creates understanding but you must truly hear and not just wait to set your next dig in.
    This page and post is full of wisdom. I hope it reaches the streets.
    I voted for disruption of the political overlords.


    Nov 14, 2016

    Donald Trump set the tone for hatred. I am 76 and have voted for Republicans in the past. But Nixon broke the mold in trampling ethics and respect, resigning in guilt to avoid impeachment! His actions brought extortion, dirty tricks, and criminal acts to our highest office. Al Gore won the popular vote only to be denied office with help from SCOTUS to win. President Obama was never granted respect. He was hated for helping people gain healthcare. Republicans in Congress took a vow to make him a one term president. I don’t know where you live or if bias lives there but in TN there are people here, many of them Christians or profess to be that call our President hateful names that I can’t repeat here. Trump said he was the worst president ever, to his supporters. Claimed he should not be president, in his birther lies. The horrible things said about women, disabled and Hillary embarrasses and shames our country. I wonder how we got to a place where insults, threats and lies are the norm. Trump suggested NRA supporters ‘take care of his opponent’. Invited Russia to interfere and they did. Too many appalling untrue claims All this just to name a few! Anyone here expects people to not demand accountability?
    Did decency and respect live in Trump? Why would anyone ignore Trump’s venom filled rallies inciting his supporters to reject election results ,if he lost, and then cry foul when people react to his election in anger!
    Support the first amendment in peaceful protest. That is your right and don’t let anyone discourage you.


      Nov 16, 2016

      No trump did not set a hatred tone, Americans did. Stupid people did


    Nov 14, 2016

    Thank you for your reply to this young lady and for encouraging those who are the future.


Nov 11, 2016

I wish I was a business owner, I would hire you on the spot! Thank you for your mature, well thought out introspective. You are spot on so many points. Your compassion, and your honesty will take you far. You, as a representative of your generation, make us proud. Please thank your parents and role models. You have learned well the difference between right and wrong. Your writing makes me smile and gives me hope. Thank you!!


Nov 11, 2016

Thank you…


Nov 11, 2016

Well written and well said. In case you don’t see all the Facebook chatter your article is garnishing, know that there are many who are impressed by your level of self reflection that seems to be missing on both sides of the aisle as echo-chambers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are institutional and some are self-made. Hopefully more can take your approach, and I hope you don’t get too much backlash from either side.


Nov 11, 2016

Beautifully put. I’ve not seen such a well thought out response to this insanity that is gripping our nation. Bravo!


Nov 11, 2016

You GET it! I so appreciate this! You are a wise young woman!


Nov 11, 2016

“… President Teresa Amott always says that we learn the most from those least like us, but the only way we can do that is if we open our ears and hearts to them. Now is not the time to grip our egos and be divisive. Now is the time to pull out a chair for those we disagree with, join them around the table, and truly start to craft holistic solutions together…”

Yeah, as one of those “Trump supporters” who wasn’t voting for the Man more so than voting to give the whole Status Quo a swift kick to break the grip of elitist politics, let’s do that. If everybody can back-off the emotional rhetoric. “Ying/yang” instead of “us vs. them”…

Give it a shot; I think it would go better than folks expect.


    Nov 11, 2016

    Exactly


Nov 11, 2016

very well said


Nov 11, 2016

You amaze me! You give me hope for the liberal movement. May your heart spread like a wildfire through the movement! Thank you.


Nov 11, 2016

I think you have to have had something happen to you before you have a grievance. Donald Trump is not the President, Obama still is. You are crying over spilled milk that hasn’t been spilled yet. You are projecting your fears of things that haven’t happened and that may not actually affect you when, and if, they do happen. As an example, if illegal immigration is stemmed to some degree, that will only directly affect people who have broken the law to get here or who may have been forced to cross the border by a drug cartel with threats to their extended family. You may, in effect, by having a safer country with greater job opportunities for people who pay the taxes that benefit most college students through loans and grants by the government. Social security and medicare will benefit by a lessening of the drain on their already overextended. California alone id paying $25 billion dollars annually to support educate and give health care to illegals. That is $658 a year out of the pocket of every person in that state to support an illegal activity. unfortunately, only 13.5 million Californians filled taxes, that means that the burden for those actually paying the taxes jumps to $1850 a year. Imagine the financial boom in that state if all that money were allowed to be spent by the people who earned it and the thousands of jobs created to fill the void of those returning to their mother countries. This is a small part of one state whose problems infect all states. Any improvement of this problem can have a positive ripple affect on the entire nation that could allow for increased LEGAL immigration and better jobs and benefits for those people. The election is over> Mr. Trump is the President-elect and only his death can change it. Until them, Mr Obama is still in charge and the boogie man isn’t coming to Knox College to cart you away. Get an education and get busy making it a better country instead of placing your hopes and fears in a system that changes back and forth every decade or so. And remember that legitimate protest is designed to aggrieve the violation of human rights. It was never put in the Constitution for people who simply didn’t get their way


    Nov 11, 2016

    You have said this so eloquently and hit the nail on the head,Sir..I would like to share this because it states just how I feel…


    Nov 13, 2016

    Shirley, you are so wise. I feel the exact same way.


    Nov 13, 2016

    Well said! In all my years of voting only but a few times was I happy with the outcome. I didn’t express my disappointment in the violent manner that we are witnessing. I have been truly unhappy for the last 8 or more years. Back in “the day” we protested the war, we protested discrimination and we protested environmental issues we were passionate about. To see these protesters hateful and screaming obscenities and talking about revolutions …..I wonder if they do not understand that they were and are in the mist of the biggest political revolution of our time. Those of us that voted for Trump, did so because we were not happy with the direction our country was headed. We saw a government that no longer listened to the people. We saw that laws in this country were no longer equal for everyone. We felt that Washington was no longer for the people and as much as we begged for change and promised change, things never did. We voted the way we did because we feared for the future of our children and our grandchildren. My heart is filled with hope again. I hope that President Trump will begin to make the changes that need to be made to ensure a safe place to raise families. I hope he can bring job opportunities where they have been taken away and sent to other countries. I hope he can bring about term limits to the Senate and the House as these positions were never meant to be career. I hope once again our country is for the people by the people. May God Bless You all and May God Bless America ❤️


    Nov 15, 2016

    Well said M.Tessier and praises go to Sofia for her maturity and wisdom!


Nov 11, 2016

You are a strong lady. As you grow and learn more every day about life, you will make mistakes and learn from them. I wish people would just come to a better place with all these problems. The people have gone to the poles and that is water under the bridge! Lots of things need to change I am 69 yrs. old and think some people have gotten very, very lazy and only on earth to take the easier way out and expect someone else to take care of them. I could go on and on. Best of luck to you and stay strong you will be fine.


Nov 11, 2016

I have to say that I’ve been shocked and deeply appalled by seeing the wave of protests against the Trump election this year. And it’s not that I deny that the protesters have the RIGHT to protest. I am an ardent supporter of the First Amendment, and I would defend to the ends of the earth a person’s RIGHT to protest. But the Constitution protects a great many rights, even when the exercise of those rights is profoundly stupid. And it’s not that I don’t understand disappointment. I was part of the #NeverTrump movement; I though he was economically illiterate (his positions on free trade are incredibly wrong, and his opinions on the economics of immigration are badly misguided), boorish, xenophobic, misogynistic, and generally temperamentally unfit to be President. But I didn’t like Hillary Clinton any more that Trump; she has a long and very sordid history of dishonesty, corruption, abuse of power, and a dedication to a failed ideology that is ultimately destructive to the Nation. The 2016 Presidential Election looked like being given a choice between Hemlock and Arsenic – pick your poison, but make no mistake, they were BOTH poison. And I, too, was sorely disappointed in the outcome. But I would have been equally disappointed in the outcome had Hillary Clinton won, and just as concerned about the future of our country.

But for people claiming to adhere to democratic values to protest the outcome of an election – well, that takes a special kind of stupid. There are only two valid reasons I can think of to protest the outcome of an election: (1) you honestly believe, based on evidence that amounts to more than unhinged paranoia, that the election was stolen, that the outcome was determined by vote fraud, or rigged by those counting the votes; or (2) you are against the whole concept of democracy, you think that “the masses” are too stupid to be allowed the priviledge of self-government, and must be subjugated by a leader selected by their betters. But to pretend to be proponents of democracy and protest the election because you didn’t approve of the outcome is transparent hypocrisy. If you only approve of democracy when your preferred candidate wins, and willingly seek to overturn any election when your preferred candidate loses, stop pretending that you support democracy; you’re just another power hungry tyrant. I can only hope that the students who participated in these protests stop long enough to think through their actions, and realize just how stupid this whole exercise was.

Daniel Artz, Knox Class of ’77


    Nov 13, 2016

    It is very encouraging to start reading comments by people who make sense, no matter who they supported. Thank you.


    Nov 13, 2016

    Daniel – So well said! Thank you for putting into words all that I have been struggling to say.


Nov 11, 2016

As a Trump supporter and college student, this article is wonderful. Can’t tell you how many explicit posts I’ve seen on Facebook and twitter directed toward Trump supporters from fellow millennials. You can be angry, you can be sad, you can be whatever, but stop the hate (but wait. I thought only conservatives were hateful??). Its not okay, and at this point it looks a lot like whining because you didn’t get your way.


Nov 11, 2016

This gives me hope. If you can reach out to your peers who think and feel as you once did, you may become the bridge between these groups of people. The walls between us are growing higher and higher and without some sort of


Nov 11, 2016

Ceasefire, the war rages on. I appreciate your bravery in speaking from your heart. I do hope that our nation can come together to stop the hate. To stop the divide.


Nov 11, 2016

Beautifully written and lovely to hear.such a refreshing change from the last couple of days! Best of luck to you, I’m sure you will go far.


Nov 11, 2016

Ms. Tagkaloglou, your wisdom belies your tender age. I think you are a young woman destined for great things! Many on both sides could stand to be a little more introspective and respectful, and a lot less hyperbolic.


Nov 11, 2016

Well said…you are a wonderful soul!


Nov 11, 2016

Fantastic article…such a wise woman beyond her years. I shared on my FB page and I hope this goes viral…all Americans need to read this!


Nov 11, 2016

It would appear to me to students at Knox need to take a refresher course in civics so they we have no reason to protest something that cannot be changed or apologize for their derelict actions. A protest is for a violation of human rights otherwise it is just crying for not getting your way. As a citizen of Galesburg I do not accept your apology, you and your fellow students made yourselfs look ignorant and blemished the name of Knox College.


Nov 11, 2016

I only wanted to compliment you on a well written apology & let you know I was honored to share it on my Facebook page. Since my comment is going to follow Mr. Tessier’s, I will only say “boogie” man is a racist term so you might need to offer him a chair.


Nov 11, 2016

Dear Ms. Tagkaloglou, In rereading your commentary I must apologize in that my comments were directed toward the student body doing the protesting, not at you personally. In rereading my comments, I realize that I probably did not come off that way. Again, my apology to you for that. I am pleased that you were courageous enough to put in print, and sign your name to your observations. As a conservative and a lifelong union member, I understand how you can be it that situation and be fearful of speaking out. No one wants to be hated by their peers for noticing these kinds of discrepancies. You have the makings of a future conservative because you see the needs of one portion of the population but the rationality to understand the fruitlessness of blatant hatred without the willingness to compromise to find solutions. Again, I commend you for your willingness to at least speak out in a forum more comfortable than the one you found yourself in at the rally. Study the protests of the 60’s civil rights movement. They called attention to the problem of inequity. They did not call attention to themselves as a problem except by those who were themselves the problem. Hard work is more valuable in life than good luck, but I wish you both…Max Tessier, Galesburg


    Nov 11, 2016

    I’m glad you reread your entry!


Nov 11, 2016

Congrats! You seem to be a level headed and fair liberal. Unfortunately most are not (unless you think like them of course)


Nov 11, 2016

You give me hope that there are pockets in the next generation that ‘get it’.

I’m sure our political views are different, but with more people on both sides of the aisle that have your attitude a united and proud America can once again be found for a generation that deserves the same opportunity to fulfill dreams that mine has enjoyed.

I wish you the best in the future. You are truly a leader for your generation


Nov 11, 2016

Smart girl, I’m sure your parents are proud of you.


Nov 11, 2016

Refreshing to read and it provided me with a glimpse of hope that some involved in this protest will eventually realize what you have come to so much quicker. I applaud you for your honesty, humility, and courage to share your journey in the past few days. It is the individual that is able to see their mistakes and grow from it that elevates them to greater success. Embrace the past, grow from it, so that you can be a valid voice of reason to others. You will excel in all you do.


Nov 11, 2016

So glad Mr. Tessera wrote a 2nd comment!
Ms Tagkaloglou, Thank you. Your humble apology encouraged my heart.

Students like you are going to be the campus voice of reason. The isolated conservatives won’t be heard right now because they’re ‘the enemy’. But you will be heard.


Nov 12, 2016

Wow. I am so relieved to know that there are intelligent, respectful, compassionate young people like you in this world. With my social media so consumed with hate and passionate spewing of discontent toward other Americans who are simply trying to make the best choice based on their convictions, it is so comforting to hear your message. Sure, there will always be a minority of people who are racist, hateful, misogynistic morons. But that is not the majority of Ameirican citizens. It will never benefit any group or cause to treat the opposing view with such absolute hatred. You have my greatest respect and admiration. Thank you for giving me hope for our future.


Nov 12, 2016

Wish everyone had the same mentality as you. The world would truly be a wonderful place.


Nov 12, 2016

A lifelong liberal, I am one of the many whose heart was broken this week. I have a lot of fear for what is coming….promises trumpie made against different groups, comments he made against women. If trumpie turns out to be like most Republican presidents, then ok….but for now I’m very afraid. I’m going to give him one year to see what he does and if he follows through on the things he said…


    Nov 14, 2016

    And then what? What happens after a year?


Nov 12, 2016

Very good points. Great job!


Nov 12, 2016

This Trump voter says thank you. You’ve just laid the first brick on your side of the bridge that will help reunite us.


Nov 12, 2016

You’re a very mature young lady with great character. Wisdom will take you a LOT further than anything you can learn in a book. We do better when we know better. Wishing you nothing but great things in life.


Nov 12, 2016

thank you for this. i cannot tell you how painful it is to watch friends and family who i love express hatred toward people that i love. it is such an encouragement to hear you express a desire to understand and really love people.


Nov 12, 2016

Sitting with your enemy is the first step of any conversation. Common ground softens hate. Equal compromise assures that all sides are respected.

I’m glad to hear that more and more protesters are starting to realize: it’s not your message we disagree with, it’s your tactics.

Understanding comes with a handshake. Oppression comes at the end of a bayonet.

I think you’ll find Trump supporters are more than happy to welcome you and discuss your point of view. I look forward to reaching peace in this country again.


Nov 12, 2016

This has been an ugly, divisive campaign, and judging from the low voter turnout, about 55% of those registered, many Americans were disgusted by both major candidates. Even among those who did vote, Hillary received a thin plurality of around 47.5% You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure this out. Most Americans did not want EITHER of these two to become President of the United States.

Freedom is not free, and democracy is messy. Somebody else said those things, but they bear repeating. Another thing which needs to be said at a time like this is: We are where we are, so grow up, get on with your life, and do your part to make America great. The president is not an emperor, and the republic will endure. It always has. It has seen worse.

Carrying signs and shouting slogans and insults at those who do not share your preferences is immature and not productive.

Thank you for taking an important step forward.

Michael Leo Morrison, class of 1963


Nov 12, 2016

Thank you for writing this article and for sharing your experience. You show a great level of maturity and expressed yourself well. As with all elections, we must set aside our differences and work together to move our country in a positive direction. It seems such a simple idea to treat others the way we would have others treat us, but somehow that idea has, as yet, to find its place in much of our world, which is, surprising, given most of us are striving for the same goals.


Nov 12, 2016

Thank you for being a voice of sanity.


Nov 12, 2016

As a Tea Party member and editor of a local chapter newsletter, I encouraged our group to quit preaching to the choir and start engaging liberals on their own ideological turf. Unfortunately, it seemed impossible to find a liberal with a mature constitution. They all seemed to be parrots, no owls among them. However, many of us were parrots as well, unaware that the divide was manufactured by the entrenched power structure manipulating the dialog we were all to hurl at each other. If I could have found someone like you to introduce to our group perhaps a few of us would have recognized we have the same dreams for our future and begin working together to achieve it.


Nov 12, 2016

Young lady, you turned a negative into a positive, learned something and chose compassion and humility. Brava.


Nov 13, 2016

Did you vote? If not, and you are 18 or older, you have zero to demonstrate about.


Nov 13, 2016

I’m sorry too, Sofia
Thank you for your well written words. I am a 57 year old Hispanic Rep female in Michigan with a 26 year old son in Portland, Oregon. This has been a difficult week for both of us…polarizing in fact. We are literally miles apart on our views. You have reminded me how proud I am of your generation. You are intelligent and seek justice and are optimistic for real change. You are concerned about the lesser of society and are actively involved in community service. You research issues you are passionate about and make informed decisions.
We have failed to hear your generation and have been to quick to dismiss your views and opinions. Have we so quickly forgotten our Vietnam protests and our railings against “the establishment”? I think I will take some time today to reach out to my son and seek to listen, to refrain from making “my point” and just seek to understand his. Thank you, Sofia.


Nov 13, 2016

Thank you for your honesty and words. Well said like others have said shows maturity and caring. We live in a free country God fearing country and can share our thoughts. Again Thank you


Nov 13, 2016

To Quote Willy Wonka “And so shines a good deed in a weary world”. Great job, Sofia!


Nov 13, 2016

Beautiful humble article and beautiful replies. Makes me feel a bit better about the judgmental statements posted by my liberal friends about friends on the right. I’ve seen more judgment from the left on my feed although I’m sure it could go both ways. People would do well to give others the benefit of the doubt regarding their hearts and have dialogue instead of screaming demonstrations. I’ve just offered a friend of opposing viewpoint to have dialogue and to ask me questions. She felt safe with me and was so happy i offered! I am sure i can clear up many years of “how can you love the poor and all people and vote Republican?” At least that’s what i imagine many Democrats do not get. My vote was not about hate, not at all. Sometimes people just believe in different ways to solve problems.


Nov 13, 2016

Thank you, Knox Student! Thank you for owning your actions and for seeing both sides! I would gladly converse with you ANYTIME in an effort of understanding, unity, and compassion!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



More Story
Working toward the next four years
  How can we fight back?                   How can we become the nation that we have always hoped...