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

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90 Comments

Nov 13, 2016

Loved the article. Learning from those least like us is an excellent goal. I read another article today and thought it may help some younger liberal people gain insight while trying to achieve that goal. https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-working-class

You have to read the entire article though.


Nov 13, 2016

Very goid article, it was disheartening to see you people demonstrate on veterans day. A day that is important in our history. I’m glad I servered my country, I’m glad my father, grandfather and other members of my family and other americans served so we could protect your rights for free speech. Be respectful of all people.


Nov 13, 2016

Thank you. I appreciate your honesty and openness. With approaching others in this way, greater civil dialogue can be reached. We must always see one another as individuals, not labels.


Nov 13, 2016

Young lady, you show more wisdom and grace than countless others more advanced in years than you! I would like to think there are many more who will have such revelations, and will work for mending our country, not destroying it.


Nov 13, 2016

Well, just when I thought no young adult college student alive could possibit think for themselves….I found a glimmer of hope. By the way it is reasoning skills like this that turned me from an idologic young college student to a middle age white employed Woman who supported Trump. You will eventually see the wisdom in conservative thinking.


Nov 13, 2016

I am a downtown buisness owner and im so happy to hear this as all of you probably know its not easy to have a downtown business in galesburg definitely not what it used to be and these protest this week has been very hard on downtown buisness but im very proud to call this young lady a member of our community and hopes everyone will come together with common ground and i thank you young lady im sure you are gonna go on to great things you already have


Nov 13, 2016

It was not only refreshing to read this article, which held so much wisdom, but it actually warmed my heart and restored a measure of confidence for me in our young people. Common courtesy, decency, humility, courage to do what’s difficult by seems right all come to mind! Yes!
Matt Williams
Army, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret)


Nov 13, 2016

How brave and honest to write such a complete article about your experience. Though I may not agree with your point of view, it gives me real hope for the future of of our country if there are more students like you. God bless you. Keep it coming!


Nov 13, 2016

Excellent article–great writing and appreciate your honesty! I wish others had the same wisdom. Concerning “a campaign with such explicit racism and misogyny,” remember–that was the narrative that Liberals created and not the truth.


Nov 13, 2016

Thank you Sofia Tagkaloglou! May each of us learn and grow from the lesson you have described and so painfully experienced. Yes, I suspect we, you and I, have some significant differences, that would be a heart-struggle pleasure to discuss. Wishing you and yours a Happy America.


Nov 13, 2016

Well said. You are the future of this country. I was honored to read your post.


Nov 13, 2016

Well said Sofia, well said. You give me hope for the future generation.


Nov 13, 2016

Awesome article! I am a Trump supporter, my Mom (whom I truly respect) is a Hillary supporter. We have had our share of disagreements/arguments over this past election. But we always parted ways with a hug a kiss, and an I love you. Throughout my entire family this is happening. But we are all raised to think for ourselves. In the end, we are truly only responsible for our own actions, and we can only blame ourselves for the way we behave and the way we treat others. Your words are beautiful written, and they convey exactly that message. I pray that what I saw in Trump is what happens over the next 4 years, and that the change he can bring to our Government is beneficial to all of us. I hope you continue to inspire people with your wonderful words.

Laura from Michigan


Nov 13, 2016

Well done.


Nov 14, 2016

Should have been titled “I’m anti Trump and nobody noticed so I’ll write a story about being anti Trump and regretting it to get the attention I didn’t get before.

LOL at the comments praising you. Anti Trump people are the real racists.


Nov 14, 2016

Your words made me cry this morning. I wondered if any of the people I knew who were so angry about the election would ever be emotionally ‘safe’ to be around again. People I love or like and strive to listen to their thoughts have been very, colorful, in their words towards anyone who did not vote for Mrs. Clinton. To know that people I truly care about really believe me to be the awful things they say is devastating. I had already made the decision to keep listening and keep loving and encouraging other family and friends to do the same. Your words, from someone who has different views than me, are just what I need today. I know that if I met you, you wouldn’t belittle or humiliate or despise me, just by knowing who I did or didn’t vote for. Thank you for hope this morning.


Nov 14, 2016

Very well said for such a young person. An excellent lesson about life and how to deal with adverse situations. As an older citizen, it is comforting to know there are younger people who can understand how to be a better person .Every contest, sports game , etc., has a winner and a loser. We should all learn how not to be a sore loser, nor a winner who gloats in victory. Peace on Earth.


Nov 14, 2016

Kudos. That’s leadership upon which much can be built.


Nov 14, 2016

What a smart and compassionate person. We so desperately need more young people like you. I wonder if the people screaming hateful things and those who disagree with them understand they are behaving like terrorists. They would be appalled at the idea that they are sowing the seeds of a fascist society but they are. People like you are the hope of our future and I’m hopeful that despite what we see on TV there are more people like you than there are people who spew the hate. Thank you for restoring my faith in our future.


Nov 14, 2016

“After a campaign with such explicit racism and misogyny, …” I for one would like to see the examples of “explicit racism and misogyny.”


Nov 15, 2016

I have to point out that perhaps even more so than this wonderful article, I as someone who has seen and been distressed by this divide in our country since 2014, well before Trump was even in the running for president, I am incredibly heartened by the positive responses I have seen under this article. I learned about these attitudes of preaching love and understanding while flinging hatred and derisiveness among young millenial liberals (especially college students,) back in 2014, but it has been really bad since 2012 as I have since learned.

Back when I first became aware of it, there were many others exactly like you who came to the realization that this attitude is poisonous and wrote things exactly like you. The comments sections under their articles were no where near this friendly, and they were often called a traitor by those they were holding to account in giving their apology, and were submitted to the worst kind of harassment. The fact that the responses under this article are nothing but positive is a very good sign that perhaps our country is finally moving in the right direction. I appreciate you Sofia, but even more so I want to thank everyone in this comments section above me for treating Sofia with so much love, acceptance, and understanding. This is exactly what we need to see more of.


Nov 15, 2016

I went to the blog on The Knox Student to see if this conversation is continuing. There was nothing. Your well-written article and all comments are so thoughtful I was hoping this diverse dialogue might continue. The discussion (and action) is precisely what we need. Everyone here knows we need to listen to one another. I know folks are busy, but does anyone have thoughts on my suggestion? Perhaps this is the beginning. My name is Donna Brenneis. I am on Facebook.


Nov 15, 2016

I like to think there are many, many more like you out there! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I am proud of you!


Nov 16, 2016

I find it interesting how many Trump supporters there are in the comments. The simple fact is that bad people are feeling comfortable expressing their bigotry because of what the president-elect has said and stands for. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, Muslims, etc. The list goes on. These people cannot feel safe here in our home country because of that man, so I don’t care what conservatives or Republicans “feel” right now or if they’re offended. They just put so many of us in danger.


Nov 18, 2016

People process pain, loss and grief individually. But in most cases, anger is part of that process. Whether you lost your child, your parent, your sibling, your lover or your country, you will be angry. Don’t dismiss the anger. It is normal.


Nov 23, 2016

Well Sophia, that was a very honest and heartfelt look at the situation. It would have been far easier for you to just embrace the stance of those around you, and melt into individual obscurity while others had their say…… Voices that differ, have to be led by voices that also have reason, calm, and look for common ground. There is nothing so hollow as ranting the phrase “Love Trumps Hate”, when the four letter works fly from those same mouths in anger, and in hate…… One has to BE the message they are trying to speak….. Otherwise, as we all know, actions speak louder than words……






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