Donald J. Trump won the election.

A joke America took seriously.

Instead of focusing on the many failings of Trump, which are too numerous to mention, let’s focus on what this election means for Canada and the citizens of North America. Where the United States leads, Canada has the potential to follow.

The 45th President of the United States has brought up many issues that are contentious. Most of all he has shined the light on human rights. He has brought forth, once again, the question of how a human being can be classified, treated, and what rights one is worthy of having.

As a liberal arts campus that is dedicated to making every student more mindful about the world they live in, Trump must be an issue we address. An issue we take serious and meaningful action against.

Regardless if you are for his proposed economic policies like the withdrawing from historic trade agreements such as NAFTA and NATO, or you agree that the Paris Treaty is just a waste of time, you must look at what Trump’s influence has on society and the social aspect.

He has targeted the Mexican community and their perceived nationality, branding citizens as “killers or rapists”. In reference to being told that two men beat a Hispanic man in his name in August, Trump responded that they were just passionate about making America great again.

When it comes to abortion rights, Trump is clear that he is pro-life and wants to minimize the rights women have to seeking an abortion. His elected Vice President candidate, Jim Pence, is pushing to also minimize the choices of citizens when it comes to abortion. The Indiana governor just recently signed an anti-abortion law that penalized individuals who seek abortions for whatever reasons, making it harder and more expensive to seek an abortion.

Regardless if you are pro-choice or pro-life, your opinion is still valuable and should always be recognized. However, when an individual makes a decision for another, that is not right and we have to recognize that. We must give everyone the respect the deserve when they do what they believe is right. What’s further is no individual should be able to determine what is best for another. When it comes to one’s bodily health and safety, no politician should be able to tell them what is right or wrong, regardless of gender.

At the University of Pennsylvania, 100 new African-American students were added to the GroupMe group – made by primarily white students – called “N**** Lynching”. In this group, students were targeting these new African-American students by sending racial threats and horrifying historical pictures of African-American individuals that were murdered and hung from trees.

Islamophobia is increasing in America: children at school have been told that they were not welcome and that they were going to be deported and women wearing hijabs were being harassed in the streets and in classrooms, among more examples.

These are just some very small examples of what is to come. Trump has spread hate speech, has embodied racism, misogyny, and hate to a T. His followers are committing acts of terror in his name. Under his election and presidential campaign, we must remain aware of privilege and not let this hatred infiltrate our campus, our homes, and our country.

We must remain vigilant against the opinions that we must “screen for Canadian values”, like that of Kelly Leitch, Conservative Leadership Candidate in the Conservative Party of Canada. We must refuse those who want to embody Trump’s ideals in our homes.

We must listen to the voices of victims. We must hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. Remember, at the end of the day, all we have is our strength and our knowledge of what is right. That the hatred against others shall not be tolerated.

When they go low, we go high.

That’s the only way we will be able to trump hate. That will be the only way to end this plague of xenophobia, misogyny, and hatred in North America.

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