Fil-Ams sound off on protests vs. Trump victory
SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino Americans were as affected as anyone else by the outcome of the presidential election that saw Donald Trump as the winner over Hillary Clinton.
Many agreed with the protests that have erupted against the idea that Trump – whom they consider to be a bigot, misogynist, racist, anti-immigrant, even a threat to national security — would be occupying the most powerful office in the world for the next four years. Others supported Trump and urged protesters to “move on.”
Gina Putong-Almeter, a mother in Phoenix, Arizona, was proud of her daughter Gabrielle who joined the post-election protests. Putong-Almeter said Trump has a questionable character, saying, “We cannot trust him with vast powers, which may go unchecked especially with a Senate and House majority that are his party-mates, even as the Republicans seem quite divided right now.”
Indeed some Fil-Am protesters were young high school students who went out of their classrooms in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.
“I think peaceful — and I emphasize this — political protest is a very important tool for citizens to express disapproval, in this case, of the misogyny, racism, hate, discrimination, bigotry and intolerance that the President-elect has been spreading for the past months,” she added.
“The high school kids in our community as in many places have been chanting “Our future, our voice”. Yes, most of them are too young to vote, but they are aware of the political climate that has been created where classmates may fear for their or their parents’ deportation,” Putong-Almeter said.
Carolina Pangilinan of Ponte Vedra, Florida, is also proud of the young protesters like her Occidental College-Los Angeles freshman daughter Gaby: “They are simply exercising their first amendment Constitutional right. In 5-10 years they will replace the aged baby boomers and with them come more progressive ideals and solutions to the stagnant, conformist and limiting conservatism that hinder our growth as a supposedly democratic country.”
Sasmuan, Pampanga native Leo Baltazar of Sugar Land, Texas said the protest marches could have been more useful “if they did it before the election to boost their candidate’s chance.”
“Clinton’s chances deteriorated because of FBI Comey’s announcement less than two weeks before the election that the investigation into her email may be reopened. As for now, after they expressed their frustrations and things settle down, they don’t have a choice but to accept the fact that Trump is the president-elect,” Baltazar said.
Bong Espiritu of Antioch, California doesn’t think the protests will change the election result, but “they would hopefully send strong messages to Trump to remember as he proceed with his policies. He should remember that he didn’t win the popular vote. The protests are emphasizing this. Hopefully, he gets pressured and be a better leader,” Espiritu stated.
“M. Cadiz” from Phoenix, Arizona echoed Espiritu: “The protests prove very strong points to the president-elect. One, more Americans wanted Hillary Clinton to be their leader. Two, they are upset. Three, they will be watching his every move very closely.”
Clinton supporter Jojo Castro Alonto of San Francisco thinks the Clinton protesters should be allowed to externalize their sentiments. “After that, let’s all move on, including me who did not vote for Trump. I’ve moved on,” Alonto shared. “CalExit? Maybe not,” he said of the idea of California seceding from the US.
Alan Paredes of Vallejo, California, said, “Just don’t let things get unlawful and stupid. Calexit? Even though my candidate didn’t win, I’m not going to jump the ship that I’ve sailed in all my life and enjoyed being a citizen with all its freedoms, privileges and opportunities. I built this country and am part of it,” Paredes declared. “Calexit is fringe thinking and irrelevant.”
But Glenn Fajardo of Campbell, California, has a “radical” idea: “The next 48 months, that’s not a long time. Instead of protesting let’s just stop paying income taxes. If the president of the United States avoids it, then it must be OK?”
Del Pineda Reno of Corona, California opined that people would protest even if Hillary had won. “That is because the country is divided. The election itself is a protest election. Let people practice their freedom,” explained Pineda Reno.
Carina Palarca-Ryan of University Place, Washington, who voted for Trump, reiterated that peaceful protest is what “makes America great.”
“But some of the protests that are happening are no longer a protest, it’s called riot, violent and destroying properties, etc. That is a not acceptable. The rallies are affecting normal everyday life, like blocking the traffic for people that go to work, etc. That should not be allowed,” Palarca Ryan stressed.
Olivia Quiambao Douglas of Mississippi said the riots and rallies should stop immediately. “Yes, Mr. Trump did say some things that offended people, but mostly it was in retaliation to the media bashing him first. The media needs to stop fueling the hate. The outgoing president needs to address this as soon as possible before it goes out of hand,” Quiambao-Douglas complained.
Lorna Lardizabal-Dietz of San Francisco woke up the morning after the elections having the same feelings about the result as when President Duterte became the President of the Philippines.
“I am an American first, vigilant about making the person who sits in the Oval Office accountable for his words and deeds. This means that I can make this turn of events an opportunity to rally for truth, justice, and fairness for all citizens and residents,” Dietz stated.
“We made history. What clearly showed up on TV was that many voters who exercised their right to vote revealed how much they were suffering. They showed their fears and their biases. They were tired of the status quo. Same old thing! You want change, right? Let’s roll our sleeves and work to get all that ‘big game politics’ out of the way and work collectively and collaboratively as energized communities.”
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