Protestors speak out against hate


Flagler students gathered at the Lightner Museum to protest against hate. Photo: Barbaraliz Ortiz

By Katie Garwood |

In an effort to “stand up to the hate dominating our nation,” a group of Flagler College students and members of the community took to the street Friday evening to peacefully protest and promote the message that “love trumps hate.”

According to the event’s Facebook page, the protest was organized “in the wake of [Donald] Trump’s election” and against “Trump’s stated position of misogyny, racism, anti-LGBTQ rights and violence, and anti-environmental priorities.”

“We felt that with everything that was happening with the election and the amount of people I saw Wednesday morning crying and scared to go out of their doors, it was something that had to be done,” said Ellen Fogel, one of the event’s student organizers.

Dennis Gorlick, an adjunct professor in the natural sciences department, said he was not pleased with the election’s outcome and attended the protest to support the students as well as act against “bigotry and hate.”
“After I get over my disappointment, I’ll try to figure out how to try to reduce the amount of damage that’s done in the next four years,” he said. “So there will be a pretty big struggle, I think, to counter a lot of initiatives that come out of the new government.”

Gary Snow, a Trump supporter, engages the protestors and crowd. Photo: Barbaraliz Ortiz

But the protesters weren’t without opposition. Gary Snow, 40, held up a sign with unsuccessful Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton’s face that read “She lost, get over it.” Snow said he came out to see what the protestors had to say.

“[Clinton supporters] want to say the majority of Donald Trump supporters are deplorable, misogynist, xenophobic, racist,” Snow said. “I find that insulting that a party preached ‘love trumps hate, but yet showed the world how much hate they had in them.”

For some, like Flagler freshman Savannah Simpson, the divisiveness created by the election had personal ramifications.

“It’s really sad,” Simpson said. “I have friends on that side who are no longer my friends because he voiced to me that I’m an idiot and he feels sorry for me for who I voted for. But I feel sorry for him that he doesn’t respect me because I have a different perspective than he does.”

Simpson said she voted for Trump, and stopped to watch the protest because she “disagreed” with it.

A Flagler student riles up the crowd, reading his prepared speech. Photo: Katie Garwood

“This is ridiculous. No one’s taking away their rights, no one’s saying they can’t love who they want to love,” Simpson said. “So I don’t understand, this is ridiculous.”

Not all who showed up to watch the protest had a vested interest in politics. Cathy Willard said she was not for either side but took issue with the timing of the protest.

“I wish it didn’t happen on Veterans’ Day, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but not today,” she said. “They could’ve done this tomorrow; they didn’t do this yesterday.”

However, Fogel said it was important to stand up and speak out for those who may be afraid of the future after Trump is in the White House.

“We have to come together to show that we’re stronger together,” Fogel said. “And as cheesy as that may sound, that is the way progress is made. Words do matter still in this world.”

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