The Day After, when Love Trumps Hate

On November 9th, the day after the election, I couldn’t think of a place I wanted to be more than Oakland International High School. I brought a couple boxes of chalk with me. I asked two of the many roaming, anxious students to hold the string as I walked around them creating the chalk circles that would become the main structure of the mandala in the courtyard. These two young men could have ignored me, could have walked away, or could have drawn anything in the center circle. At a school where 100% of our students are newcomers, almost half are undocumented, and many are Muslim, Trump’s policies and hate speech against immigrants would have warranted a “Fuck Trump.” But they chose to draw a dove. And the love and positive messaging flowed outward from the center, for hours. We ultimately held a small rally around the circle, and many walked out on a protest march. Love trumped hate on the day after the election, and we found great strength in our community.

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