By Gabriel, 22, Denton, Texas
With the end of the Trump presidency this past Wednesday, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant and critical of the next four years of the Biden presidency. Americans must come together and hold our representatives accountable.
To many Americans, Biden signifies the return to the Obama-like era of the United States — the way the country was before Donald Trump took office. Just to briefly recap that administration: minimum wage rose to $7.25, the economy collapsed, an unnecessary war raged forward, and mass separation and caging of undocumented families carried on.
But if we have learned anything from the past four years, it is that returning to “normal” is not what we want — especially when there are issues and lives are still at stake.
Political activism intensified more than ever during the Trump administration, especially when young people took to the streets to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Police brutality toward black men, women, and transwomen were more visible than ever. But this violence is not new; it’s been happening for decades.
Through the military ban on trans people, ICE separating children from their families and deporting DACA students, citizens being left to survive off a onetime $600 check passed during an on-going pandemic, we rose in protest. We did not let Trump and Republicans go without telling them they were in the wrong. We were loud and clear on our disapproval and intolerance through calls to our representatives, emails to the senate, and even artistic protest that would carry our voices out there. Our voices were going to be heard.
When Trump uttered the words “Fake News,” it threw his followers into a frenzy that made them challenge scientific facts and reputable journalism. Trump and his administration drove journalists to push harder for unbiased and factual information. Just because Biden will not be calling the media “fake,” does not mean we are his ally. Politicians must be held accountable.
While we remain vigilant and aware of Biden’s presidency, we must not invalidate the relief that POC, Muslims, and the LGBTQ+ feel right now. After being sworn in, Biden reversed the travel ban on Muslims, signed to further protect DACA, and reversed the ability to deny medical service to members of the LGBTQ+ community. With that being said, there is still more work to be done.
We are the voices our president and representatives must listen to. We must continue to express when we are unhappy with the government’s actions or lack thereof. Just because a Democrat is in power does not mean the world will magically fix itself, or that we’ll let all the progress of the last four years go to waste. We must continue to fight for a better America for its citizens.
As Biden’s administration marches on, we must be ever watchful of what they do for and against the people. We must hold him and those in office to their promises and leave no stone unturned.