Epilogue: The First Day of the Rest of My Life (And Yours)

Being the huge geek I am, I often like to relate experiences from my own life to the plots of my favorites books, comics and television shows. That being said, I like to think of the year 2017 (at least so far) as the seventh season of The Walking Dead.

Season Seven of The Walking Dead beings with the show’s heroes Rick, Michonne, Daryl and others being held captive by the tyrannical psychopath Negan. In the first episode, Negan brutally murders two of the show’s beloved protagonists. As the rest of the season progresses, Negan and his henchmen (known as the Saviors) enjoy the spoils of having Rick and the other heroes work as their slaves. Negan and the Saviors abuse the show’s heroes both physically and psychologically in addition to taking their things. By the middle of season seven, Rick, Michonne and Daryl get into contact with other communities of zombie apocalypse survivors who serve the Saviors under the threat of death. At the end the season, another beloved character sacrifices herself, allowing for an epic battle to take place. The battle ensues between the united communities fighting for freedom against the oppressive Saviors. Negan escapes the battle alive and regroups with the other Saviors to tell them “we are going to war.” Back at the battle site, our heroes and their new allies stand victorious, united and ready to face further onslaught despite such a tragic beginning to the season.

So why did I just summarize the plot of the latest season of The Walking Dead? I did so because the plot of season seven of The Walking Dead is just like the story-line of the American people when President Donald Trump took office. At the start of his presidency I (as well as countless others) were both shocked and depressed at his victory. Then the new President immediately began rolling out discriminatory executive orders one after another. But at the days of his presidency progressed, more people began to rally against him and his administration.

Protests increased.

Riots increased.

Boycotts increased.

Progressive activism increased.

March for Science 2017-San Francisco
Here I am (pictured center) at the 2017 March for Science with my friends and fellow SJSU Spartans Kelby Sellers (left) and Matthew Wiseman (right).

This year, 36 players from the Super Bowl LI Champion New England Patriots would not even attend the standard champions’ White House Visit. No American President up until now has ever had that many champion athletes refuse to visit him purely out of spite. Trump has also failed to accomplish some of his most atrocious campaign promises and for good reasons. His Muslim travel ban was overturned by federal judges. His initial Affordable Care Act “Replacement Plan” failed to get approval from the senate. His racist and xenophobic White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon had to be stripped of his title after infuriating so many people. Trump may have won the battle of the 2016 presidential election, but he is losing the war that is his presidency.

And just as several communities of survivors/slaves had to unite to defeat Negan on The Walking Dead, a plethora of existing American political and social-activist factions banded together to accomplish feats such as the Women’s March and the March for Science. Muslims, Jews, Mexican immigrants, women, people of color, the LGBT community and countless of other oppressed groups of people fought against the Trump administration not just for their respective peoples but to protect one another.

This amazing spike in oppressed peoples uniting and fighting for one another does not just end within the boundaries of the United States. In Venezuela, millions of people are going toe-to-toe with its federal police to combat the deeply flawed and corrupt Maduro administration. Just recently in France, Emmanuel Macron’s landslide presidential election victory over the fascist and xenophobic Marine Le Pen showed that despite the Paris attacks of 2015, the French people chose inclusion and social justice over fear-fueled bigotry.

Furthermore, I can honestly say that creating, updating and facilitating this blog has been a labor of love. I got to see first-hand the new struggles facing so many people today, including myself. Our adversaries are powerful. They have armies, money and they are drunk in power. However, there’s hope for the common protester as well. A common Mexican saying goes, “They tried to bury us, but they did not realize we were seeds.” What I have learned these past four months is that you should never underestimate the potential of oppressed peoples. Totalitarian dictators such as President Donald Trump (yes, I’m calling him that) think that they can divide and delude the American people. He can divide and delude some of us, but not all of us. For as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

This blog, as well as the constant resistance against the fascist and bigoted leaders of the world, is far from over. I began this semester genuinely afraid for my safety and well being. Now, at the end of the semester, I am confident that justice will prevail because myself and countless others on the right side of history will make it so.

This is not the end, but merely a commencement of sorts. So to everyone who has been reading and following this blog; thank you. The fight is far from over.

Berkeley Riot 2017
Yours truly, protesting the Trump administration in Berkeley on March 4, 2017.
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