Due to the presidential election, the sound of nail guns and hammers could be heard for miles as Beverly Hills businesses and establishments boarded-up their doors and windows. This is incredibly saddening. Our community should not have to resort to boarding-up establishments in fear of rioting, looting and violent protests following a democratic election.
Amid the protests in late May and early June, Beverly Hills was one of the cities that was hit by looters and violent protesters. However, Rodeo Drive was not open to any visitors, pedestrians or traffic to prevent such events from reoccurring.
It is both comforting and terrifying to see how quickly Beverly Hills protected its establishments from a potential threat. But why should our city have to prepare for violence? This election has divided our community. As I drove past Santa Monica this weekend, I witnessed a Democrat and a Republican getting physical while those around them cheered. I was taken aback at the sight of people cheering for violence. America, is this what we’ve become? Think about it as you hear the sirens rushing from protest to protest. Think about it as you witness the boarded-up establishments. Think about it as you envision your future.
Not only is it terrifying to see these boarded-up establishments, but it is also frightening to watch our current president refuse to concede his power as other presidents have done in the past. President Donald J. Trump’s refusal to admit defeat empowers all protesters, which could potentially lead to more violence. Instead of listening to Trump and his rejection of the election, we need to move forward. Both Democrats and Republicans need to change their attitudes in all levels of our society, from our government officials to us as everyday citizens. In order to prevent violence and dissatisfaction, we need to work toward unification and overcome the disunification that Trump’s four years in office caused.
As students, we should not be taking part in the problem, we should be pushing for the solution. We need to advocate for peace, regardless of differing political views. We should not join the violence. Instead, we should be encouraging our peers to stay away from it. I have seen countless Snapchat stories of students who jokingly claim that they want to go looting. Students, how can we let claims like this slide? Confront those who add to the problem. Advocate positivity. Be the solution.
View the photo slideshow below to see some pictures of the boarded-up establishments.