Teens Who Couldn’t Vote Struggle to Accept President Donald Trump

Source: Time

By Katy Steinmetz / Berkeley, Calif

By 9 p.m. on Election Night, Maya Raiford-Cohen had started sending texts to her fellow students at Berkeley High School, organizing young people in a county that voted for the losing presidential candidate by a margin of about six to one. Texts fast turned into group chats, Snapchats and Facebook posts—and by the next morning, hundreds of students were walking out of class to collectively voice their concerns about what a Donald Trump presidency is going to mean for them.

During the past week of protests over the 2016 election results, thousands of high school students have staged walkouts in citiesacross the nation. While many Americans are anxious about what the election means, these 16- and 17-year-olds are also grappling with the fact that this decision was made for them by their elders—just like young people in Britain had to stand by as their country voted to leave the European Union months before. “We couldn’t cast a vote but we spoke with our feet,” Berkeley senior Kaili Meier says of the walkout at her school, which has long been a hotbed of progressive activism.

For some of her peers, it is particularly frustrating that many other Americans could cast ballots but did not: about 42% of eligible voters stayed home this year, similar to the amount in 2012. “This country has the tendency to remain a bystander,” says Berkeley senior Camila Rice-Aguilar, also 17, “and that was really infuriating to me because I don’t get to vote. None of us got to vote. And we have more thoughts and collective passion than many people in this country who decided they weren’t going to do anything.”

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Categories: America, The Muslim Times, USA

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