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We will not go quietly into the night

Within the first few days of Donald Trump’s presidency, we have seen the Commander in Chief issue numerous disturbing executive actions.

From ordering the construction of a wall at the Mexican border to pushing the speedy approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone Oil Pipelines to signing off on the #MuslimBan, Trump is blatantly ignoring the concerns of millions of American citizens.

While all of these executive orders and actions are more than concerning, nothing is as alarming as Trump’s ban on Environmental Protection Agency employees from talking to the press and making related updates on social media.

The Boston Globe reports, “The official Twitter account of the Badlands National Park published a series of posts Tuesday [Jan. 25] accurately quoting climate science data that included the current record-setting high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The tweets were soon deleted.”

Along with the removal of those tweets, references to climate change and data supporting it were removed from the White House page within the first few hours of Trump’s inauguration. It is incredibly disappointing that the Trump administration refuses to accept thoroughly studied scientific facts. It is another completely terrifying matter that they have forced the silence of scientists who are trying to inform American citizens about the serious reality of climate change.

Few things are more concerning than the leader of the free world abridging the freedom of speech that is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is all the more alarming that he is silencing the voices of reputable members of the intellectual community whose works are recognized throughout the world.

Michelle DePass, who led the EPA’s International and Tribal Affairs office during the Obama administration, told Science Magazine, “Scientific integrity is incredibly important and keeping that integrity ensures that decisions are made in the right way… Muzzling science, detracting from education and transparency and free and open ideas sharing is a very disturbing turn in the way our democracy operates.”

To say it bluntly, America is turning into a scary place. The government is taking backward steps in terms of women’s rights, attempting to devalue public education and creating intentional divides in our communities based off religion and/or race. Sadly, the list goes on.

While the current direction of the country is very disappointing, it is crucial that we direct our energy towards changing our government. We must stand together and tell Trump, “No, we will not go quietly into the night.”

The students, professors, staff and administrators of UMBC must come together to resist the damage being inflicted on the hard work and progress of our predecessors. It is essential that we not only ignite, but also sustain these efforts. Educational institutions such as our own have been and always will be progressive forces to be reckoned with.

Write letters to your congressmen/women. Participate peacefully in protests. Share pertinent articles on social media. Discuss issues that affect not only you, but also your fellow human beings. Most importantly, when it comes time for the 2018 midterm elections, vote.

We can no longer stand by and rely blindly on the misguided notion that our lawmakers and representatives will keep our best interests in mind. American citizens have been inactive in the political scene for far too long. It is time to remind our elected officials that we put them in power and we, the people, have the power to take it away.