It’s amazing how deeply wounded some people on the left were by Trump’s 2016 victory.

From the student newspaper, the Berkeley Beacon:

Professors recall ‘grim’ days on campus after 2016 election

Mark Leccese never opened his briefcase for class on Nov. 9, 2016.

That day—just after Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency in 2016—a campus mourned.

“The day after the election in 2016 the mood on campus was grim,” Leccese, a journalism professor, said in a phone interview. “When I walked into the classroom, I realized there was no way that I was going to have the class I prepared. Just one look at the faces of everyone in the room, people were in tears.”

In lieu of a lecture, Leccese simply talked to his students and opened the floor for them to vent.

“[I] just took a chair and turned it around and sat down and said to the students, ‘Well do you want to talk about this?’ and they said no so I said ‘alright, well, I’ll talk about it,” he said. “It took 20 or 25 minutes and then finally someone spoke up, and now everybody was talking”

Now as the nation anxiously awaits poll returns for the 2020 election, memories of the last election and the pain it brought the Emerson community loom large for professors who taught on the Boston campus in 2016.

Political Science Professor Mneesha Gellman, who led “Human Rights” and “The U.S. and Latin America” in fall 2016, recalled both the mass demonstration that students joined on Boston Common that week and the devastation in her classroom that Thursday.

“I had two young women in one of my classes, one of whom had been an ardent Bernie supporter, the other had been an ardent Clinton supporter, and I remember coming into class and both of them crying,” she said

Trump’s victory coming on the heels of the liberal Obama administration made the feeling of shock in 2016 all the more intense for students, Gellman said.

“The feeling of surprise that happened this time four years ago was palpable,” she said. “People weren’t starting from the same traumatic place on election night that they are today.”


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