Yorkers discuss moving forward after election

Christopher Dornblaser

Days after election 2016, many York countians were upset over the idea of President-elect Donald Trump.

In the days since Tuesday's election, there have been many protests and reports of racism nationwide.

"I'm at a loss as to how to deal with this," Erec Smith, York College rhetoric professor, said after the election and reports of hatred.

Smith was speaking among a group of about 20 others from the area Saturday morning at Centro Hispano in York City, where the York-area residents expressed what they thought went wrong with the election and how to deal with the reported racism and hatred that has been going on in the country and at home the last few days.

What went wrong: The group discussed what went wrong on a local and national level for them during the 2016 election. One of the issues they discussed was how there was a need for the "common human connection" from the Democratic Party.

One woman referenced that Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine quoted William Faulkner during his concession speech. The woman noted that not many people read Faulkner.

"We can't embrace anti-intellectualism," Smith said. "We have to make intellectualism cool."

York County Democratic activist Salome Johnson expressed similar thoughts. She said people can have intelligent conversations without talking down to others.

Mike Morrill, of Reading, who is the executive director of Keystone Progress, said the Democrats lost the narrative when talking about health care and economics.

"Nobody else was talking about the issues," he said.

Morrill referenced Erie County, where he said 23,000 votes shifted.

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Fighting racism, hatred: After the election, the York County area has seen reports of racism. On Saturday, the group talked about their fears. Johnson said she had heard of people calling black people a racial slur in New York City days after the election results came in.

"I find it wholly repugnant," she said.

Delma Rivera, of Seven Valleys, said she used to be a Republican but switched to Democrat in recent years.  She said once the election results came in, her 22-year-old daughter called her, concerned about racism.

"She was just worried about what is going to happen," Rivera said.

Shannon High, of York City, shared her concerns.

"It should not be OK for children, in 2016, minority children, being attacked in school," she said.

The group agreed that resistance is necessary to stop hate.

"If (Trump) says he's going to build a deportation force ... we have to build a resistance," Morrill said.

West York Mayor Shaun Mauck said it is all about how people react.

"You've got to have heart enough to say 'not here,'" he said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.