Students urged to work past fears of Trump presidency
By Brooks Schaefer - Staff Reporter
Students should not let the fear arising from the recent presidential election hold them back, a noted civil rights activist said in a lecture Tuesday as part of the college's Martin Luther King Jr. Week observance.
Dr. Maxine Mimms said students should instead move forward and use their apprehension of the upcoming Donald Trump presidency as an opportunity to better themselves. She encouraged students to continue the dialogue about race, ethnicity, and gender so that dialog can further evolve.
Martin Luther King Jr. Week is Highline's annual celebration and exploration of the work of the late civil rights leader.
Mimms also referred to the election as an illusion to make us fearful. Crazy people can't control you unless you let them, she said.
"Fear is something we must get rid of because your images designed by someone else will make you fearful," she said.
Dr. Mimms, founder of The Evergreen State College Tacoma branch, spoke on "Fear, Falsehood and Freedom," to a full house in Building 7.
"Be careful with your dreams because if you become complacent you will wake up in a nightmare," Mimms said, referring to the current election.
After President Obama was elected, Dr. Mimms said she became complacent, only to wake up in a nightmare eight years later on Nov. 9, 2016.
Dr. Mimms offered a solution to complacency, this being to "keep some internal agitation" as to not become complacent. That will help you stay awake, she said.
Dr. Mimms urged the audience to appreciate who they already are.
"Be creative. See yourself as elegant and exotic," she said.
Society is making progress in that regard, she said.
"We're not giving focus to ethnic beauty," Dr. Mimms said. "We're giving beauty to ethnic struggle."
Upon reflection of the outcome of the election, Dr. Mimms asked "What's there to be afraid of? I've been through it all."
She said she finds hope in the diversity exhibited by Highline and said such institutions reflect the dream of Dr. King.
"Dr. Martin Luther King would have walked into this turtle building, he would have burst into tears of joy. Because this is the dream," she said.
Dr. Mimms expressed sadness that Martin Luther King wasn't alive to see such wonderful a crowd.
She said the diversity of this campus is a model of Dr. King's dream that MLK had.