“American Mondays” initiate political dialogue


Skyler Rivera

American Mondays: Students show their support on social media

   On September 18, 2017, a group of Webb students paraded around campus in head-to-toe American getup, complete with flags tucked in back pockets and crew socks donning President Trump’s face. An average observer may have considered the scene atypical, but to Luke Gonzalez (‘19), it was a simple show of patriotic support.

  Through a group chat message sent the night before, Gonzalez asked several of his classmates to collectively wear American apparel in an attempt to expose the Webb community to an overlooked demographic. With a possibly recurring event, “American Monday,” Gonzalez hopes to initiate discussion working toward understanding instead of an argument.

  Gonzalez, dressed in a “Make America Great Again” red cap, “Compton” t-shirt, and Trump socks, recounted the newly formed group’s self-removal from the Political Union Club after a fall-out concerning inappropriate language and the clear disapproval he personally faced at school. He spoke of students knocking the hat off his head and reproachful glances from teachers.

  The same night, Gonzalez sent out a STAS post explaining the group’s actions, claiming, “On these Mondays, we hope to represent what we stand for and what America stands for. We will be wearing attire that shows our love and support for Trump and America.” Immediately afterward, other Webb students responded with “International Tuesday,” emphasizing inclusivity of all the nations that Webb houses on its campus. For the duration of the night, STAS imploded with political dialogue, rainbow heart emojis, and pleas to Tim Coates for salvation.  

  It is not certain whether American Mondays will become another permanent installment in the weekly lives of the Webb community, but it has certainly ruffled some feathers and sparked some conversations.

  In finding the balance between freedom of expression and incivility, Ben Martinez (‘19) says, “The idea of free speech has been compromised by the hurtful comments of leaders and supporters. The idea of free speech will always belong to the oppressed, in this case, those who protest against Trump.”

  In a bubble of beliefs, one thing is certain: Webb provides its students spaces to engage in often difficult political dialogue, a privilege no student should overlook. No matter where a person falls on the political spectrum, they should be treated with respect and also act with respect, remembering we are all human beings trying to do our best in this world we all share. There is no need to persuade the opposition or prove who is “right”; instead, it is more productive to collaborate on positive change that benefits as many Americans as possible.