“Listen to Everyone, Tell Their Stories”

Will Hart, Director, Alumni, Yahoo News


Photo Credit: Will Hart.

We live in a virtual echo chamber. Social media, where my generation gets their news, uses algorithms to show you what you want to see. The Media amplified this. I feel guilt from creating bite sized Clinton and Trump news stories for Twitter/Facebook. That was one of my gigs in the last 12 months.

I saw my parents today for the first time in a few weeks. We went to Tres Hermanos for a late lunch.

We talked about the strange atmosphere we feel in New York, the strange feeling my sister has been experiencing in DC. She works for the Washington Post. I haven’t talked to her yet, I probably will after finishing this.

After Tuesday night I don’t know how I should talk about the election, politics, American society. I don’t want to talk, I want to listen to my LGBT friends, my minority friends, my female friends.


Photo Credit: Will Hart.

I grew up in Stamford Connecticut, but as white as it was, it was still diverse. I went to a magnet elementary school and middle school, and grew up with classmates from all backgrounds. My public high school was pretty much half minorities and half white.

The abrasive, violent reaction to minorities and the LGBT community is something no one I know predicted. Maybe I was too optimistic.

I’m not surprised that Trump won, I’m surprised that Americans were able to look past his rhetoric and still elect him. I’m surprised by the toxic reaction of some of his supporters toward the people his rhetoric attacked.

Don’t take this as me saying keep your chin down and carry on. Take this as a call to action to get closer to the people who are being attacked, and show them that this is not American behavior.


Photo Credit: Will Hart.

The confusion and anger I’m feeling is a fraction of what the LGBT community, minorities, muslims are feeling.

Please listen to what both sides are saying. Start the dialogue and have a conversation.

Content and media creators, camera owners, make something. If we have four years of this presidency, use your skills to tell the story of those who are angry. In the 1960s celluloid was more available, cameras were easier to use, TVs were entering every living room. Footage of civil rights protests became easy to show on TV.

We are in another media and content revolution. Who is creating the content? You and your camera.

If you support Trump, please listen to why people are reacting this way, its the same passion that you have for his presidency.

“All the traditional models for doing things are collapsing; from music to publishing to film, and it’s a wide open door for people who are creative to do what they need to do without having institutions block their art.”

-Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th)

Kaukab Basheer, Animator, Alum, Disney

So, America has made its choice. And wow, WHAT a choice. In hopes of “change” – what kind of “change” exactly? Disappointing, ignorant, unfortunate and tragic. I would really like to raise my son in a peaceful, loving environment, in a stable, accepting country. My family and I may be “different” but this, here, is our home. Heartbreaking and frightening. May Allah SWT protect us and watch over us all.


Roni Wheeler, Producer and Instructor

Our students should be especially vigilant now as personal violence may be on the rise. We, have to get as LOUD as the Haters. Let LOVE prevail.


Anna Tang, Screenwriting Major


View of the barracks in Angels Island where immigrants were detained.

I am American. Fifth-generation citizen to be exact. I am also Chinese-American.

Concerning the election I have many emotions: grief, anxiety, fear. However, I am not surprised.

The White people have spoken. There is nothing I won’t say.

When my great-great-grandfather came to this country over a century ago, he came looking for work. The opportunity in China was dismal at the time and he came to be a laborer. During that time the first-ever immigration law in the United States was passed. The Chinese Exclusion Act.

Even though the law barred him from naturalizing he did eventually become a citizen, claiming citizenship for his wife, his son (my great-grandfather) and someone else too. These were called paper-sons and many Asiatic immigrants were able to enter the country this way.


View of the San Francisco Bay from the Immigration Station.

Last summer I took a trip to Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay Area where my Great Aunt Liz and Great Uncle Joe volunteer as docents. Both of whom were born in the US. We visited the Immigration Station where my great-uncle’s mother (born in Detroit, MI) was detained for three days because she was Chinese.

We should not be surprised by Trump’s talk of banning Muslims from entering the country or of building a Wall. We should neither be surprised that half the country (the White half) voted for him.

We should remember the Japanese-American internment where seventy-percent of detainees whom were rounded up and jailed (purely because they looked like the enemy) were American citizens. We should remember the Los Angeles Chinese Massacre of 1871 where Chinese men were lynched and their home’s raided and the more recent Chapel Hill shootings.

This is time for America to remember what and where it is.

Paolo Piccolo, 3rd-year Directing Major


Photo Credit: Ralph Applebaum.

This school year has not started out well for me. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I am constantly belittled by people who scold me for not voting. I do not think I have a voice in what happens from this point on. No upset, protest, or the desecration of society will fix anything that the nation has decided on. We as students have a voice and form of expression that is immaculate. But I am constantly reminded by news stations that we are kids who don’t know better; or will vote for the wrong candidate for office.

Times have changed. Artists such as us know what is right for our country. And for ourselves. We believe in mediated action and common sense.

Read Isabela Quintero’s Story

Read Victoria Korty’s Story

Read Imelda O’Reilly’s Story

Filed Under: Alumni Blog