These portraits were taken on November 12 2016, near the Federal Building in Downtown Los Angeles. On that day, 8,000 marched in an anti-Trump protest that quickly evolved into a pro-peace human rights rally.
We felt we not only lost an election, but that we lost the America we knew. The diverse, safe, progressive nation we wanted to believe in, had been cracked to reveal discrimination, violence, and a sudden uproar of hatred in the face of an election. From all sides, we became a proud paradox to this shocking, un-American campaign.
It is no secret that the president of a nation has to be the ultimate example of tolerance for the differences that make up America. The people will count on this person to protect their rights and enact a progressive, inclusive society. But maybe it is up to us, and always has been. We must continue to cherish the diversity of our nation and highlight the beautiful commonalities, for they give way to great empathy. As in Obama’s address to a nation November 9th, a nation that was bewildered at the outcome of the divide following the election results, “We are not democrats, we are not republicans, we are American first.” And while we can be defined and divided by many things, we should never have to defend that we are human.