Tax Day Protest at Trump International Hotel. https://www.washingtonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/tax-march-1.jpg.optimal.jpg

Intro:

When I first started this project at the beginning of the semester, before the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, I chose to focus on the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue because of its rich history and recent renovation into the new Trump International Hotel. I thought it would be interesting to analyze the shift of the historic site to a luxury hotel run by our newly elected President. However, after attending an inaugural ball, the Presidential Inauguration, and the Women’s March on inauguration weekend and watching the events that have occurred since the Inauguration of President Trump in January from Washington D.C., I have realized that Trump’s America is a divided America. Trump’s America is one wherein few have power and implement their agendas and the rest of the country has to fight for their voices to be heard. Trump’s America is an America wherein protest and revolution is a commonplace.

In order to demonstrate that protest is a commonplace in Trump’s America, I have mapped some of the biggest protests since the inauguration of President Trump. This map is meant to be viewed from the national level (points in blue) then zoomed in to Washington D.C. level (points in red) and then zoomed into the Trump International Hotel and Pennsylvania Avenue (points in grey).

 

Protest in America:

Since the inauguration of President Trump, there have been numerous rallies, marches, and strikes organized across the country in protest of Trump’s policies. Some of the largest, the Women’s March, the Airport Protests, and the People’s Climate March, have occurred in multiple cities across the nation. There have also been many rallies that have taken place solely outside of Washington D.C., like the Mar-a-Lago protests in West Palm Beach that protested Trump’s policies while he was attending the Red Cross Ball at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

In addition to actual protests, America has been protesting the Trump administration in another form. Both artists and corporations have protested Trump and his policies through songs, videos and advertisements. Artists like Kendrick Lamar have written songs like “XXX” which blatantly comments and denounces modern American society. Corporations like Budweiser have protested Trump’s policies through advertisements subtly alluding to current issues. However, not all of these demonstrations of protest in the media have been in good taste. Pepsi recently released an advertisement in which supermodel Kendall Jenner joined an ambiguous protest and solved the ‘issue’ by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi. Many accused the company of trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement and that it was the opposite of what real protests are. Pepsi ended up pulling the ad a week later.

 

Protest in DC:

As the capital of the country, Washington D.C. has a history of being a center for protest for some of the biggest movements in American history. It is no surprise that in this divisive time for America, D.C. is a center for many protests against the Trump administration. For many large scale protests, like the Women’s March on Washington and the People’s Climate March, people have travelled from across the country in order to participate in these protests. Recently, Washington D.C. has become a site for political discussion and expression of disapproval of the current status of our society. Some protests, like J20 Inauguration Protests, have become violent and resulted in the detainment of some protestors. However, most protests have been peaceful and serve only to express the disapproval of Trump’s political agenda.

 

LGBT Dance Protest outside of Trump International Hotel. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/02/04/lgbt-dance-protest-targets-trump-hotel/

Protest at Trump International Hotel and on Pennsylvania Avenue:

Because of it’s proximity to the White House and recent lease and renovation by the new President’s business, the Old Post Office building (now Trump International Hotel) on Pennsylvania Avenue has become a center for protest. Protesters gathered outside both the White House and the Trump International Hotel after Trump passed the “Muslim Ban,” an executive order that banned travellers and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days. While the White House has been a site for many protests before the Trump administration, this was the first use of the Trump International Hotel as a site for protest against a presidential administration. The LGBT community held a dance protest outside the gates of the hotel to protest Trump’s stance on gay rights on February 3rd. This was following a similar protest outside the gates of Vice President Mike Pence’s house earlier this year. Most recently, protesters gathered outside the Trump International Hotel on Tax Day demanding the President to release his tax returns.

Conclusion:

The election and inauguration of Donald Trump has created a divided America wherein many feel that their liberties and freedoms are being restricted. As a result, many Americans are making the decision to speak out and resist the agenda and policies put in place by the Trump administration. Protest and revolution have become a commonplace in Trump’s America. Protests, rallies, marches, and strikes have become an outlet for those who feel oppressed. People are no longer accepting what the government tells them, and are instead, making their own commentaries.

In this webpage, Goldchain argues that DC is more than just the capital of the country, but is also a hotspot for protests and riots. Goldchain then goes on to exhibit the most famous DC protests throughout history. For example, Goldchain maps where the Six Day riots occurred following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on U street.
This site is evidence of my thesis that protest is not only a commonplace in DC now, but has been for decades. This is historical evidence of what I am arguing. This form of exhibiting protests on a map is interesting and I intend to do something similar for my final project discussing protest as a commonplace in Trump’s America.

2. Evidence

In his Washington Post article “Climate March Expected to Draw Massive Crowd to DC in Sweltering Heat,” Mooney argues that despite a heat wave on the day of the People’s Climate March on DC, people still came to DC from all over the country to protest President Trump’s environmental policies. More specifically, Mooney exhibits pictures and quotes from signs to show the attention and support of the Climate March this past weekend. For example, Mooney quotes the chant “We’re here to stay. Welcome to your 100th day.”
Like the last source, this article is a source of evidence of protest as a commonplace in DC following the election of Donald Trump as president. The protest marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House which is a part of my site. Many of the recent protests following the inauguration of President Trump have occurred on Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House.

A Greek Polis. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Attica_06-13_Athens_50_View_from_Philopappos_-_Acropolis_Hill.jpg

In the final chapter of his book, City of Rhetoric, Fleming argues that cities are essential to humans. More specifically, they cater to the needs of humans both physically and mentally. For example, Fleming uses the Greek Polis as an idealistic city. In turn, Fleming argues that cities should be treated like schools in that we should learn from one another. In conclusion Fleming argues that we learn from the city.

This idea that we should treat cities as schools and we should learn from those around us is interesting. Especially after this past election, I feel as if we no longer communicate and learn from others, but rather spew our interests and don’t take the time to listen to other’s opinions. Maybe our society would be less divided if we utilized the city as Fleming suggests.

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. Ithaca, US: SUNY Press, 2008. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/alltitles/docDetail.action?docID=10575977.

 

Climate March down Pennsylvania Avenue

This past weekend the Climate March on Washington drew in thousands to protest Donald Trump’s environmental policies. The march was routed through Pennsylvania Avenue, furthering my claim that the area has a deeply rooted culture of protest and revolution.

One of the most infamous protests in Washington DC.

https://dc.curbed.com/maps/dc-washington-march-protest-rally-riot/the-great-march

This page “D.C.’s most famous protests, rallies, and riots, mapped” maps the most famous protests and riots to have happened in DC. This map shows that most protests and riots have happened on or around Pennsylvania Avenue, showing that protests and revolution is a big part of not only the culture on Pennsylvania Avenue but also in D.C.

Goldchain, Michelle. “D.C.’s Most Famous Protests, Rallies, and Riots, Mapped.” Curbed DC, January 20, 2017. https://dc.curbed.com/maps/dc-washington-march-protest-rally-riot.
Perry, Jennifer. “7 Civil Rights Crusaders to Celebrate alongside Martin Luther King Jr.” Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW, January 18, 2016. http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/01/18/7-civil-rights-crusaders-to-celebrate-alongside-martin-luther-king-jr/.

While I am not a fan of the Kardashians and I have never watched their show or bought into any piece of their familial franchise, I must say I respect them as business people. They have turned normal familial issues-issues that most families and people undergo, like divorce, marriage, pregnancies, and intrafamilial disputes into a multimillion dollar franchise. They used their 15 minutes of fame to become almost American royalty. Kylie, for example, has used this as a way to create a successful cosmetic line with no formal training in how to run a business. I think this specific video, which Kylie released in March of 2016 as an ad for her line of glosses, is a perfect example of the way that the Kardashians have transformed their seemingly talentless family into a product that massive amounts of people around the world buy into. This video, for all intents and purposes, is really terrible, but the glosses that it is advertising have consistently sold out seconds after release.

Say what you will about the Kardashians’ personal lives and decisions, they are expert business women.

In Leon Bridges’ song River, Bridges sings about his wish to be cleansed of his wrongs. River is a smooth and simple song with only a few instruments and backup vocals to support Bridges’ voice. Bridges sings about a feeling that we can all relate to as humans who err, regret. I think his focus on being washed of his sins is interesting. It is a theme that repeats itself throughout all forms of art. Water being cleansing of what came before it. It’s like we have created this connection to water and rebirth in response to our inevitable wrongdoings.

 

 

 

In “His & Hers? Designing for a Post Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick argues that designers need to adapt to the shifting gender norms in our society. More specifically, Tick argues that modern designers should incorporate more androgynous designs into their lines to create a more welcoming environment to those who may not identify with typical gender norms. For Tick, it is the responsibility of designers to create a welcoming environment for everyone’s sense of individuality.

Tick also uses this article to comment on the state of gender in our modern society. More specifically, Tick comments on society’s focus and sustain of Modernist typical gender norms that have been in place in generations. For example, Tick mentions the issue of bathroom gender and recent laws that prevents transgenders from using the restroom that they identify with.

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis, March 20, 2015. http://www.metropolismag.com/ideas/his-hers-designing-for-a-post-gender-society/.

Kendrick Lamar’s song (and entire new album) DNA is his own form of a social commentary. Lamar’s song and video for DNA is about being a black man in modern American society and his refusal to give up his roots despite his recent rise to fame. I find this song and video to be a very powerful way to address his point, and although I am a white woman and I can not relate to his experiences, I appreciate and am in awe of his art and music and I find it relevant to today’s conversation on race.