SHC Reacts: 2021 Inauguration


Margot Hart

Ms. Bernard’s Block 4 French 5,6 Honors class watches the inauguration on Zoom. Many students discussed the inauguration with their teachers.

At 9 am PST on January 20th, 2021, just as SHC students were logging onto their morning Zoom classes, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were inaugurated. The transfer of power signifies the end of the presidency of Donald Trump, whose term was marked with the chaos of the Coronavirus, two impeachments, and a plethora of executive orders. While the transfer of power may not be considered entirely peaceful given the recent violence at the Capitol, the Biden administration took office as planned on January 20th.

Here’s what SHC had to say:

What were your expectations for the inauguration given the recent violence at the Capitol?

“There was fear that the leaders’ lives would be in harm’s way resulting in more destruction of the nation’s democracy.” (Cataleen Flores, ‘22)

“I was hoping that America would be able to come together in celebration of Biden’s election despite our differences, however, I was scared that there may be a possibility of another riot after the response to the Capital storming.” (Ruby Southard, ‘22)

“My expectations were to see heavily-armed guards and an extreme amount of security detail surrounding the Capitol, given the recent violence that has taken place. I also expected to see more bodyguards and armed police officers around the elected officials as they were being sworn in.” (Samir Hooker, ‘21)

“I was a little uneasy going into this morning with all the recent violence at the capital. It felt like something could have gone very wrong.” (Devin Blair, ‘22)

“I thought something would go wrong.” (Maggie Mulvihill, ‘24)

“I thought that Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s inauguration speech exceeded my expectations. They addressed the violence at the Capitol briefly and presented an act of leadership by showing that they are prepared. They’ve given America hope, support, and what a true leader should represent.” (Nathan Fung, ‘22)

In one word, what was your reaction to the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris?

What do you hope for during Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ term? 

“I hope that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will work to help climate change, racial injustice and unite America during their term.” (Lulu McClellan, ‘23)

“Honestly, I really hope the next four years are better than the last four. I hope our nation changes.” (Victoria Alexander, ‘21)

“I hope that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can restore the polarization that has occurred within these past four years. Instead of having an “us vs them” mentality, I would hope that they could unify the nation and make everyone more peaceful rather than spiteful. I would also hope that many other people of color would become hopeful and inspired to do anything they set their mind to, and I would hope they would gain confidence in America seeing an African-American and Asian WOMAN as the Vice President of the United States.” (Samir Hooker, ‘21)

“I hope they are able to undo the work of President Trump. I know Biden has already signed 17 executive orders, one of which allowing Trans people back into the military, which is a start. I hope they are able to work towards equal rights for POC  and the LGBTQ+ community.” (Ava Capiel, ‘21)

“I hope that the extreme polarization between the liberal/democratic side and the conservative/republican that is tearing the U.S. apart will be alleviated. I also hope that this country will – with the diversity of races and identities – reach new highs as to bringing silenced voices to the microphone.” (Liya Fasil, ‘23)

“I hope for action. Trump’s administration has shown how fragile our democracy is and I hope we can strive closer to equality under Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.” (Christina Ohmura, ‘22)

Briefly, how do the events of this past year make you reflect on our current world and goals for the future?

“Our world’s goals for the future should be to come together and rethink how we’re treating one another in terms of choosing to not cause people pain and suffering based on the color of their skin. Our world should also have a goal for the future of ending this pandemic and bringing back normalcy into all of our lives by choosing to abide by the rules and guidelines.” (Roisin Gaffney, ‘23)

“I think that there needs to be more effort in solving climate change and creating more sustainable lifestyles for those who may not be able to afford eco-friendly products. I think that global warming has not been given the attention it deserves as our planet is literally dying and the past administration and ones before it have intentionally ignored it, which I hope changes with Biden.” (Ronan Keenan, ‘21)

As citizens, we are called to work even harder to strive for democracy.”

— Cataleen Flores '22

“They are a reminder that at any given moment everything can change in an instance and as citizens, we are called to work even harder to strive for democracy.” (Cataleen Flores, ‘22)

“This past year, especially with the pandemic, has made me realize that we’re not promised tomorrow. There’s so much we still have to do to change our nation. We have to do what we can while we’re here, we have to use our voices and take action.” (Victoria Alexander, ‘21)

“The events of this past year have made me realize that the world is extremely divided with little possibility of a partnership between two opposing sides, even if there are benefits. That the pandemic has brought to light many unequal systems in the U.S. as well as the vitriol and lies on two sides of politics.” (Francise Panlaqui, ‘21)

“It makes me sad to see how the government has handled this pandemic in comparison with other countries. Knowing that the government has lied to citizens about a virus that has completely taken over this year is so disappointing. I am more hopeful in this new year now that we have a president who has the citizens’ best interest in mind.” (Ruby Southard, ‘22)

Keep following for more coverage of the Biden-Harris administration!