The day I publish this post will be on my 23rd birthday, which happens to fall on the 23rd of November. I actually have a system for my blog posts that I don’t share with many people. I come up with a topic four weeks ahead of time, write the first draft of the post 3 weeks ahead of time, make the correlating infographic 2 weeks ahead of time, and take a picture and make final edits one week ahead of time from when I actually publish the final post. This post was originally titled, “Why I’m Excited to Turn 23” until I deleted everything I had written and started over from scratch. It disrupted my normal chain of planning, but I felt it was necessary this time around.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past month, you know that there has been a lot of turmoil where I live (in the United States). It has left me feeling uneasy to say the least. Not only am I scared for myself, but I’m scared for my family, my friends, my country, and the entire world. Instead of happily planning which couch I want to buy from IKEA for my first apartment, I’m now strategizing for my future.
Why I Was Excited
This next year, in my mind, was supposed to be the dawning of me. This was supposed to be the golden birthday, where I was still young enough to have new experiences, but also old enough to have learned a few hard lessons on my own. I will have finished my certificate program in June and have a new knowledge base of tools to help me achieve my creative dreams. My boyfriend will graduate from college in May and we will finally be able to live together after what will be six years of dating by that point. I was excited, but also nervous for all of these major things that will be changing in the next year of my life. I was proud that we had finally achieved a society that embraced creativity and humor which unites us as one people! I still believe that many of us share that dream and passion, but I was also reminded of how many hateful people exist around us.
Why I Feel the Tables Have Turned
I normally try to stay away from talking about politics in general. I have realized very quickly that no matter how much or how loud you express your opinion most people will not listen to you if they do not agree. Also I consider myself a people pleaser in most cases, so I try to stay away from any topics that make people feel uncomfortable or offended in any way. But, I strongly feel that this time around is different.
I am not a Trump supporter for many reasons other than his conservative stance on politics. If John McCain or Mitt Romney had won the previous elections, I would have still been happy to have a decent man running our country, no matter how much I disagreed with their political views. Trump is different. I am not scared of Trump himself, but I am scared of the power he has had over my people and he isn’t even in office yet. Also when I say my people, I’m referring to all Americans- white, female, male, black, Mexican, Muslim, Jewish, Asian, LGBTQ, and anyone else that I may not have mentioned. Many of my friends who are not Trump supporters are genuinely terrified. They’re scared of family members being deported, of potential hate crimes that could happen at any second, and of ultimate division through war. Some of the people I know that openly support Trump, have been boasting on social media, recycling hateful propaganda, and making racially motivated claims. People on both sides are full of sadness and anger, and it breaks my heart.
So, What Now?
I think in the past I’ve always wanted to go with the flow unless I knew something really bad was happening. I actually wrote a piece that I was really proud of back in 2013 that my professor wanted me to submit for publishing. Unfortunately, I never did. It was about my unique perspective on being in an interracial relationship and how the divisiveness of race has directly impacted my life. I decided not to publish it because I knew many people would not agree with me or understand where I was coming from. Even though I knew this was my personal decision, I’ve always resented the fact that barely anyone had a chance to read the writing that I felt was the best that I’d ever done. Looking back, I wish I would have stood up for what I believed in and not let external factors influence my actions.
My point here is that I encourage people to not simply stand by when something you know that’s wrong is happening. If you voted for Trump simply because of his conservative values or because you disliked Hilary that much, that’s completely fine. On the other hand, please do not stand by while other Trump supporters with extremist views act out in hate against innocent people. If you are a Hilary supporter, I know you’re angry, but please don’t let that turn you into a violent and hateful person. We all need to think of ourselves as one party. I don’t mean just as Americans, but as a party that does good by its people. Stop labeling members of the other party, stop calling each other uneducated, stop yelling out offensive slurs, and stop letting your children bully other children just because our president-elect can get away with doing it. We all know it’s wrong, there’s just no other way to put it.
I really hope that the fear that many of us have will be temporary. I really hope that we can all come together and live in peace. I really hope Trump will address the nation to let us know that hate is not okay or tolerated in our mostly progressive world. I really hope that those I love will not be harmed or targeted during his presidency. I really hope that white Americans, such as myself, aren’t disillusioned by thinking that this won’t affect them too. When this many people are angry and scared, no one is safe from the resulting consequences.
I promise next week’s post will go back to me covering tame/noncontroversial subjects. I personally have been feeling extremely upset these past couple of weeks and have wanted to lash out in anger and sadness, but I’ve had to take a deep breath and reflect. This was the best way for me to constructively get what I had to say off my chest and ask for us all to come together in peace. Thank you for reading and see you next week!
Infographic Quote of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What helps you stay positive in hard times?