Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Land I Love.

Early Wednesday morning, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and while a majority of my friends on Facebook (and really all of social media) are expressing sadness and anxiety, I'm genuinely excited for our country.

We're entering unchartered territory.

America had become complacent in her politics. I hope that having what is being regarded by many as a radical-unprecedented choice as President, will force us to have the conversations we've been too scared to have. It's not that I think Hillary wouldn't have addressed these issues, but I would dare to venture that we still would have felt "safe." Oh, sure, that's happening in THAT part of the country, but never here...

This election is a wake up call for ALL Americans.

The "unthinkable" has happened. A business mogul, reality TV star, who had no filter on his campaign trail has just been elected President. When Trump snagged the Republican party nomination I thought, "If California can have Arnold Schwarzenegger as a governor, then the United States can have Trump as President." (& I mean this solely in that both were celebrities without political experience)

But how? 
This just goes to show that we thought we were better off than we actually are as a nation. I hesitate to blatantly label all who voted for Trump 'racists or bigots.' No one enjoys having a scarlet letter plastered proverbially on their chests. Frankly, I don't think that's fair, but I do think that he was able to tap into the anger, resentment, fear, and frustration of a portion of the American constituency that feels forgotten and more importantly feels threatened.

How did we get here? How did we get to where we are? America, I hate to break it to you, but white privilege is still alive and well. We're still not quite at that point where everyone is on equal footing, and I'm not speaking as a socialist. We ALL have implicit biases engrained within us. I include myself in that group! (Take an implicit biases test here

Have you not seen the news (& I'm not talking CNN or Fox)? Have you not seen the footage of police brutality or heard the concerns of Black America? Have you not paid attention to the peaceful protests in North Dakota? America has deep-seated tensions that are reaching their boiling points. 

The thing is, we don't know our neighbor (& I'm not just talking the people who live next door--although, that is a possibility for some). We live in bubbles, and sometimes we self-segregate. We don't trust each other. I cringe when I see post-election Facebook posts calling for those in our circles who voted opposite from us to "please un-friend me." I'm sorry, but the way to make things better is not to build up our own personal walls. 

If we really want to see change, it's going to take some major growing pains. 

There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone. 

I often tell people that I want to move to the South someday, and I'm always shocked by the responses I get. Why would you want to move there? They're racists there. There's nothing there! It's poor, etc. etc. I will note that most of these comments I later discover are made by those who have never been to the south. This, America, THIS, is what we need to change.

We have fear of the unknown. I implore you, yes YOU, go out and visit the forgotten places of our nation. Let's visit places not because they're "trendy." Let us go on journeys of discovery of ALL that our great country has to offer. Millennials, we can still take trendy pictures, even in the Dakotas. I promise, there are people in the rural parts of the country who you are more similar to than you know.

I get that people are angry, but I worry that some of our anger is misplaced. Donald Trump did not start the hate in America. Sure, some of his comments might have added kindle to the fire, but the point is the hate has always been there. The mistrust in fellow humans is not a new thing. A politician did not teach us how to be unkind.

So, yes, let's make America great, but this time around let's be sure to include everyone.


I leave you with this as food for thought. 


Kendra said...

Love you lady and this is beautiful!

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