Saturday, November 12, 2016

Love Trumps Hate

Hey everyone, in the wake of the president election in the United States, I want to share with all of you my feelings on the latest events. This was the first time that I have paid attention to politics. I always used to say how I identify as an independent, and I don't really care about the two main parties. This year my views have changed an incredible amount due to fact that I needed to educate myself on politics to understand this election. Although there were four candidates (equal numbers of men and women!!), the media and the people of America focused on the Democratic (nominee Hillary Clinton) and Republican (nominee Donald Trump).  The thing with this election is that both candidates were on complete different ends of the spectrum. We had Hillary Clinton, who had the same values as our current President, but also was a women (could have been our first woman president), and was more for equality for all Americans. She, obviously, had many flaws such as Benghazi (I learned all about it from VlogBrothers), and the email scandal. Many people also didn't like her, not because she was a woman (although some people do believe females can't be president but that's different), but because she didn't bring much change in the country from what we have now. Donald Trump, our now president-elect, was on the opposite side of the spectrum because he was a conservative Republican. He changed history because he is one of the only people ever to run for office in America (and is the only one to win) with no previous political position. The big problem with his campaign is that he used xenophobia, racism, homophobia, sexism, and more to get people to vote for him. The election was between two very hated people with two very strong, and opposite views. 

Now that Donald Trump is the president-elect, now more than ever people have to have their voices heard. His presidency gives many people throughout the country the idea that they are able to openly show their hatred towards a race, religion, etc and that it is perfectly okay. It is never okay to show hate towards a group of people because the actions of a few.

On November 11, 2016 I was able to stand among hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Washington Square Park in New York City. This was a peaceful protest against Trump. There were people of all genders, ethnicities, nationalities, sexualities, races, and religions talking about loving each other and fighting the hate in the world. This protest was meant not to be violent because nothing ever good comes from that.

I strongly believe in an America where all people will be treated equal. I can't let a leader have the interest of only one group of people (white, heterosexual, well off ) in his head. By protesting yesterday I was able to use the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Expression) to fight for my rights. My president-elect does not believe in abortion. I, personally, would not have an abortion, but because of my own personal choice I would never tell other people they can't do that. Planned Parenthood is an amazing foundation that does cancer screenings, gives out birth control, and does abortions for people in need of it. Yesterday, I protested Trump for women everywhere to be able to safely have control over their bodies.

Every person that I talked to at the protest is an amazing person. I was surrounded by people from 15 to 75, and they all wanted peace in the United States. These were not people who wanted to bring more violence because they have seen what hatred does. Hatred spreads like wildfire, and it's very hard in a short period of time to turn things around. I was not scared of a single person at this protest because I knew we had the same beliefs about human rights no matter what our financial status, race, religion, or sexuality was. I plan to fight for the rights of everyone for as long as I need to for everyone to be heard. I will not accept the xenophobia. I will not accept the racism. I will not accept the sexism. I will not accept the homophobia.  I will not accept the hate.

My friends and I walked from Washington Square Park to Grand Central Station with our sign. We walked up 6th ave with all the people on the way to the Trump Tower. All the protests shut down a whole avenue, and there were police everywhere making sure nothing violent happened. It was so empowering to scream at the top of my lungs for all the people across the country who are being oppressed. There were people videotaping, high-fiving, and taking photos of us. This was one of the best things I have ever done. I had such an adrenaline rush, and all I wanted to do on the subway home is scream "I HAVE A VOICE." My friends and I high-fived each other and did a group hug because we protested for something we fought for something we believed in. When we were walking the streets it was so encouraging to hear people go, "I love your sign", "keep going girls, "yeah! f#@& trump", and "I support you guys 100%." So many people smiled at us, or honked there trucks at us to show support. New York was magical on that night. The city takes on a feeling like no other.


Bernie Sanders said, "To the degree that Donald Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve he lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environmental policies, we will vigorously oppose him."

I will never ask for my president to fail because I want to see my country succeed and become a place for all people. I am, obviously, not happy with the election out come, but I have a voice for a reason. My job, and the job of all people, is to get your voice to be heard. If this means that I will be marching through Manhattan a few times a month to protest a law, idea, or proposal so be it. I was surrounded by so much love at this protest. Love will always triumph over hate.

I leave you all with this. No matter who you are, always fight for what you believe in. Never let people tell you that you don't matter.

Until next time,

Christina Madeleine


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