I’m coming off of working a combined 30 hours worth of shifts over the past 36 hours. I strongly debated putting up a draft blog I’ve been working on, but made the commitment to write a post every day so I’ll do it.
Like almost everyone in America, the past day has been saturated with coverage of the election. Both local and national elections have sparked huge division among friends, colleagues, and even family members. Through the magic of social media, we’ve all been given windows into each other’s microcosms to see how people deal with certain issues. For many on my Facebook feed, a Trump election was not only not foreseen but brings with it a sense of fear. Yes, many people have been making it very know they are afraid because of their skin color, their disability, their heritage, their religion, or even who they love. Although it use to be a low-stress mind clearing activity between work sessions, browsing social media today left me more connected to some friends I don’t often communicate with and with different perspectives.
There were people who posted snippets of conversations they overheard on the streets dripping with hate speech.
There were people who expressed their pride in their heritage and stated they would refuse to hide.
There were people who stated their political goals in hopes of continuing to be the voice of change into the future.
There were posts of people who wanted to know what messages or life lessons they needed to tell/promote to the young white males of America they had the chance to connect with.
There were people who announced their spontaneous wedding plans for next weekend because they don’t know if same sex marriage will be allowed under the future president and couldn’t imagine not being with the person they love.
I think, at least on some level, we all knew the results from this election would change things. I don’t think we fully understand the grasp of what the change would be and I don’t think we will completely understand until after January 20th. I do think we are already witnessing a change in people who want to help create a world for the future generations to be proud of. Change is coming and there are things we each can do to help make our voices heard. Voting helps to make our voice known in one fashion, but there are so many more ways we can promote activism in our daily lives.
When I was in college, I went to school in Iowa. During the 2008 election Iowa was a caucus state which resulted in politicians visiting us all the time. Going to a small liberal arts school, these speaking engagements were often very personal as our space was reasonably small. The biggest thing I still remember from when Obama came to spoke was his message of Hope. He spoke of the Hope of the people and the Hope we had for the future. I, and many of my friends, still have a Hope. We hope to continue to marry who we love, to access medical care, to have opportunities not predetermined on where we were born or the color of our skin, and hope for the future. We can choose to act as a catalyst for change if we unite, yes ALL of us, and work hard. It won’t be easy, but truthfully nothing ever is.