I’m taking a quick detour from my usual travel posts to discuss something I am passionate about.
Fact: The majority of Americans did not want Donald Trump as the next president. Fact: we’re now stuck with him. In a divided country where riots and protests have flooded the streets, where do we go from here?
A word to those against Trump/his supporters: Calm down and breathe. I’ll say that I am personally against Trump and everything he stands for. I don’t agree with the man one bit. But he is now our president and we need to cope with it as best we can. Please don’t give people any more reason to look down on us. Stop destroying property in riots. That makes us look like uneducated animals. Not to mention.. that’s kinda not okay. Stop screaming vulgar chants during protests that are meant to be peaceful. Don’t talk to Trump supporters like they’re idiots. That will never get us anywhere. They probably think we’re idiots for having not voted for Trump. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that most people are passionate about their own opinions, and their minds won’t likely be changed. Donald Trump may not be politically educated at all, but let’s cross our fingers and hope Obama can give him some good advice. Seeing the extreme rise in hate crimes since the election of Trump has me extremely scared for the next four years. And I’m even more scared because his supporters seem to be ignoring it. But being hateful, insulting, and aggressive will not help. It adds fuel to the fire. If we want peace so much, we need to help create it ourselves. You know, practice what we preach, and all that jazz.
A word to Trump supporters: Please stop calling us cry babies for exercising our American right to protest. We know our protests won’t change the outcome of the election – don’t talk to us like we’re stupid. But this is America and we protest because our government allows us to. Because many people are hurt and angry – especially women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. We now feel misrepresented and disenfranchised by their own country. Our own government. Seeing a man in power who has openly made hateful remarks against us is probably a terrible feeling. We don’t see his remarks as playful or funny. We are scared. And the rise in hate crimes adds to our fear. In fact, it’s the rise in hate crimes that shows us just how valid these feelings are. So please back off and show some respect. This is a tough time for many people. If we want to protest peacefully, let us be. Don’t insult us for that. We don’t deserve that. We are not weak, nor are we whiny. This is a time of great change, and unfortunately, we’re having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Be patient and give us time. Our political views may vary, but our feelings DO matter as much as yours do. We’re all equally human. Let’s all have some compassion here. The situation can’t be simplified to “we don’t all get what we want – suck it up.” These are people being taregeted for their races and cultures. It’s not that simple. Big things are happening. I’m sure you’re happy that your candidate won. And there is no shame in that. But please don’t be so smug. Words actually do matter. A lot.
A word to all of us: Just like the transition to Obama eight years ago, this will take time. There is no easy route. Everybody needs to be patient. And we need to have the capability as human beings to understand why people are so angry right now. Only when we can sympathize with people and understand their pain can we move forward as a united country. If we all make the extra effort throughout our days to be kind and understanding individuals, I think this process will go a lot smoother. Stop putting people down for their beliefs. And for the love of god… can we please stop sterotyping each other with memes? Memes oversimplify complex world issues. They’re the definition of ignorant. I’ll admit I enjoy a good laugh at some memes sometimes. But this is not the time. It’s the time for love and understanding. The man in charge of our country doesn’t determine how we behave – we do. Let’s choose to be kind, understanding people. Let’s unite our country the best we can.