I’ve never been a political person, but I’ve always been a passionate person. Passionate about human rights, passionate about equality, passionate about treating others with respect and dignity, even passionate about getting through a grocery store line as quickly as possible so those behind me don’t have to wait as long. I don’t care what color you are, where you come from, how much money you have—you deserve to be treated kindly.
Now some might disagree that I’ve never been political, because I happen to have a degree in Political Science. I started out pursuing a degree in Mass Communications, but then Obama happened. I loved his message of hope, of change, and of love. It moved me. I wanted to be a part of what was happening in the world, a part of the change I felt we so desperately needed as a nation. One where instead of fighting each other, we united together, as the name of our country would suggest. Unfortunately, we are not our name, and the last four years are continued and increased proof of that.
I’ve never been more ashamed to call America my home than I am today. Our sitting president inherited a country where hope and unity were beginning to take root and made us more divided than ever. A raging pandemic. Systemic racism. Hate. Violence. Ignorance. Death. Hopelessness. Fear. Apathy. These are the words that describe our current reality. It’s made it nearly impossible to see the light through the fog. Instead of wearing a mask and social distancing to protect each other during a deadly viral outbreak, people rage inside stores, hitting each other, fighting, shouting racial slurs. Instead of allowing people to peacefully protest in cities, violent groups from the right and left are rapidly emerging, driving into cities, hurting one another, shooting one another, killing one another. Police, once seen as our allies, are now being used as political weapons against peaceful citizens just trying to have their voice heard. Our country is in turmoil, to say the least.
Not only is political discourse wreaking havoc on our nation, but it’s also destroying our relationships with friends and family members. Unlike other elections, if you’re not on the same side now, it’s not due to political differences, it’s due to moral differences.
We the people are better than this. We proved it in 1865 when the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. We proved it in the 1960s, after centuries of social and racial oppression when we passed The Civil Rights Act of 1964, ending segregation and discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. We proved it in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage. We’ve shown time and time again that we want better for our country, and that we can do better for our country.
America is at another crossroads, folks. We can either take the high road and move forward, learning to accept and love our differences, or we can continue to move backward and watch our beloved country sink further into madness and chaos. It’s your choice. Please make the right one.