If I Don’t Speak Out

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Sarah Johnson, #redefinemine, UC Berkeley, 2014

If I do not speak out about this, I too am responsible for the prolongation of white supremacy.

This election was not about the economy and the disenfranchisement of working class individuals. This election was not about people feeling like they’ve been screwed over by the establishment. This election was not about whether or not you believe Hillary Clinton was a liar.

This election was about white individuals grasping at straws, trying to preserve their safety net of white supremacy.

I understand that people who support Trump feel that our system is broken, and I will be the first to agree with you. Our government is broken! However, the answer is not to revert back to a racist America that puts down people of color in order to prop up whites.

If you are white and voted for Trump because of his plan for the economy, you were able to do this because of your white privilege. If you do not need to worry about your family being deported, or your daughter being assaulted because she is wearing hijab, you have the privilege of voting solely in your economic interests. Others don’t have that privilege, and they vote to protect themselves and their families.

After a typical presidential election, those on the losing side are disappointed and think about the impacts the new policy may have on their lives. They commiserate with like-minded friends. This is normal. This is how politics work.

The difference in this particular election is that people now fear for their safety and for their lives. Trump, and everyone who voted to bring him into office, just gave this country the go-ahead to hate others based on race, religion, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation. It is no longer facets of people who group together to hate others. It is a FUTURE PRESIDENT saying that this behavior is encouraged and that this behavior is actually what will take us back to an America that was great.

The looming presidency of Trump does not impact me as much as it impacts people of color. I have been randomly assigned the privilege of being white. This, however, does not mean I can fall back on that privilege and sit idly by while my fellow Americans are oppressed.

For the next four years, and for the rest of my life, I will do everything in my power to stand up for those oppressed by white supremacy. I will not be silent. I will fight for people of color, women, and LGBTQ identifying people. I will fight for Muslim and Latino people who have just as much a right to be here in America as anyone. I will not be silent and let people I love and care about get hurt. I will not let Donald Trump convince me to hate anyone. I hope you will join me.



Categories: Civil Rights, Opinions

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