Ever since the election, I have repeatedly heard the phrase “We Will Not Be Silent.”
I’d like to correct that to “We Should Not Be Silent.”
For 18 months, I have heard Trump insult every single minority group. I have heard him call Mexicans “rapists,” propose a ban of all Muslims from entering the United States, and state on NATIONAL TELEVISION that Islam hates us. How could we let someone with this racist, misogynistic rhetoric run for office, especially the most powerful position in the nation?
We can keep asking ourselves how this happened, how did the political experts get the polls so wrong? How could we have stopped this from happening? Is our nation really that divided and racist?
Or, we can unite with all our causes and organize. We cannot pick and choose one cause over the other because they are all equally important. We cannot ignore the intersectional narratives that have always been ignored throughout our history. We cannot ignore the pain of people of color (SPECIFICALLY women), Native Americans, the LGBTQ community, people of color in the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, low-income families, and so many other groups who are going to be affected in the coming years (or weeks, from the way things are going right now). We have to address intersectionality and defend everyone from any legislation that would disproportionately affect certain groups of people. All of our voices must be heard.
I’m angry. I’m tired of constantly being angry. I’m angry that I feel tired that we still have to keep raising our voices in order to defend ourselves and others from oppression and inequality. However, the hope inside me keeps telling me to keeping fighting until this oppression and inequality stops. No matter how tired I am, I will keep raising my voice. We all have to take every single opportunity we can to speak out and listen to each other. We have to keep taking these opportunities until we achieve equality, equal opportunity for all people.
This will take time. Centuries of oppression will not be erased in a few months, years, or decades, even if we pass legislation now. This is not the time to give up. This is the time where we use our voices and use our rights to speak out. We have to be peaceful in our protest, in our voices, and in our fight against oppression.
University of Michigan, Class of 2019