Reflection

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Illustration by Tyler Feder

Disclaimer: I am not a politician, and this is not a political blog. 

If you are a regular reader, you would know that I usually start off my blogs by asking you how you are, and then talk about how I’ve been. If you are a new reader who is just tuning in, hello. Today we are doing something different. I would be lying to you if I said I was okay with the events that occurred last week. I want this blog to be a place for me to express my feelings on all topics, whether it be fashion, lifestyle, health — or just anything and everything. I want to be able to be completely candid with my readers and not have to filter out my views. And I will be honest with you, I went to bed on Tuesday night feeling completely betrayed, questioning my associations with everyone I ever knew, and even people I didn’t. Since then, I’ve read numerous articles coming from people who are filled with emotions from both sides of the spectrum. One blogger’s reaction [post] really pulled the big picture together for me. I recommend everyone who is having difficulty digesting the events of last week give this a thorough read. After having this sit in my stomach for about a week now, I find that it is important to voice my thoughts on this election, so here I am.

I want to start by saying that as a woman and a minority in this country, with immigrant parents, this election greatly affected me. This election affects me because my parents came to this country for a better life. My parents knew no English when they came to this country, and had nothing but the clothes on their back. My father had to go to school and work to put food on the table for 10 mouths. 10!!!!! To this day, my parents continue to work themselves to the bone 12 to 16 hours a day. They continue to struggle, encounter racism and discrimination, all so that my sister and I can have our best chance in this country. The burns and scars my parents have on their arms and the aches in their bones from overworking may heal physically, but the pain they endured will never be erased. That one time in 4th grade when a boy named Brandon yelled at me and told me to go back to where I “came from” even though I was born and raised here, cannot be taken back. And if you even dare think “you were in 4th grade — who cares?” mind you that words hurt no matter what age you are. This goes back to the very simple lesson that is taught when you start school, “treat others the way you wish to be treated.” And I will never forget that ignorant boy. The amount of times I’ve gotten a racial remark because of my selection in food, clothing, hobbies, and even my choice in utensils, will never be looked past. There have been times in school where I was embarrassed to eat my home-cooked lunch because I didn’t want to be called out for having something different. In hindsight, I feel horrible to have been ashamed of a resource that not many people have in other parts of the world. Now, this post is not meant to be an angry rant about all the times I’ve encountered sexism, or racism or discrimination in my lifetime, but I do want to be heard. I know that many people may have the same story or have it worse than me, and I want them to be heard. The election may have created chaos across the nation, but we want people to understand how much we have suffered. Our country is still so divided. This is not the world I want to raise my children in, and that is why this election affects me. I have family and friends who are immigrants, minorities, people of color, people with a disability, and people who are a part of the LGBTQ community, and that is why this election affects me.  And if you know anyone in any of these categories, then this election affects you as well. I include myself when I say that this election should be an eye opener to just how much we need to pay attention, and participate.

If I’ve learned anything at all from reading all of the different views about the election, it is that our beliefs make us different, and our differences individualize us, but as a nation we have one common goal; we all strive for a better country.  As Michelle Obama said, “We are a nation guided by the belief that we are all created equal.” Now is not the time to lose sight of that goal. Now is not the time for violence. I hope that once the rippling events of the election dies down, our voices do not, because together, we will be heard. I hope that all the pain and suffering our parents endured, that we endured does not go unnoticed. And lastly, I hope that this election can help us build stronger bonds with those who are different and help us come together to make our future children proud of how we overcame this election. Remember that, “In union there is strength” (Aesop), and only in unity can we spread peace and create change.

Above is a friendly reminder. Thank you for reading.

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