What Protection Are We Afforded?

once upon a time, there was a dream
a dream of women, a dream of women
coming together, and turning the world
around. turning the world around and making it over
a dream of women, all women being sisters.
a dream of caring; a dream of protection, a dream of peace.
— Pat Parker

Introducing, Deferred Dreams, a series that explores the intersections of education, policy, and race.

The Growing Concerns of Marginalized Communities

As lines are drawn between black and white, man and woman, citizen and officer, student and debt collector, one cannot help but to feel powerless. Organizations and global allies share a commitment to the people, yet are met with disruptions that prioritize corporate interests over unified progress. Although social equity is celebrated amongst the vast majority of Americans, efforts to weave marginalized identities into the tapestry of American policy are met with disdain from those in control.

The United States may be home to diverse communities but many do not feel welcome. In current times, too much is at stake. On school campuses, students are alienated and targeted, teachers are not supported, and administrators are underfunded. False narratives threaten youth, while catering to the interests of the affluent and white. Police presence remains controversial, as youth of color face disproportionate levels of arrest and punishment.

Sadly, the criminalization and targeting of youth, intersects with those with disabilities as well as LGBT+ and non binary identities, prompting concerning questions:

Why is the current administration waging wars with the most vulnerable?

Will division continue to permeate all facets of society?

Who must be held accountable?

What protection are we afforded?

Republican Ideologies are Disempowering American Citizens

The Republican Administration is at odds with the American people. Though racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, and homophobia continues to undermine American values of equality and justice, Trumpism is the latest threat to weaken educational and social institutions while widening the disparities between various segments of the population.

The result is fear. Fear for our families. Fear for our communities. Fear for our country.

No citizen is valued or protected by the Trump Administration who have compromised ethics, progress, liberty and equity for greed and corruption.

Persistence in the Era of Trumpism

However, Americans will not accept the lie of defeat, nor will we surrender progress.

We will not retreat.

Instead, we march.

We organize.

We protest.

We protect one another when our country fails to protect us.

We defend our sisters, brothers, and families.

We defy all odds against us.

We remember and honor the memories of those who dared to dream, and whose lives were stolen.

We give it our all.

We include.

We educate and inform.

We learn, innovate, and build.

We remain truthful in our convictions.

Because we are the descendants of a strong and resilient people.

We are students, creative thinkers, game changers, and warriors of peace.

We are the new class of resisters, rebels, professionals, and leaders.

We are the future and the future is now.

Voices for Progress, Change, and Equality

Students are fighting back and though the public educational system is at risk, narratives that coddle conservatives, are being rejected by those who see through the lies. Women are at the center of revolutionary change, defending those who are constantly overlooked and denied, while ensuring that the voices of youth and families are at the forefront. Technology is changing the way we communicate, connect, and mobilize- ultimately transforming the way we hope, dream, and aspire.

Yes, we are a brave bunch that rises above.

The resistance is in full force and is making an impact in academia, town halls, and city streets. A movement is upon us as leaders, students, academics, young folk, and wise folk, transcend the lines that divide us, in full pursuit of the American Dream- a dream that will surely outlast the nightmare that is the GOP.

The Administration of Deceit and Negligence Threatens Progress

Yet, in this pursuit of a dream, Americans face hardships and dissent. Positive representations of youth of color in media are sorely lacking despite the passion, creativity, and commitment that characterizes their generation. Women continue to be silenced and undermined at every stage of their lives and careers, yet continue to rally for change. Allies must confront privileges in order to build bridges and uplift communities that are disempowered.

However, the faces of destruction are clear now.

It is not the minor, woman, or individual who coexists, that poses the greatest threat to American liberties, it is the administration of deceit that divides and hinders.

It is Kelly Anne Conway who disregards the plights of millions of Americans who rely on Medicaid for healthcare. Though she gloats in ableist sentiments on air as the Counselor to the President, demonstrators are apprehended and dragged away by the Capitol Police, during an incident that echoes the unjust nature of American society.

It is Mike Pence and the roll back of LGBTQ protections that prevent families from pursuing the same freedoms that are afforded to the majority.

It is not the millennial or person of color who dares to succeed that poses the greatest threat to American institutions, it is the administration of negligence that eliminates pathways to opportunity.

It is Betsy DeVos who is sorely disconnected from public and higher education. It is the coddled conservative who profits from exploitation and unethical practices while the new class of young professionals and students are excluded from economical and educational advancement.

Trumpcare, much like Trump-education will absolve Americans of the protections that are needed to ensure equitable access and funding. And while Donald Trump certainly doesn’t deserve all the credit for sparking chaos in the United States, his party must decide what lines deserve to be crossed.

If not for the fate of the GOP, then for the safety, freedom, and security of the American people.