White America, I Could Be One of Your Kids
A great poet once coined, “How many people are proud to be citizens of this beautiful country of ours? The stripes and the stars for the rights that men have died for to protect. The women and men who have broke their neck’s for the freedom of speech the United States Government has sworn to uphold, or (Yo’, I want everybody to listen to the words of this song) so we’re told…”
You know that moment when someone says something you strongly, adamantly disagree with politically and you say, “Well…”, tilt your head and laugh nervously and then you change the subject right away? No? Oh… must just be me then. I dislike conflict so much that I will even say, “No, I totally understand what you’re saying, but you know (awkwardly fades out into nothingness)…” when they don’t know. They have no idea.
They have no idea how lucky they are to have a roof over their heads. How lucky they are to have food to eat everyday. How lucky they are to have had an enriched education, when there are children who want nothing more than to go to a good, opportunity-driven school. They have no idea because society teaches us the desire to want more, or rather to think we deserve more. More clothes, more vacations, more this, more that. The greatest revelation that mankind can learn is that life doesn’t owe us anything and we may never have the life we imagined for ourselves, and that’s okay. We’ll survive as long as we have a bed, food, books, music, games and good friends to keep us sane. It’s then that we’ll be humbled to the point where we start to appreciate everything we do have. Hopefully, it’ll also make you want those with even less than that to have those things, too.
I know people voted for Trump for a variety of reasons, but none of those reasons surmount to the intellectual decay of which his presidency will implement across our country. It’s a disgrace to all the women who fought for our independence and paved the way for us to be able to work and vote. It’s a disgrace to MLK who sacrificed his life so that black men and women could be given basic civil rights. There are Trump voters who tell those who only wish to continue the pursuits of these brave men and women to “get over it”, while the pain of their ancestors flows through their blood every day. There has been scientific data that points to the fact that suffering gets passed on through genes, so as far as I’m concerned black, Jewish, Muslim, Asian, and Hispanic men and all women will never have to “get over it” until they’re treated with respect and equality.
I’m lucky there’s only a few people I know closely who voted for him. And to those people, I will try to remember the good person I believe you to be, but I will also resent you for contributing to the pain I feel for the millions of women across the world who now can’t gain fair access to healthy abortions because of Trump’s executive order on Day 1, or for the thousands of Sioux at Standing Rock that spent months getting tear gassed and thrown in dog kennels because their sacred land could make the billionaires richer on Day 2, and for the black men who were killed by police for doing absolutely nothing with no promise of reform from the force itself. I will try to look at you and see compassion instead of a fence of fear you’ve helped build against Muslims and in turn the Syrian refugees that you call terrorists, while I only see a bloody boy in an ambulance who doesn’t understand why this is happening to him, why his parents have just died, and why no one is doing anything about it.
I will try so hard not judge your character, but in return you will listen to me. I will not stay silent like I have all these years to avoid tensions, though I promise to not let them rise. I will respect your right to voice your opinion, but I will voice mine. All I ask is that you think about why you feel this way, whether it’s because of the household you were brought up in or because you’re afraid the people around you won’t understand your changed mind, or if it’s that deep down in your heart, you think you have the right to control the women’s bodies across the globe that have been controlled since the beginning of time. Or that you’re not black, so you’re not afraid of police. Or that you don’t have a disabled child, so it doesn’t really matter if each state can decide for themselves whether they’ll adhere to the disability requirements in their schools or not. Or that you were never raped, so our president saying that he can “grab ’em by the pussy” because “women, you have to treat them like shit,” doesn’t make you feel like you have a spear shooting through your chest. Once again, maybe not even realizing how lucky you are, because the spear shooting through my chest is bursting out from my back where I can feel it jamming into the heart of the next woman.
I don’t believe people can change their minds about these things because after all, we’re stuck in our ways, but I will never forgive myself if I don’t try. Because the thought of this world being like this for one second longer is debilitating, when one half of the world wants peace and the other half wants money. I feel extreme guilt for not getting involved sooner, for not fighting for peace sooner. And If you feel even an ounce of guilt for voting for this clearly proven sociopath, then I have hope. The first step to redemption is realizing that maybe, maybe you’ve made a mistake. I know I did.
And as the poet concludes, “F#@% you with the freest of speech this Divided States of Embarrassment will allow me to have. F#@% you! Hahaha, I’m just playing, America. You know I love you…”