I earlier stated that, for the first time, I voted. It is such a privilege to be an American citizen and have the right, as a Latino Woman, to vote in a democratic society for what I believe my country needs. I also stated that I would not say whom I decided to vote for–but I think that of all of the people on the ballot most know that Trump was not the person of my choice, here are my reasons.
Now, I am writing this because I have found myself physically ill due to the excuses people have made for this candidate that continues to personally attack me, as I encompass what is the minority. So many that are close to me have decided to excuse Trump’s behavior, which I am reminded of continuously as the news is sent to me every day on my mobile device. This is not to say that I do not love and respect people for their personal opinions and thoughts, but I will say, there are some things that we should all try to put into perspective before we continue supporting a person that is so purposely harmful.
First, I want to say that I am a Christian, and as a Christian one of the largest and most important commandments given to us is to love one another. I have seen many people say, “I am voting for Trump because he supports church values.” Although he may have stances of pro-life and maintaining religious freedoms (which he did not have when he was a democrat), he does not encompass what I think is the most important value of Christianity, which is to love one another. Trump consistently puts women minorities and racial minorities in boxes of evil–however, whether someone is a woman, man, transgender, skinny, obese, rich, poor, white, black, latino, asian, indian, native american, or muslim they are our brothers and sisters and that is that. Instead of judging each other by the stereotypes instilled in our ideologies we should instead view people as humans and stop treating them like animals by supporting the idea of kicking them out of their homes and this country, and spitting on them like dirt. Let us stop worrying about feeling threatened all of the time and instead work together to have a better forever. I think you should ask yourself before voting, if you are basing it on a Christian perspective, “Would this person go on bended knee and ask the Lord for help?” or even better, “Would this person pray for the people that are making things harder for us?”
Another thing I have heard often, especially when it comes to feminism, racial issues, and sexuality issues is, “Well maybe if we stop talking about it, then it will get better.” My short answer to this is that it won’t. If women did not try and fight for the right to vote, then we would not have that right today. If African American’s did not fight for the right to vote and for freedom, then they would not have it. Not talking about something does not result in the issue going away. And ignoring racial issues is only ignorance and a lack of compassion. This is a nation that began with there always being an “other” especially that of the black community, as this is a country that began with slavery. Not talking about it is not possible because there is always going to be the observation of difference. It is okay to be different, because we are, but we cannot pretend that the difference in outward appearance does not lead to us treating each other differently–we must be aware. By not talking about it, we keep the people on top where they are and the people beneath them where they are.
With that, people get upset when we tell them, “I am sorry, but you cannot understand because you are not within this minority group.” Instead of reacting in an angry way, we as a nation need to be a people that instead react with empathy. “No, I do not understand. Help me understand.” People within different minority groups have different trials than you, so we must be people that try to better understand what they are going through so we can work together and make things better. If we keep treating things as black and white and right and wrong, we will always be fighting and will never have any progress. Recognize that everyone has differences and we must be there for each other to power through.
I want to end with my person experiences for a split second–I grew up as a compete minority and was always marginalized by society, friends, and even family. 1. I was born as a woman. I was not as strong or smart as the boys (or so they said) and I would never live up. Why do you think I ended up within the art? Because girls can’t do math, or science, or politics. Now, I rock as what I do, but I will say that for a long time I was too intimidated to do any of that ‘hard’ stuff that boys do. 2. I was born with latino blood. I grew up in the household of my grandma where I had beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I remember having homemade salsa from her chili garden and I also remember the labor that my dad and grandpa had to do in order to supply for the home–hard labor that is. 3. We were far from rich. When I lived with my parents I had powdered donuts for breakfast and top ramen for dinner. It was far from the traditional suburban family and really, there was no way out from being poor. Everyone else got the higher education and good jobs, not us. I was the lucky one who made it to college. 4. I grew up in a home of divorce. I was thrown back and forth between mom, dad, and grandma. Home was a foreign concept and maintaining a life of good grades and excelling in sports was hard when you weren’t sure where you were going to sleep that night. 5. I converted to the LDS church. Not all my family and friends were happy about it and suddenly the people that were always by my side weren’t so much anymore.
With that, odds were always against me–I was always within some type of marginalized community. Now, somehow I made it out and through my hard work and determination I ended up where I am today. I don’t know, and frankly don’t care, if you agree with me or not. But I will say that I am a person that feels immense amounts of empathy for the people around me. I have been hurt over and over by the same people but I continue to forgive, because really all we can do is love people. If we continue to support people that intend to harm and be a nation that pushes people away and ignore that there are issues, treating people as being invalid instead of listening, then what do we stand for?