I spent the last hour or so, reading through Instagram posts regarding the outcome of the election. While most are annoyed with the continuous flow of banter, I stand strongly behind it. The outcome of the election is larger than the President-Elect for it induced fear, heartache and hate across an entire nation. The outcome of the election caused millions of individuals all around our country to feel invisible, to feel as if their rights were unprotected and invalid. Feelings ran and are running strong, and those feelings are valid. To my fellow women, minorities and LBTQ+ community, you are not alone; there are millions of us out here who support and love you. Your rights and your identity are valid. So, let's continue to raise our voices, spread awareness and promote support, love and kindness for those who are frightened. Most importantly, let's not promote hate because by doing so, we are no better than what we are fighting.
I urge you all to keep an open mind and hear out the voices of those who are deeply affected by the outcome of this election.
“Waking up this morning after hearing those words ‘President-Elect Donald Trump’ the night before, I am at a complete loss for words trying to elicit how I feel as an American. I feel a lot of emotions as of now, but most of all, I feel fear. Fear for my family, friends, and our country. Fear for human rights.
After reading his plans for the country, I may not agree with all (if any) of his policies and ideas, however, I refuse to sit around and remain silent watching them unfold. Too much of what I care deeply about is on the line. Immigration reform. Equal rights and pay for women. Affordable higher-education. Equal rights and protections for the LGBTQ community. Women’s reproductive rights. Ending police brutality. Environmental protections and climate change. Affordable health care. National security. Gun law reform. I refuse to accept a country that celebrates xenophobia, misogyny, discrimination, racism, and homophobia. That is not the America I know and love. How do we explain to young children all across this nation that they can be whoever they want to be, no matter how different they are, if we elected a man who marginalizes entire groups of people? That a far less qualified individual can win by targeting groups of people over another who has worked their entire life for an opportunity like this?
I am hurt, being reminded that there are apparently lots of people who exist that genuinely believe they are superior due to the color of their skin and not the content of their character. There are people who exist that cannot acknowledge their privilege.
I am scared to have a Republican president with a Republican led Congress. Not because they are Republican, but because this leisure provides great power. I worry about how Trump will remove every executive action, memorandum, and order issued by President Obama. I worry about how the person responsible for appointing Supreme Court justices can potentially appoint extreme right-wing conservatives to fill every position. I worry because there are people in powerful positions who genuinely believe their way of living is the only correct way. This is not a problem of political party identification or ideology, but rather, a human rights issue.
I am begging and pleading that Donald Trump’s campaign was full of extreme lies and promises - a strategy to get elected. Congratulations, it worked. I can only hope now that his victory speech is a direct reflection of how he will lead our country and which direction we will move towards. Now, more than ever, our country needs a leader to unite us. We need someone to encourage understanding and unity within our communities. Someone to embrace the beautiful diversity in our country. Someone to continue to move our country towards standing united, not divided. The president cannot decide how we will act towards another, only we can. I can only hope that he will actually promote the idea of unity.
If acknowledging Donald Trump as president is what I have to do in order for him to acknowledge people like me, then that is what I will do. I wish that he will respect the role of the presidency with dignity and grace. I do not wish him failure, as we are all on this ship together. As a person, Donald Trump will earn my respect when he decides to respect me, my community, and my friends and family. This election was certainly a huge eye opener for many of us who felt that our country was progressively advancing. America has and will continue to do so, however, we still have a lot of work to do. Young people, like myself, have a huge responsibility. Today, more than ever, this is evident."
–A. Ochoa // @theantonioochoa
“I couldn't hold it in any longer. So many people are feeling so strongly right now. So many people feel fear, hate, sadness, and hurt; but despite whatever your political beliefs are you cannot invalidate other people’s fear, you cannot invalidate other people’s feelings of terror and horror and sadness and utter heartbreak. Now that you've won don't be sore. Don’t be mean. Be human because at the end of the day, that's all we are: human, all deserving of the same respect, love, and opportunities. It’s a fundamental right. It’s in the Bible. It’s an unconditional truth.
If you don't have to worry about your family getting verbally or physically harassed because of the color of their skin, their religion, gender or sexual orientation, then I ask you to please have an open mind and heart towards those that aren't afforded the luxury. Whether you can understand their fear or not, don't question it. Just accept that people feel what they feel and work with us to change it. I am so thankful for my friends who acknowledge their privilege and use it to help those who don't have any. You are the ray of hope we need. You are the little hope that remains when the fear and hopelessness and helplessness takes over. Having privilege is not a bad thing unless you can't admit you have it. With recognition comes the possibility of change and isn't change what we were all after during this whole thing?
As a woman and an immigrant my heart is heavy with confusion and fear, but then I remembered what my mother always says:
This doesn't mean you shouldn't feel fear and confusion. No, feel it. Let those feelings and emotions drive you to believe and hope and act. Let those emotions drive you to make a change so that the fear and confusion disappear. I’ve been so quiet the past few days, so bottled up, hurting and sad; but wallowing doesn't unify. Wallowing doesn't bring change. So please, I KNOW so many of us are angry or sad and scared, but let's acknowledge these feeling and stop focusing on them so we can focus on being kind and supporting one another. We are all we have.”
- V.Rocha // @valheria123 // valheriarocha.com
Keep on keepin’ on and raise your voice!
If you would like to contribute to “Our Voice” or “Phenomenal Women” please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org