Yes, We Can

There is no better way to start this then by quoting a large segment of (former) President Obama’s Farewell Address:

But for now, whether you are young or whether you’re young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President–the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change–but in yours.

I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.

Yes, we did. Yes, we can.

And then I cried like a baby.

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For the most part, I haven’t mentioned politics on here. Not because I don’t think they’re important (they are) or because I’m apathetic (I’m not). But it’s been a week and a half since President Trump was inaugurated, and I have to address what’s happened.

Initially, I wanted to be one of those Democrats who looked on in disdain, but had scruples of hope. Even more so, I just wanted to be a citizen who wants the best for my country–country before party. I didn’t want to be a person who goes around touting “not my President” though several Republicans spent all of Obama’s days in office doing just that–and worse. Precisely the reason why I refused to do so, because I did not want to lower myself to that abysmal level.

But I just can’t. Most of his actions range from nonsensical (provoking a longtime ally) to downright unconstitutional (do I really need to give an example?). This isn’t what America stands for–this isn’t what this country was founded on.

Now I could go on and on about President Trump’s awful policies, but there are other outlets that do it in a better manner than I could. Despite our dear President’s rants, The New York Times is very much not fake news, and a subscription is ideal to those who want to know what goes on in not only our backyards, but also around the world. Some libraries have several newspapers available to the public, if cost is a concern to you. Ultimately, we need to visit credible sources, not just read headlines on our Facebook feeds.

In times like these, we have two paths to choose from–that of conformity and that of resistance. It’s easy to think that there’s nothing a single person can do, or worse–that someone else will do it for us. It’s easy to grow cynical, or worse–apathetic. But we are all capable of doing something, even if it’s something as simple as a phone call. Even if it’s something as simple as donating $5 a month to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood or any other organization that serves your beliefs and interests.

In the face of adversity, we can all persevere. So long as we can remember that we’re all human beings and that doesn’t change the second we step outside of our country. We are stronger united. It is not only unfeasible, but irresponsible to adopt an isolationist mentality.

If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night.

Angela Davis

 

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