The 2016 Election in the Eyes of A Millennial

The 2016 Election in the Eyes of A Millennial

Our Country, Our Voice, Our Time
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It's not easy being a part of a generation that has the world resting on their shoulders. This overwhelming, never-ending responsibility became even more real during the 2016 election. Being a college student during an election year is not easy. Every day you open your social media to a timeline full of arguments, a classroom full of opinions, and a dining hall full of non-stop talk of the candidates, future of our country, and future of our generation with CNN in your face on every TV you pass on your way to class.

Millennials have the world resting on our shoulders because we are the "voice of the future" and we are going to be "the ones to fix the world." No pressure though right?

You must find a positive in being in college and being exposed to people of all different backgrounds, views, political standpoints, ethnicities, and beliefs. It makes you a more well-rounded person and can help you truly form your views. However, there are also many people who use this experience as an opportunity to objectify and tear other people apart for their beliefs and views simply because they do not share the same ones as them.

if you are a millennial or a human being with common consideration and compassion for people of the same species you would see that the only way any problem in this nation is going to get solved is by being able to respect and show compassion towards others. If you are only going to perpetuate the division within our country by casting away and abusing people of opposing views, nothing is going to change. To be blatantly honest. We are a country founded on democracy and in case anyone forgot the textbook definition of democracy it is a system of government regulated by the whole population. To put it in even simpler terms, our country is controlled by our voice. We have a freedom of speech, let's use it. Instead of turning to hate, violence, and chaos, let's use the voice that we have to unite and fix the issues we all find in our country.

It sickens me to wake up and look at my phone and see friends and family in turmoil simply because of political views or beliefs. I don't know if it was just the way I was raised or simply because of the fact that I have compassion for others but I cannot physically harm, verbally abuse, or disgrace another human being simply because I do not share the same views as them. I refuse to continue the vicious cycle of hate, anger, and violence that is so prevalent in our country. It is time that we see beyond the skewed views of social media and the news and realize we are all human beings and bleed the same blood. Despite past actions and controversy, this is the year we need to be able to unite to create a better country for all Americans as one America.

If you are not happy with the presidential elect use your voice and your right to vote to make changes, but not at the expense of another human being's well-being. I recently read an article posted by a city EMT who spoke of a heart-breaking story. He had a critically ill patient in the cab of his emergency vehicle and had to re-route to reach the hospital and made his trip a total of 45 minutes and cost his patient his life because protests were blocking major roadways that accessed the hospital. His closing statement was "the protestors can explain to my patient's 4-year old daughter why she is now fatherless". I then scrolled further down to see a video of a middle-aged white male being physically abused and beaten, ripped out of car, and had his car stolen simply because he was accused of voting for Trump. After scrolling even further I saw a post of a young gay male who had had a bottle smashed over his head and another man yell in his face "We have a new president now fag." simply because he was on a date with another male. I then scrolled even further to see videos and pictures of Americans burning the American flag that my father, grandfather, cousins, and friends have put their lives on the line in unspeakable conditions to protect the rights of. Burning the American flag is not disrespecting the presidential elect that you do not agree with, it is disrespecting the thousands of men and women who have shed their blood to protect that flag and gave you the right to do such a repulsive thing as burn the very thing they lost their life for. Just think about that. I don't know when the people who spend day in and out, leave their families for months and years at a time, and risk their life to protect and serve our country became labeled as the bad guys. It is time to reevaluate your actions and truly think about who you are offending. If you choose to burn the very flag that I am sure at least one of your family members or friends have lost their life for or witnessed a friend lose their life for, then I do not respect you and consider you a part of the perpetuated hate in our country and I am not sorry for that. I then shut off my phone and did not look at it for another 24 hours because I was so deeply sickened by the actions, words, and hatefulness of fellow Americans. I should not have to worry about the health and safety of friends, family, and peers simply because of their occupation, skin color, sexual orientation, views, or courageous actions anymore. If you are going to base a movement off of making a change for "equality and love" then make sure the actions of the supporters exemplify these ideals and do not contradict them. We need a generation that is true to their words and brave enough to stand up as one and let go of their differences to revolutionize this country.

Millennials, we need to use our voice and our talents and our social media to spread love and unite to become one entity in this country to make a better change. I beg you to stop perpetuating the violence. Stop perpetuating the hate. Stop perpetuating the turmoil that is already overtaking our country. I believe that we can make the difference but not without letting go of the twisted and falsified ideals engrained in our heads by wrongful news articles and social media posts. It is time to stand up as one America and make a change because our country is begging for one.

Sincerely,

A millennial fearful of the future but strong in her belief of the power of God

Psalm 121: 1-2

"I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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5 Thoughts You've Probably Had About The Government Shutdown If You, Like Cardi B, Are Paying Attention

I'm not sure if Trump thinks he's playing a real-life game of "The Sims," but I can assure you that a wall will not keep out those that are truly determined to get in.

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2019 — what a time to be alive, am I right? Normally I would use that phrase sarcastically, but each day I am more and more confused, transfixed, and curious (with just a dash of anticipation) about our current state as a society and the direction we're going. Even though most of the time the world seems like sh*t, you've got to admit that out of all the times in history, the current one we're in has a lot of cool perks. I mean, 70 years ago, who would've guessed that there'd be computers and a world wide web filled with endless information and apps that allow 125 million people to see cute pictures of Kim Kardashian's baby. And compared to life in the 1600s, an airplane seems just as extraordinary as the second coming of Jesus.

We're making a lot of wonderful and exciting progress, like our advancements in medicine, but for some reason, we've hit an impasse in terms of social improvement. Not even three years ago would I have guessed that the U.S. would elect an unqualified, most likely racist, reality TV star as president, but alas, here we are, which brings me to his latest antics.

The government shutdown.

Despite how bleak the future seems, a little part of me is just a tad grateful that I'm alive to see this all go down. Like everyone else, however, I've had quite a few thoughts about it all over the past few weeks...

1. So we're screwed, right?

We briefly had a government shutdown in 2013, but for some reason, I have absolutely no recollection of it (my 14-year-old self was probably too preoccupied with who was posted on my high school's Instagram "thot page." Spoiler alert: I was), so this is like my first experience dealing with one. There have been more than a dozen in U.S. history, but the current shutdown is the longest out of the list. My first thought when hearing about the news was "what the hell does THIS mean?" I immediately jumped to the conclusion that we were in a total state of anarchy, but of course, that isn't even partially true. According to The Balance, a government shutdown is "when non-essential discretionary federal programs close." The shutdown doesn't affect state social services, like the Department of Public Safety, and thankfully for us broke college students, funding for financial aid was approved last September, meaning there's no current effect on student financial aid programs.

However, federal services and agencies like the IRS (don't get too excited... you still have to pay taxes), Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Institute of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration are completely shut down while the budget process is in limbo. With no current end in sight, this is bound to get very bad, very soon.

Already, hundreds of thousands of government employees have been sent home without pay and will continue to not be paid as long as the shutdown is in effect. People living in low-income housing may be evicted as HUD freezes funds for programs. Without funding, all of these services very well may close. Not only that, but the shut down is costing us money: approximately $1.2 billion every week. I wouldn't normally be worried, but Trump is the exact type of immature and petty to where he'll keep this going until he gets his way (or he's impeached, whichever comes first). His attitude firmly suggests that he's not backing down, and if services do close, there will be terrible effects on affected departments and citizen well-being.

Should we just drink the kool-aid now?

2. All of this over... a wall?

Out of all of the things that a president could request funding for, the one we currently have wants $5 billion for a damn steel wall? I'm not sure if he thinks he's playing a real-life game of The Sims, but I can assure you that real humans are much more crafty than we give each other credit for and that a wall will not keep out those that are truly determined to get in. Trump has said that the wall is the "only solution for a growing security and humanitarian crisis at the border," yet common sense and many politicians/organizations can tell you that that's complete and utter bullsh*t. Not only that, but Trump's whole presidency has revolved around quelling illegal immigration, but no one has stopped to ask why he's only focusing on the border.

How would a wall decrease the number of people who overstay their visas? How would it decrease the number of illegal immigrants who aren't even crossing the border?!

While I am not well-versed in how much of a threat illegal immigration presents to the U.S. people and government, I still am convinced that there are way more important issues that the president should be concerned with. F*** global warming and renewable energy, let's build a wall, right?!?

Trump's obsession with his wall is a pathetic attempt to flex his self-professed prowess and a way to appease his hate-filled fanatics who only voted for him because he promised he could get it done.

What happened to Mexico paying for it? Oh right, that was just more bullsh*t.

3. People actually donated to this sh*t?

I just... People's stupidity and callousness never cease to amaze me. Before GoFundMe rightfully shut this fundraiser down, over 345,000 people actually donated $20 million dollars for a (wait for it) steel wall. Why is this the thing that people feel their money is worthy of being spent on? Imagine if we all banded together to raise $20 million dollars to help end homelessness or food insecurity. Or better yet, pay the federal employees who are getting screwed over by this whole ordeal.

4. How do Trump supporters feel about all of this?

I know that die-hard fans can take a lot of sh"t from their idols, but I think that after a while it's only natural for them to get fed up. Out of the 62 million people who voted for Trump, there's probably a good portion of them who are significantly affected by the shutdown. The ones who are government employees are feeling the brunt of it now, but if this continues on for months or even years like Trump is threatening, then we're all going to feel it and I can't think of any good excuses that someone could come up with in order to justify such a foolish and reckless decision made by the president. To a federally-employed Trump supporter, I can't imagine how it feels to go 26 days without a paycheck because the president you voted for is desperately trying to propose funding for a wall that you want to be built. It's got to be a catch-22, but hell, I feel like almost all Trump supporters are delusional anyway, so they're probably thinking they're undergoing some grand act of martyrdom.

5. Even Cardi B is worried... Now you know we're screwed.

Cardi B took to Instagram recently to post a video of her addressing her worries about the government shutdown. While not eloquently put, the rap princess is really only just voicing the thoughts and opinions of a lot of us out here. If Cardi B is taking the time out of her day to stop popping off at her haters and fantasizing about Offset's peen, then you know that this issue is a pretty big deal. The self-proclaimed gang member and boss bit** has admitted that she's scared. I think that warrants us to all be.

Well, there you have it, folks. Five of my most pressing thoughts about the government shutdown. As it continues, I'm sure they'll be thousands more that pop into all of our heads. But hey, let's look on the bright side -- we've made history; now's the only time we can say the government has been shut down all year.

Hopefully, we won't be able to say it for much longer.

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