Who Have We Become America?

Who Have We Become America?

Because I don't recognize us anymore.
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November 8th, 2016. A day that surely will go down in United States history. It will be the Election Day that our kids and grandkids come to us, asking where we were when we realized that Donald Trump was now our nation's leader. Like when we had to ask our grandparents where they were when Kennedy was assassinated. They will ask us where we were, and how we felt.

I, along with many of you, will answer "I was on my college campus". I was in my dorm room, laying in bed, wondering what would await me when i woke up in the morning; though, the anxiety of our nation's fate kept me from sleeping. And as I looked at the results at 1:25 AM on November 9th, my heart sunk. Donald Trump had actually won. And what I feel? I am disgusted. Disgusted and ashamed.

I want to cry. No, scratch that, I want to vomit, fall out of my bed, vomit again, and then cry at the results of the 2016 election. While I cannot say that I supported either Hillary or Donald, as I had my issues with both, my heart is.....well, quite honestly, afraid.

Afraid because Trump has time and time again told an entire religion to get out of our country based on what he has learned about the religion in our media and popular culture. He doesn't understand what the Islamic faith is really about. He hasn't taken a moment to stop and look at what they really believe; to study it academically even for five minutes. Afraid because Trump has been as racist as the times of slavery toward people who have come from Mexico to try and have a better life. Allowing a candidate for any office to have even half of the "success" that Trump has based on those two platforms alone makes me wonder what America really stands for.

I cannot say that his comments toward women do not affect me. As not only a woman, but as someone who has experienced the sexual harassment that comes with being a woman in todays world, I am utterly disgusted. Are women simply viewed as objects to you, America? Are we nothing more than something you own? For a country that preaches equality, we have just elected a leader who quite honestly I don't believe knows the meaning of the word.

I am ashamed to be an American today. Ashamed because we have allowed someone who cannot be further from what America was built off of, and that is freedom of religion and equality of all people. Who could forget that the settlers left England to get away from the Anglican Church? They were tired of being told what to believe and yet, here we are. Telling an entire faith community to get out of our country......No. I am ashamed because I do not want to tell them to leave. I want to embrace them, and give them someplace safe to live and to raise a family.

Ashamed because we are telling an entire race to go back to where they escaped from. To put their lives, their families, in danger because they "stole our jobs". No. America we have become lazy. There is a reason you don't see Americans in the positions you claim have been stolen from us. And that, quite honestly, is because we have become to lazy to do the work ourselves.

Ashamed because women fought so hard just under 100 years ago to be seen as equal, and we have taken a giant step back. Because our newly elected president would just rather "Grab them by the p***y", to quote him directly. Ashamed because women yet again have been categorized as objects, property, to our male "superiors".

So, America, there you have it. We have a leader that, well honestly, reflects the views that sadly are quite prominent in our popular culture. The views of Muslims only being violent, when I promise you not all of them are. The views that Mexicans are are illegals who have "hopped the boarder to steal our jobs", which I promise you they did not. And the view that women are objects. Which, I promise you, we are not.

America, today, November 9th, 2016, I mourn for our nation. I mourn for where we are not only as a nation, but as mankind. We need saving. We need saving from ourselves and from the views that we hold. These two days will go down in history, and for the first time in my life I cannot say that I am proud to be an American.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
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As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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