Spending the majority of my life in the almost-entirely-blue state of Massachusetts, the decision to begin my college experience in Indiana was inevitably going to throw me into a completely new political environment. The "I'm With Her" signs that once lined my neighbors' lawns were replaced with "Make America Great Again" bumper stickers. But that's what I came here for, right? A little political diversity?
It wasn't until about 2 a.m. on November 9 when those "Make America Great Again" stickers took on a whole new meaning. Now, Trump was the president of the United States and there I was on my sub-par college mattress knowing that there wasn't much I could do about it. However, the most jarring thing came later that day when the mentality of "Well, it doesn't affect me" started to roll in. Realistically, with Donald Trump as the president I, personally, will not be greatly affected. That being said, there are millions of people and large communities in this country that could be greatly harmed by the hate that has the potential to be spread like wildfire. Everyone in this country deserves the same security — regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
While it is only appropriate to respect this everyone's constitutional right to express their own point of view, it is also only appropriate to protect those around us who fear for the future ahead. You may be completely accurate in saying that the results of this election "don't affect you," but that doesn't mean you can't be there to help those who are fearful of what discrimination they may endure.
It wouldn't be rational or kind to jump to false conclusions as to what may happen, and it would be even more hurtful to us as a country if we were to make this prevalent gap even greater. All we can do is come together and support each other. Recognize that although something might not affect us, it could very well be affecting someone else. Hold the hands of those fighting racism and sexism. Let those who are truly panicked over their near future cry on your shoulder. Speak out for those who are too nervous. People in this country are hurting, and all we can do is unite to spread love and optimism, because this country could always use less negativity. This may not be affecting us, but it is still our problem, and it is our right to stand up for those who can't themselves. We must take words of wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that," and conquer hate with the undying presence of love.