If You're Not Racist, Homophobic, Or Sexist Then Prove It

If You're Not Racist, Homophobic, Or Sexist Then Prove It

How you should react to Donald Trump's election
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This election was madness. It still is. The entire country is going insane. A lot of people are excited and happy that Trump won. Many people genuinely believe that he was the best choice for leader of our country, and I can respect that even though I disagree. This article isn’t about that.

This is about the fact that a lot of people are terrified—basically every minority group and person that was insulted and made fun of during Trump’s campaign. I understand that fear, but a lot of people don’t understand it or know why it’s so prevalent.

Here’s the thing. If you’re not feeling afraid right now, I’m happy for you, but it is not okay to dismiss or invalidate someone else’s concern or hurt because you don’t feel it. That’s the equivalent of someone slapping you in the face and then saying, “What? It didn’t hurt me.” That’s crazy. So don’t do that.

If someone voices concern or fear for their future don’t tell them to get over it. Listen to them. Validate that feeling, because they’re allowed to feel whatever they want to in regard to their own life. You do not determine what constitutes a valid reaction.

Also, don’t attempt to persuade anyone that they don’t need to be afraid. While some people can confidently say that Donald Trump won’t do what he said he would…those are the people who don’t have to be concerned that he just might. Don’t tell us we’re wrong to be afraid or that we have no reason to be. We have cause. Trump’s words during his campaign. His vice president’s voting and policy records, which make him terrifying for LGBTQ+ people in particular. The fact that they have party control over the House and Senate, and the ability to appoint Supreme Court Judges. That’s a lot of power.

These might not seem valid fears depending on your political views. But there are a lot of people in this country who are afraid that their rights are about to be taken away. I’m not saying that’s the case, but it is certainly how it feels. It feels like all the progress for LGBTQ+ rights and attention to issues like race and reproductive rights is about to roll back to the 1950s.

We’re afraid for our Muslim friends who no longer feel safe wearing hijab in public. We’re afraid our LGBTQ+ friends will be vilified or attacked or fired from their jobs. We’re afraid victims of sexual assault will receive even less support than they do now. We’re afraid for our non-white friends who must continue to live within a system that consistently oppresses them and treats their lives as less important than others. We’re afraid for ourselves and what our future is going to look like in this version of America. That’s scary. And no one can reasonably say that is isn’t.

So, given the legitimate fears that we have, being in America is a scary thing right now. Because it looks like our country just voted into office a man who has consistently said things that devalue and dehumanize us, especially non-white people and immigrants. His running mate has passed policy and made claims that support conversion therapy. So, yes. We feel that a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, etc. duo has been given the highest offices in the land.

Whether or not this is true does not matter. I repeat: It does not matter. Stop trying to convince me that Trump isn’t racist. He’s not the one I’m worried about. I’m not thrilled about his election, but the main reason I feel unsafe is that so many people voted for him. So many enthusiastically supported Trump and Pence in their campaign to make America a place where I and so many other people are not welcome.

I know that people didn’t necessarily vote for him because of his racist statements. It was economic policy, financial issues, a rejection of traditional politicians. I know that. But everyone who is afraid right now, we don’t know which of those people are which. We don’t know who voted for him because of his economic policies and who voted for him because they genuinely want to deport all Muslims.

We don’t know who is safe anymore and what’s more, many of the people we thought were trustworthy and supportive no longer seem to be. We don’t know who stands with us anymore. The rug has been ripped out from under our feet by friends and family members, and we don’t understand why anyone would support a man who views us as less than human.

So whether you voted for Trump or Clinton or a third party, you have one job right now. If you are not racist, or homophobic, or xenophobic, or sexist, you need to make that clear. Don’t just deny it. Prove it. Actions speak louder than words. Reach out to the people who are afraid. Stand with them. Be an ally, not just in words or thought but in action.

Speak out in support of everyone who feels they are no longer welcome in this country. Lend your voice to give theirs more volume. Go into arenas where we are not welcome and tell the majority to shut up and let us speak. Do not let the election of this man validate everything he has said about us. Do not let it be acceptable to support those ideals. Speak out against anyone who actually is racist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. Make it possible for our voices to be heard, for our experiences to be validated, and for us to feel that we really do have a place in this country.

If you want to dispel the fear and despair surrounding Trump’s election, don’t just tell us to get over it. Show us that we do not need to be afraid of you. Until then, we’re going to be justifiably terrified about what the future holds.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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