"Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose." - Meryl Streep

Here we are. The year 2017, and we are filled with diluted media and misconceptions. If we are quite frank with ourselves, are we truly sure of anything anymore? Can we trust what our leaders speak of? Can we trust the media or just certain outlets of media? It is easy to look at any situation and justify it with your individual opinion or research, but it is even easier to assume your opinion is accurate without any basis of research or developed thought.

Every day, there is an updated crisis or news frenzy that reeks of so many questions. Most recently, we were all confronted with a new stage to construct and unload our opinions. I am speaking of the acceptance speech Meryl Streep gave, and the President-Elect Donald Trump’s response. I am nowhere near an accredited reporter, but I have done my research and I want to share my thoughts.

First, if you have not seen the full acceptance speech, here is the link.

Streep’s speech was a reference to a rally that the president-elect Trump held in November of 2015 in which he imitated a New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a condition that affects his joint movements. Trump continuously denies these claims.

Trump responded to her speech in multiple ways. First, he tweeted. Here are the few words given.

Secondly, Trump sat in for an interview with The New York Times on Monday morning. He stated that he was “not surprised” by the criticism from “liberal movie people”. Trump also stated, “people keep saying that I intended to mock the reporter's disability as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing.”

Here is the footage that is the basis of the claims towards Trump.

Many people spoke out on Twitter and Facebook to express their opinions. Everywhere from the middle class, millennials, mothers, fathers, celebrities, elders, friends and everywhere in-between, spoke out. Here are some of their words.

So, here we are. 2017, a year where I refuse to keep my opinions to myself.

Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, one of the most prestigious lifetime achievement awards. Streep took this opportunity to turn the attention towards a controversial subject that she feels strongly about. Streep is a one of kind, intelligent, hard working and beautiful woman. Streep spoke out of her heart and spoke words that she felt would get the attention of her followers. To name a few of her admirable career milestones, Streep has been nominated for 30 Golden Globes awards and 19 Academy Awards. She has won both awards multiple times, along with numerous Emmys and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Streep is considered one of the greatest actresses of all time.

I do understand where Trump and his supporters may be left feeling scolded or hurt, but in my opinion, the problem is bigger than Trump's political standpoints, or anyone's political standpoints for that matter. My problem lays within Trump's response to the situation, which might I add was not surprising. Trump has built these walls around the words we speak. We are already living in a world where we are constricted to our thoughts, beliefs and opinions; but Trump is the king of all walls. I know I am not alone when I say that sometimes I feel like I need to keep my opinions to myself because I am too afraid of the response I will receive. I am afraid of bullies. I am afraid to inconvenience the thoughts of those around me. But, here we are. President-elect Trump supports and enforces the reason why I am timid. I am now more scared than ever for the future generations and the uprising of harsh words. My heart is heavy for those who speak up like Meryl did, and get torn down by an overseeing power and their followers. Meryl spoke kind, strong, deeply thought-provoked words and was scrutinized by a 140 character tweet by our president-elect.

We are all human, and we all have the right to speak our minds, but there is a way to speak without hurting those around you. I hope for the sake of this country that we take our minds off of politics and focus on simply our words.