The Issue In Taking Both Sides

The Issue In Taking Both Sides

And why I am partly to blame.

There is so much for me to say. There is so much I could say and should say and probably say, but at this point, what can I say sincerely? What can I say that will not sound like preaching to the choir? How do I make it clear what I believe in without upsetting anyone or look like I crave attention and validation for my stance?

I've learned something that may not answer these questions but guide me as I develop my writing. In the wake of recent events of Charlottesville and Donald Trump's response, being a moderate just is not an option, and that scares me.

After the election, I put out a piece asking what the country's next step should be, and like a mother, I gave some advice before her sons and daughters embarked on a journey into the latest presidential era. In that article, I told readers "It's justifiable to fight and protest against hateful and discriminatory rhetoric, but don't embody it." I did not take into account that the Ku Klux Klan or Neo-Nazis would be taking to the streets in overwhelming numbers (although even if it was just one white supremacist on the street I would still find that one too many). I did not expect our president to say “there is blame on both sides,” addressing not only the white nationalists marchers but its protesters as well.

How do I tell someone how to petition and assembly when one side is protesting against a group that has the most infamously discriminatory rhetoric of all? How do I tell someone there is aggression on both sides when one side is combatting the group that generations of Americans were taught in school to be the most immoral, the most evil people that ever lived? That is when I realized, being moderate will not solve the problem. It makes me a bystander that contributes to the problem.

Similarly, the country cannot afford to act moderate, let alone our president. In times of crisis, presidents are looked upon to be the leader, to sit in the captain's chair and guide its crew through rocky waters and violent whitecaps (or in this case white supremacists). Presidential crisis rhetoric calls for a reinstatement of communal values, rationalization, and a call to action. In a New York Times opinion piece, author Jeremy W. Peters talks to Noah Rothman, an editor for a conservative journal who states "We need to have a conversation about where we are as a country,” referring to how Republicans and Democrats create their own narratives on violence and terrorism in the United States. So to say there is blame on both sides tells me that Donald Trump believes white supremacy is a part of American values, something that I believed we were looking to diminish. To say there was aggression on both sides rationalizes nothing but the Charlottesville rally that only furthers the schism between liberals and conservatives. To blame both sides provides no call to action on how to address any of this violence.

Donald Trump's presidency has given me a lot to take in, and there are times when I feel as though I should say something and other times where it is best to keep my mouth shut. I do not want to feel like I am preaching to a choir that will pat me on the back or bashing somebody else's opinion or lecturing scholars who know and understand the situation with more depth and analysis than myself, but all of that is inevitable when you put your voice out there. I also cannot stay silent with news of this threatening magnitude.

If anything, this piece is more of a reflection of the past week than anything, trying to organize my thoughts and express my feelings. I can only hope this will help me be a little more proactive than our president.

Cover Image Credit:

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.


Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.


Related Content

Facebook Comments