I am not here to discuss politics, hence the title of “observer.” I am here, however, to recount what I have noticed over the past year following this year’s strenuous election season. I have remained neutral on social media about my political views and opinions. I have remained quiet, yet supportive, of my friends and colleagues who need to vent and rant about the current political climate. It has effected all of us involved, even if some of us choose to remain silent.
In the tense political climate full of heated debates and pressing issues that flood our news screens and social media feeds, I cannot help but to feel angst for all of those involved, not just the injured parties. I am half Middle Eastern female who attends a liberal arts college in rural North Carolina. I was raised in a moderately conservative family; however, not all of us follow the party in every election. While we agree with the party in some areas, there are some ways that we stray from the rigid Conservative beliefs. Yet one thing my family has taught me is to always know your facts before engaging in conversation or debate. I will be honest. I am inadequately versed on some of the issues flooding my news feed. I know others who are much more involved, and I admire them. Therefore, I remain silent.
However, while some may mistake my silence for ignorance, it goes much deeper than surface level issues. As Jane Austen once said, “I was quiet, but I was not blind.” I remain quiet because the world is no longer for a safe space for all opinions and beliefs. If you do not spew discontent for the current Head of State, then you are automatically an enemy. However, we are all still a common people. One nation under God. I sit in classrooms full of graduate students, and I feel unsure and scared to speak up, because I do not want to upset the delicate balance. My professors reassure us constantly that the classroom is a “safe space,” but the fine print suggests that it is a safe space for like-minded people. If you differ in any way, the bull’s eye is drawn and the sight hones in on you.
I do not condone all actions and choices of our current President, and I am sure that I will lose some followers based on this article but that only serves to reinforce my point. It is a safe space for like-minded individuals, not a space where there can be a healthy interaction and discussion. So I, like many others, walk into the next four years with my eyes down, stepping over the cracks in our society, and hoping to maintain peace through my silence.