Hello, Odyssey writer and journalist Alex here.
This article is going to be from the heart, very emotional and very long, so please be patient with me.
This past week, I have been met with very uneducated comments and messages, very educated but differing opinionated comments and messages, hateful comments and messages and almost everything in between. I have lost friends and I have made friends. Some people, despite making things clear, don’t quite understand some of my opinions, or they think that my opinions are complete rubbish with alternative facts - I mean lies. But I want to take a moment to make some things clear.
First of all, I want to say that my parents raised a respectful young woman. Even if I don’t agree with your opinion, I am still respectful of it. I wish more people would do the same. There is no reason for all of this fighting and all of this hate.
I am (almost) 21 years old. In fact, my birthday is in one week. Since I am 20 almost 21, yes, that means I am (gasp) a “millennial” (gasp). OMG, what did I say? Did I just say that scary “m” word some Americans seem to be afraid of? Yes. Yes, I did. Now calm down. Take a deep breath. I probably just lost a majority of readers with that one particular “m” word. But that’s okay.
This past week, I participated in something so beautiful and so meaningful. I walked in a local women’s march. You see, I’m also a feminist (gasp). Hold on to your seats because it’s about to get wild. Yes, that’s right. I am a pro-choice, pizza rolls not gender roles, close the wage gap, old-school, feminist. Every woman should have the right to choose and should be considered equal in every aspect.
I stand up and fight for LGBTQ rights. I am a proud friend and family member. You know what gay people are? Just that, P-E-O-P-L-E. Human beings, just like the rest of us. Just because someone is part of the LGBTQ community makes no difference. They are still people. They should have the same human rights that everyone else has.
Black lives matter. If you are one of those people that are probably saying, “Alex, all lives matter,” well, you have a point. All lives do matter. But you aren’t getting the point of BLM. The point is that as of right now, black lives do not matter to much of society. You see, we have this thing called “white privilege.” It shouldn’t be a thing, but unfortunately, it is. We as human beings regardless of skin color should be equal. Because on the inside, we are. Our anatomy is the same. Everything is the same. And police brutality/abuse needs to end. The police are supposed to serve and protect us, not discriminate and abuse us. Now hold your horses, this does NOT mean that I am anti-police. I support our police. I just in no way, shape or from support police brutality or abuse.
There should be NO DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline). You see, this crude oil access pipeline runs underground and it is going to taint multiple water sources for local communities and Native American Indian Reservations. It is also going to run right under an ancient Native American burial ground. It is no good for anyone except the few idiots that think that it is a good idea that are making a large profit off of it.
Immigration. Immigrants are what make America (already) great. Without immigrants, America wouldn’t be America. Look, our founding fathers were immigrants. Heck, unless you are Native American you are an immigrant. This country was founded as a place to come for a better life. Everybody should be welcome here. No registry, no lists, no judgments. This is a place for everyone to come to build a new life. To be free to work and to practice their religion. To build a life. America is for all, not for one.
Climate change is a very real thing. In a non-scientific, easy to understand breakdown, carbon pollution (coal, oil, natural gas, etc.) is causing climate disruption, which is warming our planet. The more carbon pollution that is in the air, the more the sun’s energy gets trapped as heat, which causes things to warm up. Not only is this bad for polar bears, but it is bad for us. Around the world, sea levels have risen nearly 20cm since 1901, which may not sound like much, but it is. This also causes extreme weather events to be more, well, extreme.
Which brings me to… pollution. It is simple. Don’t throw your trash on the side of the road. Wait until you find a trash can and/or a recycling bin. Did you know that pollution is one of the biggest global killers, affecting over 100 million people, which is comparable to global diseases like malaria and HIV? Or did you know that over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution every year? It’s true. And it is time to do something about it.
We live in America. We can all have differing opinions and still be friends. I have friends on both sides of the argument(s) that I love dearly. I may not be able to understand why they have some of the opinions that they do, but I love them anyway. Just like some people can’t understand my opinions. But we all need to be respectful of each other’s opinions, especially now.
Regardless of what my friends and my family might think of the fights that I fight, the things that I stand for, the things I support, my beliefs and my opinions, I will continue to fight, and I will not be defeated.
Where I got my facts and statistics:
Other helpful resources:
Pride and Human Rights Clothing:
Flights to Canada: