How I Will Survive The Next 4 Years

How I Will Survive The Next 4 Years

It won't be easy, but we can survive.
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In what seems like a sort of dystopian-novel like dream we've all suddenly found ourselves in, the country let our next President step in and take his position in office. My personal feelings regarding this is most likely very similar to countless other feelings people have about this election, whether it's state-wide here in New York, nationwide across the whole country, or even internationally where there are others concerned about the state of this country. What is to come in the next four years to this country and the people living in it? How are all our international affairs going to be affected? And most importantly, will everyone be okay?

Well, it's not going to be nice, that's for sure. But despite everything, I am going to survive.

The next four years is definitely going to be an incredibly long battle. While there are existing injustices amongst us, there will definitely be more. However, it is also injustices and situations like these that prompt people to speak and act out, something that was shown quite frequently world-wide in the recent Women's March. On a small scale, I am fortunate enough to be able to live mostly free in a very liberal and diverse area. But on a large scale, I know that years and years of institutionalized racism and discrimination will most likely be at its highest in these next few years. It terrifies me greatly.

I don't want to keep dabbling into what will potentially go wrong because quite frankly, it's going to make me even more upset than I have been. I will, however, write about what I will do until the next presidential election. To put it bluntly, I will be as unapologetically selfish and Muslim as I can. What does that even mean you might be asking? It means I'm going to continue pursuing my dreams to accomplish what I want and build a life for myself. It means that I will participate in whatever I can to make sure no one else loses their rights. It means I will speak out against anyone who dares say I don't deserve to have the rights I'm supposed to have. I don't care what a majority of the country thinks, I will continue to hold onto my beliefs and make sure that me and everyone else I know are able to be open about theirs too.

The next four years are going to be incredibly fragile and one incredibly wrong move may ruin everything. This is only a minor setback though. As we all continue to work together to ensure our freedom and justice, things will hopefully be better.

I'm not giving up on hope yet.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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The Salem Witch Trials

History will never die, but it is our job to make sure we do not make the same mistakes from our past.

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The term witch hunt has been defined as: a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft. In today's society, we no longer see that term being used for witchcraft but more so politically in a reasoning for harassment.

The most well-known "witch hunt" that took place in the United States was during the spring of 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. A group of young women claimed that they had been possessed by the Devil and women in their village were practicing witchcraft. This accusation rippled into mass panic throughout the village, leading up to the events we know now as the Salem Witch Trials.

These trials took place during February of 1692 to May of 1693 - resulting in the death of 20 women while over 200 women were accused of practicing witchcraft. While these trials are in the past, we are still being faced with "witch-hunts" to this very day in our modern society.

In 1689, William III and Mary II, English rulers of the time, started a war with France in the American colonies. This was known as King William's War to colonists and it devastated areas around upstate New York, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. This sent refugees into the country of Essex and, specifically, Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Since people from these damaged lands were trying to find a haven, it also resulted in a major decrease in sources for Salem Village. Due to the high amounts of stress created through the village, townsfolk began to grow aggravated with each other. One thing lead to another and soon the Puritan villagers began to believe that this was the work of the Devil.

Since townsfolk were already on edge with one another, it became easier for those to believe that others in town were practicing witchcraft, blaming the accused for anything wrong that came their way - and it didn't stop there. By January of 1692, the daughter and niece of Salem Village's minister, Samuel Parris, were growing sick, and accusations flew through the roof. Parris' daughter, Elizabeth – otherwise known as Betty, and Abigail, began having fits that included violent contortions and screaming outbursts.

A local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed both girls with bewitchment, along with other young girls in the community showed similar symptoms. These young girls were Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Walcott, and Marry Warrant. In late February, arrest warrants were issued for the Parris' Caribbean slave, Tituba, along with two other women–the homeless beggar Sarah Good and the poor, elderly Sarah Osborn–whom the girls accused of bewitching them. The three women that were accused of practicing witchcraft were brought to civilian officers, Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne, for questioning.

While Good and Osborn denied that they were witches, Tituba confessed. Tituba described in detail images of black dogs, red cats, yellow birds, and a "black man" who wanted her to sign his book. Tituba admitted that she signed the book and said there were several other witches looking to destroy the Puritans. All three women were put in jail.

The thing that truly made the Salem Witch Trials so gut-wrenching were the tests done to the accused. The most well-known tests done were the swimming test, prayer test, and the witch's mark. All tests were done to prove whether or not the accused were really a witch or not, and the tests were usually extremely unfair. When it came to the swimming test, the accused were tied to a chair and thrown into the lake.

It was believed that if you were a witch, you would float, but if you were innocent, you would sink. The majority of the time, it ended with the accused sinking to the bottom of the lake, many not surviving despite the rope tied around their waist. When it came to the prayer test, if the accused slipped even in the slightest way possible, they were deemed a witch and burned to death.

The witch's mark was a flaw on the body that only a "witch" could have, or so the townsfolk thought. If the accused had a mole, scar, extra nipple, or even a birthmark, they were sentenced to death as a witch. As you can see, these tests were extremely unfair and led to far too many deaths that were not needed whatsoever.

The newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, established the special Court of Oyer and Terminer (hear and determine) witch cases on May 27th of 1692. This determined the fate of accused witches in Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties. The court consisted of eight judges; Jonathan Corwin, Bartholomew Gedney, John Hathorne, John Richards, William Stoughton (Chief Magistrate), Samuel Sewall, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Peter Sergeant, and Waitstill Winthrop.

The first case this special court had to judge was that of Bridget Bishop, an older woman in town. Bishop was later found guilty and on June 10, the first hanging occurred in what later would be known as Gallows Hill. Five days later, minister Cotton Mather wrote a letter that pleaded the court to not accept testimonies that related around dreams and visions.

The court would not listen and five people were sentenced and hanged in July, five more in August and eight in September. On October 3, following in his son's footsteps, Increase Mather, then president of Harvard, denounced the use of spectral evidence. In January 1697, the Massachusetts General Court declared a day of fasting for the tragedy of the Salem witch trials. The Court of Oyer and Terminer was later found to be unlawful when it came to trials.

While the witch hunt did finally come to an end, the painful memory of those killed lasted forever. Fortunately, the heirs of townsfolk would not have to live the way they had to – suffering to find food and deal with constant accusations over religion and witchcraft. The town never did return to how it originally started, the damage of the trials being too overwhelming for others to ignore but in the end, Salem Village survived the mass hysteria.

We are no longer burning accused "witches" at the stake, yet witch hunts are still a very common thing to this day. In politics, people can become very nasty with one another – targeting anyone that disagrees with their ideas. It is cruel and shows how little we have moved forward in history. We see witch hunts between white officers and innocent black community members, cis-gender men and women targeting transgender men and women, and most of all – our very own president.

Many bystanders could say that these "witch hunts" are nowhere near as cruel as they were back in Salem, but those who are being accused, much like the witches of Salem, are fearing for their lives just like the accused were in the 1600s. History will never die, but it is our job to make sure that we do not repeat the same mistakes from our past.

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