Where Do We Go From Here?

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In the current political climate – as an African American, political science student and young woman; it is hard to grasp what has been happening in our world recently. Growing up, I was always told stories from both my parents and grandparents about experiences they had with unfair treatment and inequality throughout their lives. Those stories to me always seemed so mind blowing and so far fetched. Thinking of how far we have come with so many societal advancements and norms to be broken, it is something I cannot believe is still happening so heavily today.

Born and raised in Virginia, living in both Northern and Southern Virginia, I’ve had a lot of exposure to different people and the difference in some mindsets depending on the area. In the Southern area of Virginia however, representation of various forms of the Confederate flag is heavily dispersed. There are some instances where people tie their confederate beliefs to political party affiliation or feel that the flag stands for being a “true American." They feel attacked when people, like I, express what we feel the flag truly seems to represent, feeling it is an attack on their character or race even. With reasoning such as these, it is felt that it is either pure un-education or perhaps a huge void in openly accepting and explaining what the flag really means, afraid to allow the white race to feel a burden.

Sadly, it seems to be okay for things such as these to be defended, for it is the presumed privilege of the White American to control these situations. Allowing situations that clearly affect minorities, overlooking them and doing nothing but defend and point out the “good ones” in these situations. With that being said, I am not trying to classify the whole race as the same, but I do feel it is frustrating when those with privilege do all in their power to eliminate themselves as the bad ones, making it an issue on both sides. With privilege you have stronger power to change others, you have the power to stand up for what is right and help to fix issues among others. Not to eliminate and make it known that you are not the bad one.

Taking the election seriously and then being beyond disappointed with the results, I still had the hope and expectations that we really would be okay. Instead, I feel like I’m living in what was read in history books, living in situations my grandmother has experienced in her younger years – seeing acts of racism and terrorism not only occurring but being accounted for. Placing blame on “all sides”. Seeing the president of the United States argue with press that he spoke according to when “facts” came in. Simply belittling the fact that people were injured, someone was killed and someone was beaten down to the ground because of what they stand for – equality that is.

                                                         Photo taken by Aja Moore, Edited with VSCO preset 

With the recent events and discussion based classes I am taking this semester, my head is flooded with endless questions. Where do we go from here? Why are these actions continuing and not being questioned by the president of our country? But then again, why is everything left in the hands of one person? As citizens and lovers of a country that has so much to offer, we should know our worth. We should know that this hatred has never disappeared completely but has sadly resurfaced due to President Trump’s negative, hate driven campaign. So why are we surprised that he isn’t standing up for all people? Why are we surprised that events such as these are happening? No need to further dwell on how we are surprised we are, it’s time to take action. 

Cover photo taken by Aja Moore

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About The Author

Aja is a Junior at VCU studying Political Science. She loves going to brunch, working out, healthy eating and is overly obessed with the Kardashians & her three dogs (Cooper, Bentley and Lulu). You can follow her on Instagram @ajaerinmo!