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Check Your Privilege via the 2016 Election

Last week the entire country was on the edge of its seat whilst waiting to find out the results of the 2016 presidential election. This was the first election I had the privilege of voting in, and it was quite the journey. The 2016 presidential election opened America’s eyes up to flawed systems in place in the United States, from Bernie Sanders exposing the pharmaceutical industry, the FBI exposing Clinton’s emails, and Donald Trump exposing America as not being as progressive as we thought our great country was.

 


Social media has been exploding, mostly in outrage over Trump’s presidency, while others try to comfort and bring hope to the situation. While it is always better to look at the glass half full, the truth of the matter is, not all of us have that luxury to try and “make the best of” the situation at hand.

A number of people on my Facebook feed have been saying to stop being so negative and how this is a time for us to come together and have hope. I really, really wish I can support those statements, but I cannot.

I cannot “stop being negative” when the next president of the United States of America has been endorsed by the KKK and the Fraternal Order of the Police union, putting the black and African American community in inherent danger.

I cannot “stop being negative” when the next president of the United States of America wants to build a wall between the U.S and Mexico in order to secure our borders of immigrants and somehow round up all of the unauthorized immigrants in the US and deport them.

I cannot “stop being negative” when the next president of the United States of America wants to ban Muslim Americans and close our borders to refugees seeking protection from Middle Eastern turmoil.

I cannot “stop being negative” when the next vice president of the United States of America supported conversion therapy for gays and lesbians. And could quite possibly start a new war on women’s healthcare.

And most importantly, I cannot “stop being negative” when the next president of the United States of America perpetuates rape culture and excuses it as, “locker room talk.

Donald Trump’s campaign was rooted in bigotry, fear mongering, hate speech, and bullying. I wish I was privileged enough to be hopeful and unbothered, but I am a female who is in fear of the future of my healthcare options and reproductive rights. I am a minority in fear of the racism I may face due to Trump’s rhetoric that will enable racism throughout the entire country. I am a friend of other marginalized groups who are in more immediate danger than I am. I am a friend of the many in the LGBTQ+ community whose lives are threatened by the potential overturning of Obergefell v. Hodges and the criminalization of their sexuality. It’s unfortunate to see that so many people value their own privilege over the civil rights and lives of others.

The 2016 election is a good opportunity for people to reflect on their privilege. For those who remain unfearful for their own lives after the 2016 election results, take a look at these recorded incidents of intolerance that have come about post election. If you are unaffected by the 2016 election results, that is privilege. 

Lu is a senior at Augustana College majoring in Graphic Design. She is a Co-Editor in Chief of the Augustana Observer and a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Augustana.
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