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We Are No Longer Allowed to Live in an Echochamber

If this election season taught us anything it’s that we as a country need to step outside of ourselves, no matter what side you were on. Conservative United States felt like they weren’t getting their voices heard in rural America while many on the other side feel that the election of Trump was an act of injustice towards minorities. Both sides of the coin feel ignored or even hated and the problem we now face is the lack of communication and understanding.


Growing up in small town USA, I couldn’t have imagined the problems that we as one species face. There was one religion, one mindset, and as far as what my yearbook showed, one race. It was a completely different world. And it wasn’t a problem. Everyone went to church on Sunday and nobody challenged what the good book said. Everyone went to the same high school and nobody questioned what the teachers said. Everyone listened to the same radio station with the same country music using the same 3 chords, and of course, nobody dared to question Luke Bryan. This could go on forever. We were more than content, we were living the dream. And nobody questioned anything. My high school graduating class had under seventy students, most of which I went to Kindergarten with, and I used the same history book my dad probably used when he went to that school. There was one Spanish teacher and for a month we had three black students! Ahh, the diversity of West-Central Illinois! Everyone who wanted to not get bullied was straight and you were allowed to have a note to keep you out of the “evolution” section of science class. I was living The Andy Griffith Show.

 

And then I went to college, or as I like to call it: the wake-up call. I went to classes, which means I learned that Christopher Columbus is the definition of “The Worst”. I joined a sorority where there are girls from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. I was soon surrounded by people of every race, every religion, every gender, and every sexuality. I was no longer allowed to pretend that this wasn’t real. Yea, I watched “Glee” and listened to Lady Gaga, so I wasn’t completely culturally stupid, but I was as close as it gets.

 

But we shouldn’t be allowed to be culturally stupid. I understand my past self. I didn’t know that transgender kids are murdered every day. I didn’t know that it’s illegal to deport immigrants if they have had a child in the states. I didn’t know that the AIDS epidemic was even a thing. But I am disappointed in myself for it. We live in the most accessible time in history. We have the internet and all it’s glory, from Google to Twitter. We have channels upon channels of 24-hour news circulation. Podcasts, YouTube… We are no longer allowed to live in an echochamber. Reach out to people, love each other, help each other, learn about and from each other. If I have to hear one more person accept mass Muslim documentation with “Don’t you want to know who your neighbor is?” I’ll scream. Go to your neighbor. Talk to your neighbor. Don’t fear your neighbor.

Maissie is currently studying English, Creative Writing, and Theatre Arts at Augustana College, where she is a writer for the on campus chapter of Her Campus. You can also see her leading as co-captain of the varsity volleyball team and watching Bob's Burgers with her sisters of the local social sorority Chi Omega Gamma. Her writing can also be found for the Augustana Observer's sports section.
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