Not My President: Why Your Vote Counts

Citizens of the United States of America, 

When I moved to the U.S, I leaped into my “American Dream” by moving to Los Angeles, hoping it would be everything I had dreamed of and seen on TV. However, the reality was so far from its portrayal. The city of angels did not make me immune to racist and ignorant things being shouted at me because I chose to speak Spanish to my Colombian friend. At the time, it did not bother me because I knew they were just that-- ignorant, racist remarks from an individual I will probably never see again. But what happens when you hear them from a world-leading country’s president? What happens when these sexist, racist, stereotypical remarks do not happen once? Not twice, but hundreds of times? 

This is the reality of 58.9 million Hispanics and 3.7 million Middle Easterners in the United States who face discrimination every day of their lives. Because… isn't it true that all Hispanics are drug dealers? And isn't it true that all Middle Easterners are terrorists? These are the negative stigmas that individuals carry on their shoulders and have to deal with throughout every stage of their lives. They face immigration denial because of the place they were born, and if they are granted a  U.S. immigration visa, what awaits them past immigration customs? They endure a life of racial and stereotypical stigma due to a lack of voice in changing power. 

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with you. You may not be Middle Eastern, and you may not be Hispanic, but you definitely have met or heard of someone who is. It may be a relative, a friend, or simply the person you shop from. But the reality of the situation is that they have no power to change anything in the United States. But you do. When you vote, you are not only casting the vote of an American citizen, you are also casting a  vote for an immigrant that cannot. While you’re voting for whoever protects your tax dollars the most, keep in mind that that individual will also have power over immigration, workers’ rights, education rights and health rights, for all. 

I hope that if you felt you didn’t have a reason to vote or that your vote doesn’t matter, you’ve changed your mind. Your vote is powerful and can impact the lives of many people outside yourself. It can impact the whole country-- it can change someone’s entire world. 

 

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Edited by Sydney Keener