Okay, first things first, stop and breath. If you’re happy with the results of the 2016 election don’t go anywhere. Full disclosure I’m a woman of color and I voted for Hilary Clinton, however this post isn’t really about that at all. It’s about research. Right now people are feeling a lot of heavy emotions and that’s okay. Everything you are feeling is valid. Unfortunately conversations fueled by emotion aren’t always very productive. So I want to share with you what I think is.
To Trump supporters: First of all, if you’re reading this at all, thank you. Here is not where I tell you you’re wrong. I want to say that while I disagree with you, I understand a little bit about what you are feeling. If you are wealthy I assume that what you feared was that your money would be taken away, and that the elite circle that you’ve found yourself in would be taken over by people who are different from you in both appearance and culture. Change is very scary and it causes some extreme reactions. The president elect is a face you recognize and that’s what makes him appealing. For those of you who are less then wealthy you are feeling beat up and downtrodden because life doesn’t seem to let up on you. It doesn’t feel like you’re privileged it feels like quite the opposite.
I encourage all of you to avoid telling others to be happy and instead suggest that you do research. A lot of internet arguments go nowhere because neither side can back up their fights with facts. So if you truly believe you’re right, prove it. If you can grasp that the work of you ancestors got you to the place you are now, then you must acknowledge that the past impacts the present. Read up on slavery and civil rights leaders. Everyone throws Martin Luther King Jr’s name around, but not everyone actually reads up on him. Read about Fredrick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and Harriet Tubman. Go beyond the surface information and always check to see who wrote what and make sure you have numbers to back up historical accounts. If only one person said it, it’s probably not true.
I’d also recommend doing research on the native people of this country. Yes if you’re family came over on the Mayflower you’ve been here a long time, but the Natives were here first, and believe me Disney does not do Pocahontas’ story justice at all. Read about World War 2 and the way Asians were treated in this country. There are still Asians alive to this day, such as celebrity George Takei who were there, and can remember what it was like. Understand what it’s like for Mexican people who are here both legally and not. Then do the work and research on your own people and really see where your culture comes from. Do you know why some of you left Europe? Do you know what your ancestors did to spark change in this country? If you’ve got access to a computer try to hold off writing comments and making videos for a while, and start doing some homework. You’re never to old or to young to do some reading. If you honestly have no idea where to start, here are some tips:
- Use Google Scholar. If you’re not a college or high school student this is one of the most convenient ways to access scholarly articles.
- If you are a student then your school’s library should have links to websites also full of information you can use. This is data that’s been fact checked and not just any old website will pop up.
- Don’t know where to start? Try this or this or this . All these websites give you names, they are not the end all be all for research.
It’s not going to be easy, and if you have limited time in your day then I urge you even more to use your time online wisely. If you can access books that’s even better. All this information is going to benefit you. I’ve said my peace and now I’m going to talk to everyone else.
Everyone Else: Whether you voted for Hilary, a third party, or not at all this is not a criticism of you or your choices either. As I mentioned earlier I voted for Hilary. You at the moment have the right to feel mad, or hurt, or even numb at this point. From my perspective Trump is exactly the kind of person that represents how America views minorities (I won’t say and women because WOC are minorities too and many white women voted for Trump). For you guys I say take some time off. I’m all for the people who are protesting now and getting their voices heard now, but if you’re not up for it don’t feel bad. We still have until the end of the year before anything official happens and, while we didn’t win the presidency there’s some good news (click). While you’re resting I encourage you to educate yourselves as well. I am at times quite guilty of stating things without backing myself up with facts (and those are on our side guys!) which is why I want people to start digging deeper. This is not about being a teacher, this is about being a student. You don’t owe anyone you time, but you do owe it to yourself to be informed. It may only be mildly comforting, but trust me being able to say that you’ve got the truth on your side is so much more powerful when it’s actually true.
For All: Shameless plug time- I’m not always consistent but I’m more politically minded on my twitter if you’re interested in following someone who is not going to be coddling the opposition (after this post) and is only slightly anxious. I’ve got a tumblr dedicated to my own positivity but if it helps you too, you are welcome to follow that as well. Here I don’t always talk about politics but I do share my opinion on various topics and am trying to be consistent with my Fiction Friday plan. Normally I update on Mondays for regular posts and Friday’s for the aforementioned Fiction. I wanted to articulate this today though, because I finally figured out what I wanted to say. Next week my topic is baking (food) and I might connect it to self care. Thanks for those of you who made it to the end and read everything not just the bits dedicated to you 😀