By Michele Becton
Senior Guest Writer Michele Becton writes about her emotions following the 2016 presidential election and how to move forward from this event.
On November 8th 2016 Donald Trump was elected to be the next President of the United States. On November 9th 2016 my world was flipped upside down. At least that’s what it felt like. My heart slowly but surely became more heavy as I cried throughout the day. I cried for myself. I cried for my friends. I cried for all the minorities across the country. While sitting in Bible class later that day someone asked the question, “What are you afraid of?” Most answers centered around being afraid for their friends, themselves, their family, and any other minorities that came under attack during the election. Although these things were on my heart, they were not the reason that I was afraid. I was afraid that history would repeat itself. I was afraid that weeks from now all would be forgotten. All those who felt the sudden urge to make change and fight for people like me would move on because they could. I was afraid that I would continue to feel like I did on November 9. I was exhausted, completely and utterly exhausted. I was tired of having to wake up every morning and fight for my life. I was tired of having to fear for my life. Someone has told me to my face that they did not like me at first because I was black. My brother has been called racial slurs walking on his college campus. My mother has been followed by a police officer for a long period of time for no apparent reason. This is my reality, and this is the reality of minorities across the country. I feel like at some point we lost focus. The arguments and the disagreements turned us away from the much bigger problem. History has a way of repeating itself. Though it felt like it, my world was not flipped upside down after the election. My world was simply revealed to everyone else. At the end of the day, I wake up every morning as an African American and every day I have to fight for my life and rights. The problem isn’t the election. The problem isn’t the political parties. The problem isn’t conservatives versus liberals. The problem is the human race. This is a human problem. The reality that minorities face everyday simply shouldn’t be. We can do better. I believe that wholeheartedly. We don’t have to let history repeat itself, but we do have to acknowledge it. We do have to fight for those who can’t. We have to fight for each other, for the human race. More importantly, we can’t forget the fight. Complacency is a dangerous weapon. We didn’t just get to this seemingly divided country on election night. That was there long before the election process began. We simply became complacent with the progress that we had made. We must continue to push forward and never end the fight. Our country must fight. Our St. Mary’s community must fight. We have the privilege and the ability to fight the good fight and that’s our responsibility as humans on this planet. We can do better. If we all turn away from what divides us, we will do better. Good will prevail in the end. Hope will never be lost. The pain, anger, frustration, and sadness from this election are real, but we must continue to move forward. That’s how we make this country great again: by fighting the good fight, the human fight.