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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

A Letter to the Privileged

CeCe Gaines

When I went to sleep on Nov. 8, I knew Donald Trump could potentially win the election. It was  a disheartening notion, but not a problem I could control. I was disturbed waking up on Nov. 9, and seeing the first post on my timeline featuring the Ku Klux Klan parading on a bridge, to celebrate Trump’s victory in North Carolina. This post not only infuriated me but engulfed me in a level of fear I have never experienced before.

It saddened me that almost an entire nation could look past the inexcusable qualities of a candidate and still vote for him. Vehemently claiming he is the lesser of two evils. The blatant hatred that I’ve witnessed from some Trump supporters baffles me. The fact that one man could bring out so much hate in this country in such a short amount of time, shows how weak and divided America is as a whole.

It’s strange, because weren’t there seven other candidates also running for president? Yes, they were third-party candidates, and yes, you may have felt as if your vote would count for nothing by choosing them. However, this was a solution to combat the “lesser of two evils” phenomenon.

So, since there was a solution, let me take a moment to present truthful reasoning behind why some people voted for Trump. The ability to look past the bigotry, racism, sexism and a myriad of other issues, because he is a “great business man that can make America great again” wasn’t a choice based on the issues. The choice to vote for Trump was based on the one word we fail to speak on: Privilege.

It must be nice to mainly focus on issues such as abortion, the economy or the environment because other issues such as immigration or the effects of the criminal justice system don’t directly affect you. However, there are millions of other people– possibly your neighbors, your professors, or even your best friends that are. So it grieves me when I’m told to “get over the results of the election, what’s done is done,” or “you’re overreacting.” Correct, the election did end last Wednesday, the outcome is final. However, some Trump supporters tend to forget the repercussions of the election that impact other people. Again, because privilege is a perpetuated sentiment.

I have a hard time recuperating from the election because I didn’t wake up the day after as a white person, but as a black person who also happens to be female. Right now, that’s not the best position in America. I don’t believe many Trump supporters recognize that basic human rights are being compromised and some Americans are scared.

This election wasn’t merely about politics. If that was the case, we would vote for a person and continue our lives. We would be able to live in harmony with one another and not have the temptation of looking at our peers differently when their views differ from our own.

This election was about disregarding real life issues. Disregarded were the real life issues that pierce through the lives of minorities, other religions, the LGBTQ community, and women every day. Everyone was so passionate about these issues, and they divided us.  

As a nation, we failed. We failed because we didn’t want to deviate from the norm. We failed because we didn’t protect our brothers and sisters in Christ who were different than us. We failed because white privilege was perpetuated. As a nation, we failed.  

I’m sad.

I’m disgusted.

I’m ready for change.

I’m ready to stop fearing for the lives of myself and others because of race, religion, sexuality and the like. However, when I have those thoughts, I’m romanticizing a notion that will be difficult to attain. To combat the anger and sadness I feel, I try to desensitize myself to issues that shouldn’t even be topics of discussion.  

I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much you try to educate others, or how much you plead with others to see the repercussions of your reality, they will continue to do what they want.

In light of these grievances, I do have a hope. I’m thankful my hope is in Jesus and I know who I am in Christ according to His Word. No matter whom others say or think I am, the greater one lives in me than who is in the world. I am the head and not the tail, and I am more than a conquer. In the midst of this political transition, I have decided to guard my heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  

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