Will All the White Folks Please Stand Up?

When I received the email that I was chosen to intern for the Democratic National Convention I couldn’t contain my excitement. I felt that I was going to be part of something amazing. I would be part of pushing our country toward something so unbelievably progressive – our first female president. I also knew that I would play a part in stamping out one of the most hate-filled and venomous campaigns I’ve ever seen. I knew that it was possible for Hillary to lose the presidency, but I just didn’t think she actually would. The most frustrating thing is that back in July I never expected the day to come. I never expected him to win. Maybe it was the rhetoric, maybe it was the atmosphere, hell maybe it was even those damn balloons, but I truly believed that love would trump hate. But I was wrong, I was so very wrong. We’re at a point in time where love does not win. Where kindness isn’t really the answer, where empathy is nonexistent and where hope doesn’t shine through any longer.

On Nov. 9 I felt an overwhelming sense of fear, sadness and anxiety.

Fast forward to Aug. 17 and I feel pretty much the same, just not so strongly all the time. I previously felt fear, sadness and anxiety all the time. When I was about to fall asleep, when I woke up, when I went to class, when I went to a Walmart, when I got gas. All the time, essentially. Recently it’s not so much as I feel it all the time, but when I do feel those things I feel them very intensely. I haven’t cried over the hurtful and ignorant remarks people make on social media. I haven’t said, “I just don’t understand how…,” in reference to someone’s varying opinion. I haven’t been riled up enough to fight on Facebook with anyone anymore, and that’s all because I don’t feel like it’s worth it. There are better ways to fight this rather than crying, or social media warrior-ing. I hate to say the same thing over and over, but at this point, minorities have done all they can do. It is time for our white allies to rise up. It is time for them to hold their racist family members, friends, coworkers and acquaintances accountable.

White people have sat complacently on the sidelines for too long. White people have listened to their counterparts use derogatory terms in passing for too long now.

Terms like: nigger, spic, faggot, dyke, tranny, ghetto, hood, thug.

White people have listened to their counterparts say things like, “I’m fiscally conservative. That’s why I voted for Trump,” or “I don’t want immigrants coming in here and raping my family.” After the events in Charlottesville, Va., this is the end. No longer can white people ignore what’s going on in our country. No longer can a white person stay silent on the issues our country is battling. Charlottesville was the final, dangerous and aggressive display that needed to be burned into white America’s eyes to show that this. is. a. race. issue. We have a president that has comfortably blamed the oppressed for the actions of white nationalists and neo-nazis. It is time for white people to stand up, and be accountable. For the death of Heather Heyer, for the beating of Deandre Harris and for the entire world looking at our country in horror.

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