My Country Has Demeaned Myself and Others

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In the aftermath of the American election, Ashley Perry speaks personally of how her county voted for Trump over Clinton.

 

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From an early age, I was told to lessen myself. Growing up in small town Alabama, to lessen my voice and my opinions, to be perceived as feminine, was nothing short of an ordinary request. I was told to be more passive or less passionate about my beliefs because it was simply off-putting to people, especially men. Nevertheless, I held strong in my convictions that one day my voice would matter.

My love for fighting for justice started with small acts such as playing with the one African-American girl in my elementary years, despite teasing from classmates for stepping outside of the racially charged atmosphere of the deep south. It has since transformed to taking a leap of faith to travel to Ireland to obtain a Msc in Human Rights but the 2016 United States Presidential race took a piece of my resiliency away.

Continuing her persistence to represent the nation, she was chosen to be the Secretary of State, a position that is coveted as being one of the most important political positions in the world.

Hillary Clinton, a woman who had started with a dream similar to mine, dug deep into the government trenches to develop a strong background in political science, advocacy, and diplomacy. She attended the prestigious Yale Law School though her gender would have worked every bit against her in juxtaposition to her male counterparts. Clinton used her position as First Lady as a full-fledged platform, later becoming the senator for New York City, one of earth’s greatest melting pots of culture. Continuing her persistence to represent the nation, she was chosen to be the Secretary of State, a position that is coveted as being one of the most important political positions in the world.

Despite devoting most of her life to bettering America, my nation decided that she simply wasn’t enough. On the contrary, a man with no political experience or higher education, and who’s political rhetoric consists of demeaning minorities in or out of the lime light was elected into office by astounding numbers.

Whether he demanded a ban of people simply by their race/religious affiliation or openly bragged about sexually assaulting women, my country chose to turn a blind eye for the sake of change.

As the numbers began to roll in, my heart felt a strange sadness. Not only had my country lost its dream of electing the first woman president, but I began pondering my own dreams and if in fact they should be put to bed as well.

To say that I am disappointed in my country would be an understatement

It is not only my dreams that Donald Trump has disheartened but millions of others. These are people who looked to this election as a last ditch effort to show that their country does value them and that their contributions are needed. His candidacy has shown the already vulnerable minorities in American society that they should fear for their own livelihood in a nation that was once promoted as the most accepting country in the world.

To say that I am disappointed in my country would be an understatement, but to recognise that it may not be, or ever have been, my country to begin with is far more hollowing. The little girl I once was would look to the future for change and growth, but where am I, as a woman, supposed to look to for hope now?

Where is my American dream, and the dreams of countless others, in the nation of Donald Trump? The President elect and those who voted for him have demeaned me to being solely a physical body despite my education, dedication to my field, or even the passion deep within me to help others.

As a country, we have to begin questioning our fundamental beliefs and morals. We idly stood by while a man, who was undeserving of any title, stole our hope of progression and traded it for discriminatory rhetoric. We cannot look our nation’s children in the eye and regurgitate the same philosophy that hard work and determination will lead you to success. In Donald Trump’s America that will be a memento of the past, left to rust and only to be reminisced.

The President elect and those who voted for him have demeaned me to being solely a physical body despite my education, dedication to my field, or even the passion deep within me to help others.

Though my pessimism is justified, I can still hear a faint whisper from the little girl from my past pleading for a comeback. She is desperate for a fight that requires strength from within but also from the nation as a whole. I am defeated but I am still breathing, much like many other groups marginalised by the Trump campaign.

This will be the dawn of mourning for what America once was and what it could have been. When dusk finally does arrive and those left out in the cold by this astonishing election have cried their last tear of lament, we must rise to the occasion. If not for us, then who for?

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