August 1, 2016

Read This before November.

civil rights and equality

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I know we all come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

We all grew up differently, we were taught different things, we have all experienced different and difficult events and used different ways to navigate growing up. But we all do have one thing in common, despite where we came from and where we are going: we are all capable of love, and we are all capable of being empathetic to one another.

During the campaigns for this election, I have heard different points from all of the candidates that I can understand and even support.

But what I cannot understand is how we are allowing the controversy to divide us as a world, and to act in such an unkind and defensive way. 

Although many of our political opinions are guided by passionate, personal beliefs, it’s important we look at the bigger picture. Taxes, “building a wall” and raising minimum wage are all important topics that should surely influence who you support—but what are we teaching our future generations when we attack people for believing different things than us, rather than coming together and agreeing on someone who can best fit everyone’s needs?

We are meant to think differently; individuality is something crucial to our identity. But as a world, it is also crucial to understand everyone’s different, everyone has their own fears, desires and ideas.

We need to look out for the benefit of all people, regardless of the differences.

This political revolution we are in is not just about voting for who we like best. It’s about recognizing and empathizing with our community. This is the time when we need to practice compassion toward the different racial, economical and social barriers our nation struggles with daily. This is the time we need to put aside the prejudiced views we have been taught by previous generations, who were also taught it was okay to own and beat people if their skin was a different color.

Time has passed and we are in a new era, and one thing I’ve learned for certain is that, when society changes, our minds much change too. When our minds are focused on the past but our bodies are living in a present moment (where we have finally accepted and acknowledged same-sex love, women’s rights and the oppression of communities who are different than us), then we are not living presently and in the now. We have evolved so much—and we must continue to do so.

Life moves forward with or without us, and we can stubbornly kick our feet on the ground refusing and refuse to change our perception or not. 

Consistency is something I believe is important when we choose someone to be the leader of our country. We cannot trust someone who has changed their mind on controversial topics over the years. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both, at one point or another, been for same sex marriage, been against same sex marriage, been for abortion, but also against abortion. Yet our candidates are Clinton and Trump. One of our candidates has been under investigation by the FBI, and the other is wanting to put our financial resources into spending millions on a wall to keep a particular ethnicity out of our country, instead of putting in financial resources to ensuring better education, better nutrition in schools, or a more efficient way to access mental health help so we can maintain being participating citizens.

Bernie Sanders has some views that can be controversial, too. We have not yet adapted to such socialist views, and some us cannot see how a higher minimum wage will be a good thing for everyone. But all of these issues are something we can work out, together. Together we can make plans and laws about how to keep our schools safer and how to have better resources put toward implementing more effective and higher rates of legal citizenship in the U.S.

We need a leader who can try to meet the needs of everyone and who takes everyone’s fears and barriers into consideration for the benefit of a successful, productive and happy country. In order to all have more of a say, we need someone who has been consistent from the beginning of their belief system—someone who is invested in representing all of us, even the ones with different perceptions and concerns.

I know that Bernie Sanders’ name will not be on the ballot officially, but it can be. We don’t have to vote for one of the two people who haven’t earned our trust. We can all take a leap and join together to work for the benefit of every working class, every ethnicity and every gender while still feeling safe and having our needs met. 

Let’s write someone’s name on the ballot who stood with Martin Luther King Jr. in hopes everyone would be able to access the happiness of being themselves and having what they need.

Let’s keep moving into a kinder, more safe and more authentic world filled with new resources and growth.

Let’s work together.


Author: Leena Sanders

Image: Author’s Own

Apprentice Editor: Czarina Morgan; Editor: Emily Bartran


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