Preface: Whether you are voting for Biden or for Trump, we need to come together as a country! I have the steps to do just that. So keep reading, you’ll learn something, I promise!
Table of Contents
- What is the cycle
- How to break the cycle
- What does it mean to move forward…
Why do conservatives feel like the most oppressed group in America?
Have you tried to stop a habit? It is hard but of course, you can achieve that goal if you set your mind to it. Well what if you didn’t have your mind set on it? Let’s use smoking cigarettes as an example. You don’t want to quit because you like to smoke. Well, let’s say you just had a daughter. You love your daughter, you want her to be safe and you want to be around a long time to be with her, so now you are more inclined to quit. We quit things when it affects us or the people we love.
Now let’s use this same argument with any political issue. Trump supporting White people have been the “winners” for so long. Is it right? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t change the way that they feel. They are being forced to “quit” their ideologies even though they don’t have their mind set on it and it is not affecting them or their loved ones. They are also not receiving support from their own community nor the BLM and/or LGBT+ community. As humans, we yearn to make connections with people and we tend to change our habits to conform to society. However, as Miguel De La Torre put it in his book Resurrecting a Badass Christianity, white people have to become traitors to their own race in order to be liberal. This change is not going to happen through hate. Everyone just wants to be loved.
BIPOC it is our job to teach them. I know it’s exhausting but we have to do it. How else are they going to learn? A PhD could be well read on a subject but still not fully understand it because humans need to feel empathy in order to want to enact change as well as a community to be a part of that offers support. This is why conversative Trump supporters feel like the most oppressed group in America because their ideologies are crumbling.
With that said, all these reasons are not to excuse their behavior. They still need to own up for what their ancestors did and what they may have done. Now I am not saying that white people need to feel guilty because some of their ancestors may have been slave owners because some of their ancestors may have been abolitionists. The issue is that white people need to realize how the system works in their favor. The system just needs to change in order to have a more just society. But as I have said before, this requires effort to want to change and without a supportive community to change, the cycle will just continue…
How to break the cycle…
In order to break the cycle, we need to understand why people are Trump supporters. There are three types of Trump supporters.
The first type of Trump supporters are the ones that look up to and/or have the same ideologies as Trump. These are people who have been raised in a very conservative household/communities who believe that nothing should change because the current system benefits them. These include white supremacists and the top 1%. This mentality comes from a limited resources mindset: If I share my resources, then I won’t have any left. However, the Earth has abundant resources! If you share, there will be enough for everyone. Everyone can have justice. Everyone can feel safe. No one has to live in poverty. We can all benefit from a just system.
The second type of Trump supporters are people who only agree with Trump on one issue. This could be anything from gun laws to tax breaks to abortion. We have to understand the big picture when it comes to specific issues. For example, yes, Trump is for guns, but strict gun laws won’t affect you if you are getting your guns legally. Yes, Trump is for tax breaks, but it mostly benefits the top 1% who don’t even need tax breaks; they make so much money. Lastly, yes, Trump is against abortions, but he’s not against sterilizing women in ICE detention centers. Human rights are human rights. So what I implore everyone to do is to research the candidate well, one candidate may be more in line with your ideologies than the other, even if they are from the “other” side.
The third type is the blind follower. These are the kind of people who will vote republican regardless of who it is. Why would they do that? This comes from the human need to be in a group. Their identity is in this group that they would have cognitive dissonance if they were to vote for a democrat. This occurs for democrats too. The parties are not perfect as they are man-made. That is why they have switched their own ideologies through the years.
We still hold onto the identity of democrat or republican even though people are complex and do not fully think the same way on every issue that party represents. Citizens can have ideologies that reflect both parties, however they can only choose one. So they go with the one that their family supports unless they do their own research and make their own path, which can be very difficult. What makes things even more difficult is that social media, as presented by the Netflix documentary: Social Dilemma, is personalized to each user so that they only see content that reflects either their assumed ideology based on their geographical location, gender and race/ethnicity. When it is difficult to access all the information, how can we make an educated decision? We need to think for ourselves and not let our family members nor social media dictate our beliefs. Regardless of what those beliefs are, as Americans, we can all agree that we just want America to keep moving forward.
What does it mean to move forward…
So how can we move our country forward?
By choosing love.
Love will bring this country together and actually make it the greatest country on Earth. Most Americans believe this statement already so let’s actually live up to it.
I offer three easy steps to do so.
Love must overcome fear
The first way to make this country great again is by not being afraid of people that are different from us. For those who may say that they are not afraid of these people rather they just don’t agree with their lifestyle, here is the definition of fear:
Trump supporters may feel like their own way of life is being threatened by these people who choose to live their life in a different way.
What we seem to forget though is that America is founded on the principles of freedom. When America became independent, Jefferson argued that all men have the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now I am well aware that when Jefferson wrote that that he meant all white men; however, if we’re going to read the document with the perspective of that time period, then we could appeal the second amendment, as we do not have the same issues as they did at the time. Because of this, we can expand on Jefferson’s words and include literally ALL people.
ALL people have the unalienable right to live their life as they choose freely as they pursue what makes them personally happy. Of course, this only applies as long as people are not hurting others. And no, people getting married or wearing a hajab does not hurt others.
The following is a list of discriminatory phobias based on a person’s nationality. This is clearly something that a person has no control over. It’s okay to be scared of spiders or heights because those can actually cause you harm. People having a culture does not. Here are some of the phobias that no longer have a place in American society:
|Afrophobia||fear/dislike of Africans|
|Albanophobia||fear/dislike of Albanians|
|Anglophobia||fear/dislike of England or English culture|
|Christianophobia||fear/dislike of Christians|
|Germanophobia||fear/dislike of Germans|
|Hinduphobia||fear/dislike of Hindus|
|Hispanophobia||fear/dislike of Hispanic people, Hispanic culture and the Spanish language|
|Indophobia||fear/dislike of India or Indian culture|
|Iranophobia||fear/dislike of Iran or Iranian culture|
|Islamophobia||fear/dislike of Muslims|
|Judeophobia||fear/dislike of Jews|
|Lusophobia||fear/dislike of the Portuguese, Portuguese culture and the Portuguese language|
|Nipponophobia||fear/dislike of the Japanese|
|Koryophobia||fear/dislike of the Koreans|
|Latinophobia||fear/dislike of Latin people|
|Negrophobia||fear/dislike of black people|
|Polonophobia||fear/dislike of the Polish|
|Russophobia||fear/dislike of Russians|
|Shiaphobia||fear/dislike of Shiites|
|Sinophobia||fear/dislike of Chinese people|
|Sunniphobia||fear/dislike of Sunnis|
|Turcophobia||fear/dislike of Turks|
|Xenophobia||fear/dislike of foreigners|
Likewise, we cannot discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation. Again, this is something that you are born into. Why would you force someone to be someone they are not? God has made us all perfectly. There are no such things as imperfections. Yes, we want to improve ourselves but that does not include sexual orientation. Wherever you fall on the gender and/or sexual orientation spectrum, you are perfect and it is nobody’s business! You have to be yourself. Again, who you love doesn’t hurt anybody purely based on their gender (it may hurt if that person is already involved with someone else though). These are some of the phobias that discriminate against people’s sexual orientation:
|Biphobia||fear/dislike of bisexuality or bisexuals|
|Ephebiphobia||fear/dislike of youth|
|Gerontophobia, gerascophobia||fear/dislike of aging or the elderly|
|Heterophobia||fear/dislike of heterosexuals|
|Homophobia||fear/dislike of homosexuality, homosexuals, or gays (as opposed to lesbians)|
|Lesbophobia||fear/dislike of lesbians|
|Pedophobia||fear/dislike of babies or children|
|Psychophobia||fear/dislike of mental illness or the mentally ill|
|Transphobia||fear/dislike of transgender people|
All in all, by no longer being homophobic, xenophobic, or all of the other -phobics, all people will be a little closer to not only having those unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence but also just having basic human rights. Everyday people from minority communities are fighting for basic human rights. It should not be this way. We should all be working together to ensure these basic human rights for everyone. However, we would no longer have to fight if people were just allowed to live freely.
This will only occur when those people stop being afraid of people that they just don’t understand. Getting over these “fears” is the first step in moving forward. Why? Because there is no reason to be afraid.
God has filled us with love so why not share it? Why not learn from someone different than you? Everyone has something to offer. Everyone is here for a reason. That is how we are going to move forward, by learning from others and incorporating their perspective to grow as a nation.
America is known as a melting pot but when we melt everyone’s culture into one it just creates mush. Instead of being a melting pot, we should be a stained glass mosaic, celebrating everyone’s culture while simultaneously being part of a larger culture. I am still very proud to be an American. I just think that we need to be more understanding of each other and of all pf the cultures that make America great. Whether you or your ancestors came to this land, 5,000 years ago or 5 days ago, we make America great and we need to celebrate that.
We must also need to have equal representation in every aspect of American society. This is one way in which we can get rid of the -phobic behavior and some of the -isms (i.e. sexism, classism). By having more representation in different industries, there will be more role models for future generations to look up to, more opportunities for growth in minority communities, and less stereotypical remarks placed on women and minorities. These are all characteristics that will keep moving America forward.
Having equal representation and taking the steps to get there are also part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that the United States agreed to complete by 2030. We need to have a president who will lead us in the direction of accomplishing these 17 goals.
However, I do realize that one person/type of person cannot do it alone. This is why we need to have diverse voices in power. As seen below, diversity allows multiple perspectives to be heard which allows for innovative ideas to come to life and benefit EVERYONE’s standard of living.
Currently, we do not have diverse voices in power.
This is why so many human rights violations are taking place. Like previously mentioned, if it doesn’t affect you, you won’t care about it.
This is what is meant by under-representation.
In 2012, 18% of the US population were women of color (i.e. Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian, Middle Eastern, Hawaiian, Inuit, Pacific Islander), the number has grown since then but I could not find a reliable source with that information. Regardless, there should be at least 18% of women of color in congress if they were being properly represented. As of October 2, 2020, there were only 48 women of color out of 541 member of congress. That’s less than 1%!!
Underrepresentation doesn’t just occur in the political realm.
It happens in every field/industry.
Here are a few examples:
Everyone needs a seat at the table.
This is important because if only one group is represented then how can they make informed decisions.
A good example of this is in the episode Model Parent of Marlon (season 2, episode 1). Those people did not mean to make a bad decision. No human is inherently evil. We do things that we think is best. They probably really believed that it was a good choice but to someone else that is not. By having different perspectives at the table, is the only way that we will be able to work together and move forward.
The last step is the most simple and the most important: to love your neighbor, as you love yourself. This is the Golden Rule. As an American, whether we are religious or not, we have heard this phrase a million and one times. In kindergarten, we are taught to share our toys so why can’t we share the metaphorical pie now? If we just treat each other with love and respect, we wouldn’t have these issues today and we would be able to move forward as a united nation.
The Golden Rule transcends race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and political parties. We all learn this simple rule as kids. Now we need to enact this when we vote.
Trump supporters are primarily Christians. Many of these Christians say that it is against their religion to support others’ life choices. This quote by Reverend Barbara Brown Taylor explains how we must still abide by the Golden Rule.
Everything comes down to love.
We need to love ourselves and we need to love our neighbor. And just to be clear, neighbor means any one and everyone, whether you know them or not, whether you agree or disagree with their life choices. You need to love them; not judge or shame them.
Love always wins.
Never feed into hate.
We all just need to come together and be the UNITED States of America once again. The only way we’re going to be able to do this is by loving each other and sharing the metaphorical pie so that every voice can be heard.
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