by Emily Fisher
We’re human. We understand that everything cannot be ideal. Not all things can turn out in our favor. Then election day happened and we all got a little bit wiser. We cried, picked ourselves up, and carried on with our lives…remember when I said ‘ideal’? Honestly, we did exactly the opposite. We fought back and organized a Women’s March on Washington in opposition to much of the Trump administration’s views on immigration and women. In many ways, the election of Trump to the Presidency.
It has been several months since. The White House has turned into a rapid turntable giving away positions to those who barely qualify and firing them within a matter of weeks. There have been a few record-breaking shootings which means nothing working towards changes in gun control for this country. Rather a list of names and statistics thrown out to the public. A soapbox or two. These questions have complex answers but we know that working towards change means losing some things as human beings and media wouldn’t want to give up comfort. We mourn. We ask for change. We don’t get it. We protest and carry on. The media has a field day when things sensational happen. That’s not a bad thing, people should do their jobs but monitor that tendency.
Watching from the sidelines of my university, I feel the need to stand up for myself and my community in these hard conversations. I acknowledge my privilege as a white disabled woman and stay out of issues where I don’t hold a real place to speak. The problem here? There are some who do not get to even acknowledge themselves, and there lies the biggest struggle of most minority groups.
More specifically, I would hear stories months ago about disabled people being dragged out of venues where they would protest their own rights being taken from them. However, the media did not spend time on the reason why all of this might affect them. Rather, dehumanizing footage was published of them being ripped from their chairs and wrongfully arrested. Chairs which disabled people consider part of their autonomy.
Yes. It’s understandable that compassion may be difficult when working in a world of facts, but sometimes we need a break from the consistency of bad news this year has brought with it. Maybe that’s just the idealist in me, but hear this out: Democracy cannot survive if it’s all about preserving the definition of insanity. Like the media cannot survive if it continues to shine no spotlight on Americans who deserve focus; both sides of the story can be told. If we’re not protesting this to create a better, more inclusive world to be a part of who are we doing it for? Time to make politics for the people again, and not just the male or rich. We’re creating that world through protest and calls. People are finding the compassion where the politics isn’t. We just hope the politics will eventually find it too.