Please read our Data Protection & Use Notification to learn more.
I have never considered myself a very political person. I have always liked to make sure I educated myself on important topics, but sometimes keeping up to date was more draining than helpful. Seeing the way that people like me are often treated and how many barriers there are, I would get tired. So, I tried to stay away from politics.
At some point though, I had to think about why I was allowing myself to be ignorant of the world around me. As I got older, I got better at learning while staying on top of my mental health. I’m still not the most educated. But everyday I learn more—and I aim to keep doing that until I die.
Though I am still trying to change, I know that there are people out there who have the same beliefs that I used to, thinking that politics are “not important” or “too bothersome.” People who have the privilege to choose not to acknowledge politics are those who need to educate themselves the most. If you have the choice to not think about how politics can affect you and choose not to, you should think about why. Consider that though you believe that politics may not affect you much, there are some topics that affect EVERYONE, including health care, the economy, and climate change. If knowing that isn’t enough to convince you, think about how politics may affect those that you care about.
One thing about politics is that it affects people differently. Decisions made by people in Congress affect the lower and middle classes differently than the upper class. They also affect people of color differently in comparison to white people. These effects are the major reason for why the election was such a big deal—and still is.
Nov. 3 was Election Day 2020. For some people, it was just another Tuesday. For me, my family, and my friends, it was the beginning of an anxiety-inducing couple of days. Every day in my house, the news was on. Before, during, and after classes, I would constantly check the updates to see who was winning. Throughout it all, I kept remembering 2016 when Trump got elected. I was worried about my family, immigrants, and African-Americans. I was worried about my friends, the LGBTQ+ community, Muslims, and POC. I was worried about myself, a Black woman in America.
After the results showed that Joe Biden is now the President-elect, I felt calmer. Knowing that the man who has fanned the flames of hatred for the past four years will no longer have his position of power makes me feel better about the country. On the other hand, seeing how close the election results were is extremely concerning. Knowing that so many people are complacent with hatred and have a blatant disregard for human life is disheartening. I know that the country still has a lot of work to do, but knowing that our current President will be removed from his position helped me relax a bit.
With the country still immersed in a politically charged climate, it’s important that we all educate ourselves as much as we can. Information matters. Facts matter. There aren’t two sides to that.