A Message to My Students on Election Day

Everything I was taught by well meaning California educators through out my years really didn’t mean a damn thing. No matter how much you intellectually disarm racism and bigotry it does not mean that it is extinguished. Being aware of discrimination does not create equality. Dramatizing the story of the victims of various moments of injustice throughout history does not equate to policy that is righteous and it certainly doesn’t mean that people won’t repeat the errors of the past. Becoming aware is only the first step. Performing the works to create the change and right the wrongs is the next logical movement. Listening to people’s stories and understanding their experiences creates a moment where you can transcend your own experience and relate to another.

Unfortunately, we have a great number of people in this country who see their own struggle as severe enough to support the persecution of others. I do not believe that these people are evil, but they must be challenged in some way and exposed to a great hardship that denies them the opportunity to see that rhetoric that is racist and xenophobic hurts us all. And I truly want to understand that position their position. I want to know how you can be in a place that allows for people to be treated like animals by the party you support because you feel disenfranchised. What is your reality to allow for that?

The only thing that matters at this point is to carry on without apathy. Do not enter into the future with only a concern for your own well-being. Do we really want to be that sort of nation? Despite the despair caused by the election realize that a great number of people did vote for that which is not defined by hate and bigotry. In those people we can find solidarity. Maybe we need to band together to have discussion about important issues and find ways to achieve certain goals for all of society rather than assume that because we think we are right the world will follow. I do not think that our society is completely broken? Do you?

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