“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Yesterday was Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017. Donald Trump officially became the 45th president of the United States of America. Although I don’t like Mr. Trump, I still believe respect is essential. I also think it’s important to realize that there are those who do in fact like him. There’s no need to hate him, or his supporters. He followed the Democratic process and got elected. I think there isn’t enough respect in the world, and that’s what we need most. There isn’t enough leeway to be different. Even for those who argue for righteousness deflect differences in some way.Also, there isn’t enough communication in the world. We think we are communicating, but disagreements turn into arguments, which turn into fights, which get dangerous really quickly. Tempers flare up and next thing you know someone is hurt, emotionally or physically. We need to respect each other and everyone’s views on politics, unless there is harm done to anyone emotionally or physically. Obviously, rape should not be tolerated, the same way that racism should not be tolerated, and I’m not arguing for those things, or any harmful thing in between.
Despite my belief that there is a lack of respect and I’m scared, I’m also proud right now. I’m currently watching broadcasts of the Women’s March of 2017, and it makes me proud. I’m proud because people have gathered today, to peacefully speak their minds and demonstrate. I’m proud because there is no violence, no hate speech, and they aren’t fighting against Trump’s presidency, but disagreeing with his views and hateful rhetoric. I’m proud because they are voicing their opinions in a respectful manner, providing a platform for themselves to be heard. I’m also proud of some, I repeat some protests that occurred yesterday. Some protests yesterday were peaceful, with music, activities, and yet again, a stage to voice opinions. I’m even more proud to know that there are people out there that can hold a peaceful protest.
Among some of the peaceful protests yesterday, there were violent protests and I can’t stand that. Although they may have had a good message, there is no reason to resort to violence. When you resort to violence, a dangerous you vs. me mentality is created. All of a sudden there are opposing sides, people arguing, and nobody listening. Yesterday, there were people throwing bricks at cars, people burning trashcans as well as other objects in the street, and hate signs all over the place. One boy proudly told a reporter that he started the fire that they were around and proceeded to say, “Screw the president”, with a smile on his face. Through the protests against Trump there was no direct fighting against his hate speech, nor any voicing of opinions. From someone on the opposing side, the protesters had something against trash cans in D.C, or they were bad, violent people. That’s not the way to go and it pushes the person they want to get the attention of away. They wanted to create change, but now their “opposition” is unwilling, because they view them as lesser individuals. Individuals that are very different, and no-one wants to be associated with. In fact while people are claiming #lovetrumpshate, all I see is we hate Donald Trump. When I hear #lovetrumpshate, I think violence. When I hear #lovetrumpshate, I see chaos. When I hear #lovetrumpshate, I fear “love”. When I see “Make Racists Fear Again”, I’m fearful, yet in no way am I racist. All I see is others showcasing their own hate. I’m sure that they just want to end racism, but that’s not what they said. They said “Make Racists Fear Again” and that implies that they will harm any racists mentally, and/or physically, which makes the protesters seem like the bad guys. We must be cognizant of the messages and ideas we spread.
We should be trying to identify the ways that all people are similar, while also realizing that everyone doesn’t think, or feel the same way about every topic. It’s inconceivable to think that everyone should feel the same way about most topics. We must foster discussion, because the main cause of trouble is fear. You don’t have to agree at the end of the discussion, but hopefully at the end of any given discussion, you have fostered respect for each others’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings. I’m confident that humans, as a whole can, achieve peace and prosperity, through mutual respect and enriching conversation.
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.