Better in the End

I’ll admit, I over dramatize situations in the moment without thinking that the universe is working in ways I don’t understand. It’s one of my many flaws. I, also, realize that maybe the situations I’m crying about will be the ones I’m thankful for looking back at them.

Just two weeks ago, I had a different idea of where I wanted to go to college. When I found out I was waitlisted, I had a breakdown just thinking about it. Yesterday, I committed to a university on the other side of the country, a school completely different from the one I wanted to go to and, in some ways, better.

Last year, this university wasn’t even on my radar. When I was asked back in September if I wanted to consider applying to schools in Washington D.C., I laughed. I never even considered D.C., but I applied anyways, just for fun.

Photo Credit: toursofwashingtondc.com

And, by applying, I mean put the application in my Common Application account and completely forget about it. The questions were thought provoking and daunting and my top choice was a school that was supposed to be a safety school. So, I missed the deadline, and I didn’t care.

But, the universe does work in mysterious ways, because the following day, I got an email from the school saying they extended my deadline. Now, I wanted to apply.

It was funny, because right after I applied it quickly became one of my top choices, but I ignored it. I didn’t think I would get in. I didn’t want one of my top schools to be one I didn’t have a chance to get into.

I never thought I would get in. I already got denied and waitlisted from schools with easier acceptance rates and I was getting myself excited about other schools just in case the ones I actually wanted to go to denied me.

Then, last Thursday, I got an email saying decisions would be released at 2:00 pm. The next ten minutes were agonizing; ready to face another rejection letter and accept that I’d go to a school I only really wanted to go to for all the wrong reasons. Then, I opened the portal and clicked the decision. The first words I read were “Congratulations.” Congratulations for being denied? It had to be a mistake, but it wasn’t. I was accepted, I was so happy, and now I’m going to a school on the other side of the country, ready to take on new challenges, a new school, and a new city.

Two weeks ago I was devastated and when my family said something better would come my way, I didn’t believe them. But, they were right for what I want in life, to be immersed into a world of politics, journalism, and law. To have great internship opportunities, explore amazing cities, and study abroad. I couldn’t have ended up in a school better for me.

Those hours of crying were worth it, because if they were hours spent happy, my next four years would be completely different from how they’re going to turn out. I don’t know what will happen. Worst case scenario: I transfer. Best case scenario: I absolutely love the school and spend the next four years there, but one thing’s for sure now: things really do turn out better in the end.

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politicized

Everything is so political nowadays, down to the music festivals you go to and the brands you wear. Things that are known to otherwise be apolitical since existence, have now been politicized.

The popular festival called “Coachella” held in Coachella Valley (well-known artists like Beyonce, and Eminem have performed at in the past) has now become politicized. People only go to the festival if they want to support people that give places money that endorse guns, are anti-LGBTQ, and are pro-life. “Think about this before you buy tickets to Coachella,”  a popular post circulating social media during this time of year, when tickets go on sale for Coachella, said. Last year, on April 15th, actress and model Cara Delevingne declared to her 41 million followers on Instagram, “I still refuse to go to a festival that is owned by someone who is anti-LGBT and pro-gun.”

Beloved designer brands flexed by many famous celebrities have become politicized. Italian designer brand Prada is known for handbags, travel accessories, perfumes, and other fashion accessories. In 2018, Prada was accused of racism and general insensitivity when they released there “Pradamalia” collection, the two characters, Otto and Toto (featured on keychains priced at around $550 and in store windows) were shockingly similar to a former racist movement. The dark monkeys with oversized red lips had too many similarities to blackface. Many celebrities and people on the media started to boycott Prada, such as director Spike Lee and rapper T.I.

(Gucci turtleneck) Photo Credit: CNN.com

In the winter of 2018, Gucci released a turtleneck that resembled many characteristics similar to blackface, like oversized red lips accompanied by a black outline. Celebrities and the media were enraged. People began to boycott Gucci. Rapper Soulija Boy claimed he is getting his Gucci logo tattoo removed from his forehead. Rapper, 50 Cent, posted a video to his 22 million fans burning a Gucci logo tee and captioning it “I gotta get rid of all the Gucci I have at home. I’m not supporting their brand anymore.” Rapper Lil Pump also made it clear he will not support Gucci anymore.

Fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A has become politicized. Chik-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathay has made many homophobic comments in Pride Month (June) of 2012. Chik-Fil-A has also donated millions of dollars to numerous anti-gay organizations. This led to protests in stores as well as rallies. Chik-Fil-A is now an infamous anti-gay company.

Makeup company “Lime Crime” has become politicized. Founder of the company, Doe Deere, has made numerous racist comments and actions. She dressed up as Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party, shortly after releasing Lime Crime makeup. Lime Crime is now deemed as the most hated beauty company on the internet.

Political character has been added to these otherwise apolitical things and this is only the beginning of a much longer list.

The politicization of seemingly everything can be overwhelming at times. It can be hard to always know what’s happening and what to stay away from and what not to, especially when you’re a teenager and have not necessarily developed your own stance on these things. And, of course, people have different coping mechanisms to these things, some people choose to ignore the political aspect of their everyday choices, to not give more attention and fame to ordinary places and continue on with their life. Others fight, protest, and resist.

It’s up to you to know where you stand, but to know where you stand you have to know the issues at hand. Hopefully, now you know.

“Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Politics

Why is it such a big deal?

How does it tear families apart?

Yes, people have different opinions, but why does that make them a monster?

I am so tired of having people hate me for my beliefs.

I am tired of losing friends because of my political party.

I feel as though the side that is supposed to be the most accepting is the side I feel the most attacked by.

I want to be able to have civil conversations and hear other people’s ideas, but I feel as though those conversations are hard to have.  The last time I tried to have a conversation with a friend that had different beliefs than me, she started to become distant and our friendship started to fizzle away.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

The side that wants everyone to be comfortable and happy has made me scared to have a different opinion, but I am no longer going to keep my ideas hidden.  I am a young female Republican who is tired of acting like she isn’t.  I know some people won’t be happy about my beliefs, but I am tired of caring and it is something I want people to know now.

I know that I go to a liberal school and everyone in my journalism class is liberal and I am not trying to offend anyone, but I am just tired of keeping quiet.

Downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 19, 2019

ad726737-1a55-4b4c-ba9a-320cd0adf25a.jpg My best friend and I got off of the Metro at 11 AM in Pershing Square, Downtown LA, only to see tens of thousands of other people fighting for social justice. At the Women’s March 2019, we felt fierce and we felt empowered. My best friend and I met up with 6 more of our friends and we walked up five blocks, only to march back down them. When we walked up the streets we took the time to read signs, admire, and basque in all the people’s glory who were marching the other way. And when we marched down, the world did the same.  Our time had come, our voices needed to be heard.

When the larger groups sorts quieted out, we took it upon ourselves to start yelling our own chants. The Women’s March gave us, the people, an outlet to feel supported and surrounded by individuals we had never met, yet felt so connected with, a bond many people couldn’t make in a lifetime. After chanting “My body, My choice” and being met with numerous other voices, some of my friends, some of kind strangers yelling back, “Her body, Her choice.” A woman yelled to me and my friends, “Thank you for your energy!” I knew we had the power to change the world if we put our minds to it, I was reminded of all the endless opportunity out there.

The Women’s March introduced us to people we never have met and likely will never meet again who empower us and didn’t know us but I can assure you the people there were some of the strongest, most passionate people I had ever seen. People of every color, gender, and sexuality came together to “fight bigotry and discrimination in all their forms” and because of them, I have not only hope, but incentive for my friends and I to be the one’s who change the world.

Sometimes, if you want things to be done right, you have to do them yourself.

Someone told me later, “Your generation gives me hope.”

That is the most fulfilling thing anyone has ever told me, thank you so much, kind woman. My generation gives me hope too. ❤

This is not the last you’ll be seeing of us.

Is This Democracy?

In North Dakota, a voter ID law was passed that states: in order to vote one must have a street address. If the mail man does not deliver to your home, it is not considered an address. No street address=no vote.

In North Dakota, thirty-five percent of the population does not have an “acceptable” address. A large part of this thirty-five percent are the Native Americans who can trace their lineage to North Dakota dating back to the 1830’s.

Over sixty percent of the Native Americans live on reservations and use P.O. boxes to receive their mail.

Over sixty percent of the Native Americans in North Dakota are refused a right that they were born with: the right to be a part this so-called “democracy.”

In Florida, many polling places in the towns of minorities were locked and closed, despite the fact that they were supposed to be opened on voting days.

Piles of ballots were also left uncounted. In the 2000 presidential election, 179,855 ballots were “invalidated” and uncounted. 53% percent of these ballots came from black or Democratic voters.

In Alabama, a law was passed that, in order to vote, one must have a photo ID taken at the D.M.V. Alabama has closed 31 of 67 D.M.V. locations. Almost all of these of these 31 closings are in counties that are home to poor and black people.

There are 250,000 registered voters who are now unable to vote due to the ID law. The majority of these 250,000 are impoverished, African-Americans, or both.

Selma took place over fifty years ago, but it seems like some things in Alabama will never change.

These are few of the many injustices taking place in our country today. The list of minorities being targeted and denied the right to vote goes on and on…

Ask yourself: Is this democracy?

Photo from worldatlas.com

 

Don’t believe me or want to read more? Check the cold, hard facts:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/voting-rights/voting-rights-act/alabamas-dmv-shutdown-has-everything-do-race

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/black-voter-suppression-rights-america-trump

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/north-dakotas-native-americans-law-blocks-populations-vote/story?id=58912062

A Letter to Past Generations

Dear people of the past,

I am one person out of millions. I may be small, but my voice will not be silenced. We will no longer be silenced by beliefs made centuries ago.

We will not be silenced by beliefs that are killing innocent lives, or by the beliefs that are discriminating against the people who are finally becoming proud of who they are.

We are the new generation. We are the millennials, the Gen. Z kids, and the generations to come, and we are proud of ourselves for the world we’re determined to create.

We may be young, and we may not know everything about the world, but we are still learning, still improving, and we are definitely still fighting.

We are strong

We are resilient.

And we are powerful.

But we aren’t defined by adjectives; we are the future. In just a few years, most of us will be given the power to vote, and we will remember when you ignored our pleas.

Photo Credit: ABC News.

You ignored our pleas for equal rights, our pleas to not feel afraid to walk into our schools, our pleas for an equal opportunity you pride your country over yet fail to fulfill.

We will remember what you refused to give us, and we will take it ourselves.

The years will come, and the world will become ours. Not just for one percent of us, but for everyone.

A world where students can walk into their schools without the fear that they’d never walk out.

A world where people are free to love who they wish to.

A world where people are judged by their personality or by what they bring to the world. Not by the color of their skin, or their preference of who they love.

So remember this

We may be young,

But we are angry.

And you can try silence us, but we will rise, and we will scream louder than ever.

Opinions, likes, and school walkouts

To begin,
For all of my peers who participated in the national school walkout today, I want to thank you for standing up for what you believe in and being catalysts for the change that our country so desperately needs. We know what kind of world we deserve to live in, and we are making it a reality.

Credit: TruthRevolt.org

Growing up in an age of technology, social media and internet access can be a double-edged sword of sorts. We can use our technology as a platform for positive things, like spreading awareness and voicing our opinions on all sorts of matters. But, that can also result in a nearly obsessive need to receive validation for our experiences. This validation comes from documenting and posting about almost anything that occurs and is worthy of being noticed.

This dichotomy poses a question: If you don’t post about it does it even really matter?

I’m not trying to be cynical, I’m just genuinely curious if that is a justifiable way of life. I’m not saying I am immune to it, but I would also like to think that I’m not dependent on my social media, nor do I find validation solely through it.

Something I noticed throughout the protesting that took place today is a lot of people seemed to have no idea why they were a part of it. Sure, they knew that it was in honor of the seventeen victims of the Parkland shooting, but they were mostly participating just to follow along with everyone else.

Credit: Polkscan.com

I received several messages, posts, etc. talking about the protests and ways to be involved, which I appreciate, but in lots of ways they all seemed so disingenuous. I am fully supportive of young people’s activism. But when you send me snapchats of yourself wearing an orange t-shirt to “show ur support!” I can’t help but think that you really have no idea what you care about, you just want me to know that you “protested.”

When asked what you believe, you can give a coherent reply. But when asked why you believe it, you have no idea.

It’s almost as if you don’t even care about the victims of all of the past shootings, you don’t even know why people are fighting for stricter gun control/laws. You only care about how many likes you got or how many people viewed your story.

Being a part of a protest itself (actually being an active activist) should be validation enough, it shouldn’t need to be found on instagram. But maybe that’s just the way I look at it.

So, yes, I understand and agree with the fact that social media can be used to spread awareness and to generate change. I also realize that these walkouts were fueled by social media, and that without it we wouldn’t have accomplished such a large-scale and widespread protest. But when half of the people I see posting have no idea what the significance of it is, it just makes them seem ignorant and it takes away from the importance of today’s events.

It is inspiring to see so many young people who already have such strong opinions. But if you have no idea why you have certain beliefs, if your beliefs don’t have a purpose or a foundation, then you might as well not believe in anything.

In order to be effective you must first be informed.