BE the Change

By Dominick Williams (University of California, Berkeley Undergraduate)

Wednesday morning I woke up feeling just like many of you did: afraid. I couldn’t grasp how we had gotten so off track. I could not understand how we, as a country, allowed ourselves to feel so much hate, indifference, and indignation for one another. And most of all, I could not understand how we could choose a leader that was the physical embodiment of all of our flaws rather than our strengths.

I was not just terrified for myself but for those who were specifically targeted by Trump’s hateful rhetoric. What is the future of our communities when racists, bigots, and sexists are given the green light to puff out their chests and flaunt? I was terrified for those closest to me. How do I console a friend who has legitimate fear of his family being deported by a system that hates him? How do I reassure a friend whose mother tells her to go against her faith and no longer wear her hijab for fear of heightened persecution?

Wednesday I grappled these fears as protests and anger rang through the Bay Area of California. I scrambled for a direction, asking myself, how can I fight this? How can we fight this? The anger swirled around with the fear in a fierce typhoon that captured me making feel helpless, and I was almost overcome by darkness.

That was Wednesday. Thursday was a different story.

I woke up with an unusually heightened focus, despite the calamity surrounding me, determined to move in a direction that pushes back and works against the bigots that act out of fear, anger, and hatred. I will not bow. I will not surrender. This is our time to become stronger and more unified than ever before. This is the time to channel our emotions and turn it into action, and tackle that fear and turn it into courage, and grasp that dismay and turn it into determination. We have work to do. We must make our government representative of our ideals and morals. It is time for this country to hear our roar, and we must not tolerate hate and disrespect to our fellow Americans.

It is time for young people to no longer be complacent about politics and start to BE politics. It is time for us to give a damn, and create a truly representative government. It is now time, like no time before, for all of us- young, old, black, brown, man, or woman- to encourage our friends, family, and counterparts to BE the change. We are on the side of moral justice- let us fight and work like we are.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.” - MLK