We Have Nothing to Lose but Our Chains

By Holly Sanchez (Law Student)

It’s been a week since I waited in line to cast my ballot in downtown Chicago. The past week has been tumultuous at best. I’ve experienced an array of emotions that have only solidified this intense belief that nothing about liberation comes easy. 

Through every war, through every civil rights struggle, America has seen itself as a more evolved society. Even in moments where history has shown us we were so wrong, we’ve clung to the false idea that change came at a time when it was needed, ignoring the years of struggle by disenfranchised people within our nation. We long boasted the abolition of slavery even as black and white Americans were segregated in every area of society. We continually overlook facts and figures of racism and sexism in policy and legal application, because we in our effort to hold fast to the fallacy of an evolved society.  

The election was a painful reminder that acceptance cannot be forced and that the humanity in each of us is still too hard for some to see. We must continue to fight for the America we want our children to live in. We must pause to celebrate accomplishments then push, full force ahead, for those who still have not experienced the small victories. We must know when words need to become actions and what actions will be most effective. We have nothing to lose but our chains.