Together, We are Freedom

By Stephanie Kall (Concerned Liberal)

I cannot believe that the United States of America has elected Donald Trump as the 45th President. I cannot believe that a country that was built around the concept of freedom has elected a President that spreads nothing but hatred. 

I cannot change the results of this election but I can make damn sure that my voice gets heard.

Tuesday was supposed to be just another day. Another day of running around to classes, doing massive amounts of homework and spending time with friends. In fact, the election was barely even on my mind. Then the election coverage started. I was doing homework with a friend, checking the google updates every once in awhile. Everything seemed alright at first, so I didn’t pay it much attention. And then, state by state, I watched as everything took an awful turn. I sat there, staring at my phone, updating google every two seconds as I anxiously watched each state report. And then, the text messages started flowing in. I read text after text from friends and family members about their shock at how the election projections had changed. I sat there, still updating, still staring, getting more and more terrified as the minutes dragged on. My friend stopped working to check to see if I was alright. And for a time, I was. Until I realized that hope was lost. Until I realized that my country was throwing away its freedom.

The moment that I will never forget was when my brother texted me. My brother is part of the LGBTQ+ community. I will never forget his short, stilted messages, telling me that he was crying. I will never forget the moment he told me how scared he was. And I will never forget the fact that I had no comfort or reassurance to offer him.

As an individual with friends and family of the LGBTQ+ community, I am completely terrified by the decision this country has made. I am frightened for their safety.

As an individual with friends of other races, I am frightened by the thought of never seeing them again. I am terrified by the threat of deportation and I am so sorry that they have to live with this fear.

As a woman, and a woman who has been sexually assaulted, I take this decision as a personal affront. A country that I have always been proud to live in has just decided that my experience doesn’t matter. That my fear and hurt don’t matter. That what happened to me was right and that individuals who commit sexual assault should be rewarded.

This country was built on freedom. Freedom is basic human rights. Freedom is equality. Freedom is the right to make your own choices.

Freedom is not electrocuting LGBT people. Freedom is not deporting all people of another race. Freedom is not taking away a woman’s right to have an abortion. Freedom is not rewarding a man for sexually assaulting women and children.

I am shocked and ashamed that over half of this country doesn’t understand the concept of freedom.

But the war for freedom is not over, it is only just beginning. I refuse to let basic human rights be stripped away. I refuse to watch my friends and family live in fear of their safety. I refuse to accept that my experience doesn’t matter. I will fight harder than I ever have before because I will fight for our freedom.

We need to band together and get our message out there. We need to show people that love always beats hate. We need to remind the world that our freedom is not a toy for hateful people to do with as they please. It is a basic human right.

So help love prevail. This won’t be a quick fight, but together we are stronger. Together, we are love. Together, we are freedom.