I know I am not the only one who felt surprised by the outcome of this week’s election. Whether you voted for Hillary Clinton or not, it is my hope that we all agree that we need to not fear those who are different.
On my way to the train on Wednesday morning, I saw a woman with a head covering pushing her child in a stroller. My eyes welled up when they connected with her eyes. Also this week my Facebook wall has been covered with status updated from friends about bullying. Posts about students chanting “build the wall,” photos of graffiti saying “go back to Africa” or getting heckled for holding hands with their partner.
Immediately I am reminded of my time in high school. These slurs and comments instill the same fear for my personal safety.
Hearing slurs also insight my resolve to stand up against it. No, I am not looking forward to reliving a life where I have to look over my shoulder, or being shoved just for needing to walk down a hallway.
I did not have people who stood up for me at a difficult time. I pledge to be that person. I will not let anyone suffer the fear that can result from the slurs of others.
I am different from you. You are different from me. Our differences are grounds for celebration not division. If there is something about me that causes you to fear or hate me, please talk to me about that! Maybe we can have a conversation and learn something about each other. Let’s build something new together, not return to a time where we were divided.