As a teacher, my students know when they have crossed the line. My room provides, I hope, a place of refuge. The other teachers laugh because I adopted a three strikes and you are out system, but I find my system helps more than just me. The system allows for me to curtail some of the evil-spirited comments students make to one another. For example, when a student makes a mean/joking comment that demeans another student, they receive a warning for that also. I do not have time to figure out whether or not they are joking with a friend or passing off insults as jokes.
On the other hand, the students also recognize when they have spoken for me. Sometimes I just need them to hush. Sometimes I need the class bully to take a seat. Sometimes they say the things I want to say and cannot, and they know they have done this by my silence. When they tell the class to shut the “f” up, and I continue teaching as though I did not hear them, they know they have read my thoughts. While I would not have used the specific language, I give them no warning. I look and wait for the their classmates responses. My silence ensures that I agree with the statement, and their following silence indicates message delivered.
The same goes when they deliver an insult which is everything I have wanted to say, but I need to keep my job. The deliverer receives no warning. They continue class with a clean slate, and the receiver recognizes that he/she has crossed the line. My silence says, “I agree.” My silence says, “Finally, someone said what I could not.”
So I have decided not to be silent on my thoughts on the election. I do not need anyone to speak for me. You see, silence has created our current state of affairs.
I did not vote in the past election. I know. I can feel your eyes of disdain. And I agree, I should have voted because I definitely had an opinion, but I did not want to vote out of hate. I thought that perhaps my feelings would change. I thought I was out of line. I thought I did not know enough information about the candidates. I thought my opinion would be based on feelings and not realities so I did not vote, and I am kicking myself now.
I am not kicking myself because my vote would have changed anything. Statistics clearly point out that majority votes do not matter. I am kicking myself because my silence spoke volumes. It said so many things I had no intention of saying.
My problem with Trump is not what he says. My problem comes more with his silence. As an African-American female, I need Trump to tell me that he does not agree with his Klansman father nor his Klansmen endorsements. But any time, anyone has addressed him, he has glossed over the issues. It is not what he says but what he does not say that screams.
You see Mr. Trump, I cannot address policy until I address my life. I do not agree with abortion, nor do I believe that emails should magically vanish from cyber space, but I cannot even begin to look at these issues until you tell me I am safe. I need to know that police cannot kill me or my son for no reason. I need to know that my life matters. Before I can vote on the “real” issues, I have to know you care. I have to know that you do not judge me by the color of my skin which I had no part in creating. I need to know that my son has a fair chance. And until then, sir, I cannot hear what you are saying. Your silence on the issues matter the most to me shouts much louder than the issues that you address…
So I am here to address the issues that matter the most to all of my friends who voted for Trump. I know that most of you who did not support Obama had nothing to do with the color of his skin, but policy with which you did not agree. I know that you hated that police were dying because “black lives matter.” Lucky for me (although I prefer the word blessed), I have a husband who is able to explain the point of view I rarely get to see for fear of getting into an argument. You do not understand why someone(s) would drag a lady from her car and beat her to almost to death because of a Trump sticker. I am here to tell you, “I agree.”
Throw those people in jail. Give them life without parole. It is NOT okay. It is NEVER okay. A life for a life never solved anything. Violence is NOT the answer, but I am here to offer an explanation – not to justify but so you can understand.
I have been told my whole life to let the system do its job. Well, the system…the system is not working. There was a guy who was walking home in a hoodie. He was killed, and his killer was set free. They said Florida has a law that allows for such things. We marched. We protested. We wore shirts. Nothing changed. We came together black and white. It was then that our justice system had a chance to make things right…Still nothing. We heard so much in that silence.
I will not bore you with the details that you already know. Football players, CDs, “I can’t brea…,” to name a few. Our entire lives we have been told that we should sign petitions and protest. We should rally together and create groups. We did that. Your response? “ALL LIVES MATTER.”
If that does not slap me in the face, I do not know what will. So we got angry, and our extremists came out full force. You could not understand why we rioted. The system you promised would protect us had failed, and you told us to understand its failure. You said we were overreacting – that racism does not exist. You asked us what was really the problem?
So we said Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling…Your response? “What about all of the justified shootings?” And for the 500th time, I rolled my eyes. You sound like Trump. You did not answer the question. Then you brought up the police who were killed during “nonviolent” protests. You pretended that one justified the other.
THE ARE BOTH WRONG!!!! THROW THEM ALL IN JAIL!!!!!!!
They are both wrong…
Throw them all in jail…
I had zero desire to write about this. I wanted to stay light and fluffy. I wanted to talk about my husband and my children. I wanted to pray for my president, and I will.
But God told me to use my voice. For the first time, people of all races understand what it is like to be beaten for NO REASON. For the first time, people of all races understand what it is like to be killed for NO REASON. Now that we ALL understand, can we come together and fight the real bad guys?
The moderates are not the problem. The extremes are tearing apart our country. In general, we all want to get along. During the election, I wanted to team with Nicholas Cage to find the Declaration of Independence. I wanted America to be single for a while until we could find ourselves. I wanted Obama to go month to month until we figure this thing out. The Biden memes – absolutely HIRLARIOUS!
What I really want though is for Trump to tell me he does not agree with his loud extremist voice. Maybe he is waiting to be sworn in. Because of all the hate that has been done in the name of black lives matter, I will change it up a bit. I want Trump to tell me that African-American lives matter, that brown lives matter – that he does not agree with the views of his loudest supporters. The same way that Republican lives matter and blue lives matter.
This is not some random extremist group which I can ignore. We have elected him president. And I need to know is that he has a voice. I need to know he will use it for me….
I cried during the singing of the national anthem yesterday…
I have been told by the US that my protest does not matter, that my life does not matter, that my vote does not matter…
So please excuse me if my first instinct is not to look at the “real” issues. I get it. You voted for policy. I get that you have that luxury in life. So many of my Trump voters, I understand. I do not want you to believe that I am mad at you for any reason.
I just needed you to see my reality. My reality is that I cannot take that chance. His father was a confirmed member of the KKK. Yes, much of what surrounds Trump is speculation. Yet, he has done nothing to confirm otherwise. I believe you when you say it had nothing to do with me.
I am me, though. And my new president’s silence…speaks louder than his voice ever could.
God bless America.
What are some moments your true honest thoughts about this election?
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