Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I've been wanting to return to blogging for a while now, for no other reason than I truly enjoy writing, and I guess what better time to come back, right?

Generally and fiscally speaking, I identify more as a Republican. While I passionately believe in equality and the right for people to do what they please so long as it's not hurting others, when it comes to politics I focus--or used to focus--much more on financial issues than social issues. I believe in being held accountable for your own actions, improving your situation by your own efforts, and having a stronger national defense. But in recent years, I've found myself disappointed and confused by the Republican party, and this early morning's results didn't help.

I think it's safe to say this election has been tough for everyone. It scares me how many times I overheard people discuss the candidates and mention a "lesser of two evils." I truly believe not everyone who voted for Trump is because they're a Trump supporter; I believe--rather, I have to believe--a lot of the votes were cast for the Republican Party after being frustrated with the economy. Normally, this would be me---but this year I could not. As a female American minority, a believer in human equality, a friend of gays and a mother of a daughter, there is no way my vote could be cast for someone who has said such despicable things and behaved in such an embarrassing way regardless of what political party he represents.

What makes me most nervous for our country now is the possible growth of hate and the increasing growth of ignorance. Again, I don't believe everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, but in the same breath I also don't believe everyone who voted for Trump is worried about our country's fiscal future. I worry not only for ourselves but more importantly for our daughters and sons that with such an ignorant man in the highest position of office, people will start becoming numb to ignorance and in turn become ignorant themselves, which will perpetuate hate, racism, bigotry and discrimination. That may sound dramatic, but I think any person of a minority race, any person with a disability, any person who is overweight, any person with strong religious beliefs, etc. has felt ignorance slap them in the face, and they understand and know how prevalent these issues still are.

An interesting thing happened to me a few weeks ago, and when I say interesting, I mean downright awful. While at a friends' Halloween party, I endured multiple racist comments to and about me for being Asian. A particular man made me feel ostracized, embarrassed, ashamed, sad, mad---like an ethnic invalid. I couldn't believe the sheer volume of comments he made about my race, let alone the content of his comments, and finally he made a comment to me that was so derogatory and demeaning, I had had enough. I told him how offensive and ignorant his comments were, how he was making me--and so many others at the party--incredibly uncomfortable, and that he could leave if he had such an issue with my race because no one else seemed to have a problem. I was so surprised---he immediately apologized; however, I was so filled with hurt, sadness and rage I wasn't able to accept his apology right away. I distanced myself and contemplated leaving, and he came up to me a few hours later and apologized again. This time, I was calm and able to see how genuinely and sincerely sorry he was for his words and actions. He started to say, "I was just joking..." and I cut him off and told him racial jokes and comments aren't funny. They're offensive and derogatory, and they perpetuate racism. He immediately apologized again and looked sad. He told me no one has ever confronted him, and he had no idea how he had made me and others feel. He continued to apologize and said he felt awful, and I truly believe he was genuinely sorry and didn't intentionally mean to make me feel so badly. I of course accepted his apology, and he said, "This is a huge learning experience for me. I've never had anyone put me in my place, and I've never had anyone tell me I was offensive---and I feel awful now." Obviously my intent was not to make him feel badly--I actually felt badly that I made him feel badly, which is a little messed up--but my hope is that maybe he thinks twice now before making a racist comment or discriminatory joke. I wish someone had stood up to Trump when he was younger.

I see so many Facebook and Instagram posts today about having hope and choosing love. While I love these messages and am appreciating the bond I see on social media, it's easy to write those things; it's harder to follow through in your actions. Out of everyone at the party who overheard and were offended by that guy's comments, not one single person said something to him---except me, and if I'm being honest it's only because he spoke directly to me in such a demeaning way. Had he not, I'm not sure if I would have said anything, not because I didn't have the courage to stand up to him but rather because I felt saying something to him might have made for an awkward and uncomfortable situation---even though ironically he was making it awkward and uncomfortable for myself and others. Today and moving forward, I implore you to act with hope and act with love. The next time you hear an offensive joke or racist comment, I strongly encourage you to tell the offender how it made you feel. You might feel awkward and uncomfortable, but I'm willing to bet whatever was said made someone else feel that same way---in addition to hurt, sadness, embarrassment and shame for something they cannot change, such as their race like me. Stand and speak up for your beliefs, don't just post about them. Love and kindness will always trump hate; that's not just something I believe in, it's something I've witnessed---we've all witnessed at some time or another.

I also see so many people posting, "What am I going to tell my children?" President-elect Trump isn't going to raise our children; we are. So while I can't speak for anyone but myself, I will tell you what I'm going to tell Sydney and my future child(ren): The great country we live in has gotten off-track in recent years, both major political parties at fault. (Say what you want; there's a reason a politician with a 40+ year career lost to an obnoxious celebrity with zero political experience.) You can't control everything, but you can control your actions---and regardless of gender, age, race, religion and/or beliefs, I will raise you to treat everyone with respect, kindness and love and expect you to do so accordingly. I will inspire and encourage your understanding and civic duty as an American, and I will support and sustain your thirst for political knowledge and provide you with every means I can for you to make educated and thoughtful decisions for yourselves in upcoming elections. I will love you wildly and unconditionally, selflessly and proudly. I will teach you gender has no limitations on what you want to do, and I will motivate you to be a badass woman/man, someone who has the courage to speak up for what you believe in and has the confidence to confront a bully. I will encourage you, Sydney and hypothetical, unborn daughter, to be sensitive, feminine and girly if you so choose to continue to be but also tough-skinned, self-assured and confident so you'll never feel it's acceptable to be subjected to sexism. To my hypothetical, unborn son, I will love you enough and teach you about respect for not only women but for everyone, so that you won't someday be a 70-year-old man walking around saying you 'grab p*ssy' to try and be cool. I will teach you how to be a gentleman and the art of chivalry but will show you by example women don't need to be rescued. I will also teach you how to use self-tanner properly should you ever choose to dabble with faux tanning your skin. Sydney, this goes for you as well.

I'm nervous and excited to see where our country goes from here. Hopefully this election and the public's response will awaken and motivate both major political parties to figure it out for 2020 and beyond. Hopefully this will also encourage women that gender truly has no boundaries, and I can't wait to see a woman vs. woman presidential election someday. And most hopefully President-elect Donald Trump will be considerably more poised, respectful, considerate, polished and mature than reality star and Presidential candidate Donald Trump and will follow through on his promises to make America great again. But for now what's done is done, and I can only control how I treat others and raise my children. Today, and always, I choose, act and speak for hope and love.

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