As an elementary school teacher, I’d chosen to keep my opinions about “The Donald” to myself and inner circle of family and friends, hopeful that our president-elect wasn’t going to be as awful or misogynistic as he made himself sound. Optimistic that he merely spewed racist, sexist, and hateful comments in an attempt to garner more votes from who knows where and not because he truly believed them. Yet a few days following Trump’s inauguration, I have come to the realization that he is a greater nightmare and threat to what our country stands for than I could’ve ever possibly imagined.
Recently I’ve debated on whether or not I should speak out about my opinions regarding Donald Trump, especially since as a teacher, I am supposed to remain somewhat unbiased when teaching them about the American political system. I’m not supposed to skew their points of views, and am supposed to help them research and develop their own opinions regarding contradictory issues/people. And as a food and health blogger, politics isn’t necessarily my niche. Yet I know now that silence is no longer an option.
Being silent is in many ways being complacent, and frankly, it’s unhealthy. Sitting idly by while Trump overturns what we and Obama had worked so hard to protect and enforce (healthcare, protected national lands, climate change, civil rights, women’s rights, immigrants, refugees, etc.), is irresponsible of me. It’s vital, I think, for people to remember that if they believe in something, they should stand up for it: peacefully. Peacefully doesn’t mean insulting everyone who opposes your views or is a Trump supporter. It doesn’t mean vandalizing property or reacting violently in anyway. It merely means letting your voice be heard.
We all have the freedom of speech. It’s a privilege that you, me, and everybody should be exercising in order to take a stand now for what we believe in. No matter how terrifying it is to reveal my opinions to all my readers on this blog, to strangers, to acquaintances, to people all over the world–it’s time to let it be known that I stand with all the people opposing the Trump Administration, and I’m ready to do whatever it takes to stand up for what I believe in. Are you?
If you are, the question now is where do we begin?
Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. There are plenty of peaceful ways to make a difference (on a large or small scale).
1. Stay Informed
This one is definitely the most important. Read news articles, listen to radio stations, watch the news station, and have conversations with the people around you to stay informed about what the government (namely Trump) is doing. Yes, the media can often be biased, and in today’s case, biased against Trump. But this doesn’t mean that the media is feeding you lies. The facts are there. You get to form your own opinions.
If you see something questionable or only one article containing certain facts, research them and engage in discussions with people that have various points of views. If you don’t understand something, ask questions or Google the answers. That’s the most amazing thing about today’s world, all the answers are a click away, all we have to do is search for them.
Some reliable and generally unbiased sources to help you remain informed are:
CNN (slightly more democratic)
2. Inform Others
During the age of social media, where news can spread quicker than the blink of an eye, it has become more feasible to keep all people informed. Share articles that you find intriguing or informing on your Facebook, Twitter, or Google + accounts. Text new things that you’ve learned and send articles to your loved ones. And like I mentioned in number 1, talk to people. Don’t be afraid to engage in respectful political discourse with other people (preferably in person where the likelihood of conversation turning hostile is lower).
3. Contact Your Senator
Don’t like what you’re seeing? Contact your senator. As a public school teacher, I definitely do not think Betsy DeVos is qualified to be our Secretary of Education. And so one way to voice my concerns is to send a message to my senator: Write a Letter.
You can also call other senators in the U.S. to voice your concerns.
Susan Collins (ME) 207.622.8414..&..202.224.2523
Lamar Alexander (TN) 615.736.5129..&..202.224.4944
Lisa Murkowski (AK) 907.586.7277..&..202.224.6665
Johnny Isakson (GA) 770.661.0999..&..202.224.3643
Orrin Hatch (UT) 801.524.4380..&..202.224.5251
Richard Burr (NC) 336.631.5125..&..202.224.3154..&.. 910.251.1058..&..828.350.2437
Michael Enzi (WY) 202.224.3424
Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA) 202.224.5824
Pat Roberts (KS) 202.224.4774
Tim Scott (SC) 202.224.6121
Rand Paul (KY) 202.224.4343
4. Participate in Peaceful Protests
Search for peaceful movements that cover issues that you’re passionate about. Many movements, such as the Women’s March, have amassed hoards of people who have similar beliefs. You can let your voice be heard, inspire others to take action, and surround yourself with people who are fighting for the same cause.
If you stay informed and talk to other people, you’ll discover what protests are in your area. Currently, if you’re willing to travel or have the means to travel, the North Dakota Pipeline Access needs your support to stop the construction of a pipeline. This pipeline, if approved, would be traveling through the Sioux Tribe’s lands, and could potentially damage their sacred burial sites and contaminate their drinking water (which, as we’re witnessing on the news, these pipelines do leak).
Also, a student’s parent of mine mentioned that another way to learn about what resistance movements are taking place is through this calendar: The Resistance Calendar. You should discover what is occurring in your area and participate!
5. Encourage Others to Let Their Voices be Heard
Sometimes people, like me, are afraid to state their beliefs for the world to see. It’s frightening to expose yourself–to make yourself vulnerable like this. But now, more than ever, is the time to speak out against the atrocities that Donald Trump is attempting to commit.
Write, read, discuss ideas with people ‘face-to-face‘, educate, be respectful, and don’t be afraid to let it be known that what Donald Trump is doing is not okay.