I am so proud to be an American. We live in a democracy that allows us freedom of speech, the ability to vote, makes it lawful that we can love who we want to love, that we can be black or white or hispanic or asian or indian or any other multitude of ethnicities-- and under law, we are equal. Under law, we are equal. Public opinion shapes policy, and it is the people who decide to act under these policies. When someone is racist, they are wrong. When someone is sexist, they are wrong. When someone is discriminatory towards people with disability, they are wrong. How our country stands today, under the policies we have currently adopted, all of these things we want to fear are wrong.

I like to think that half of our country is not inherently racist, sexist, or generally against efforts for equality because of this election. It is not wrong to fear when fear is all that has been perpetuated to us by terror groups, mass media, and other factions that are uncontrollable to the average person. We must begin to take the steps to understand how our country has split, fairly evenly, into a group that fears and a group that is hopeful. We are such a polarized country now because fear makes us insecure and possessive. For an incredibly religious person to support gay marriage, they have to denounce something that they believe to their core despite the fear that it could affect their being. For someone who is pro-life to support Planned Parenthood, they have to abandon the fear that an unborn child is being murdered. They don't want immigrants because they fear for the safety of our citizens. While many of us have come to understand what the real meaning of individual liberty is in relationship to those things, some people simply have not yet come to understand.

For those of us that do understand, it is not the time to abandon everything that we have worked so hard to achieve. It is not time to point fingers and place blame. I understand that my gay family members might lose their freedom to marry whomever they want. I understand that my little brother could be paid more than me for doing the exact same job. I understand that the disabled people I volunteered for every summer can't expect respect from our elected president. I understand that today when I walk past international students at my incredible school, some of them would be forced to undergo deportation if our president had his way.
But these are all fears. These are all things that have not happened yet. These are all things that will not break our country. America has withstood worse under less equal conditions.
If people are acting out of fear, it is far different from them acting out of hatred.
I am so incredibly proud to be an American, where I have the freedom to fight to ensure that my loved ones, classmates, friends, and people that I will never even meet do not lose their personal freedoms.


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