Personal is Political

I was doing a video profile assignment this week and had the luxury of being invited to an event that engages in discussion on life at the university. Dish It Up, is a weekly program that runs in the Oasis Student Lounge that invites students, faculty and outsiders to talk about topics each member brings up. Following the heat of the election, this week’s rendition had great rhetoric about the changes in politics.

The emotional investment that makes this events successful is driven by opinion. This raw take and perspective makes the event genuine. As I set myself up in the corner for the beginning, a pastor stood and introduced the topic that has been bothering his mind. The audience, made up of a diverse group of individual, listened and nodded their head in approval.

The topic of the day was “Trump’s Presidency”. While they were political science majors in the discussions, the voices of everyone were equal. Many agreed that republican values have justifiable appeals, but they’re discussion stretches across that. An African-American woman spoke out:

“Many of them are pro-life, and that’s all right. But can you support pro-life if it comes with racism, bigotry?”

This quote was strongly engraved in my mind. We each have our political ideals, our agendas, but truly are our needs so important? The core of the argument was that the privileged are willing to overlook racism and sexism because it does not affect them. This win-win scenario is not shared by the minorities and the poor.

The proposed solution by the group was education, not in the form of a degree or a PhD, but the simple human values that we cherish. Kindness, compassion, empathy, humility and love. If the individual is innately taught to be good, to be aware, there is nothing that can dissuade him or her from the truth. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or left, what’s matter is that your vote counts and it should be an educated decision.

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