For the first time in my life, I feel like I do not belong.”
That was a text I received from my Latino friend last week. If it doesn’t break your heart, or if you cannot understand why he, and I, and so many others feel that way, my heart aches for you.
This is not the United States I honor, the diverse, beautiful United States I am from. We have regressed so, so much with just one election, and so many people cannot even see that. People of color, women, immigrants, the disabled, Muslims, the LGBTQ community—we are all hurting. Yet so many people do not understand why. So many people believe we minorities are overreacting. Imagine how undeniably privileged one has to be to have that mindset. I so genuinely wish they could understand what this means for us.
My heart hurts. My heart hurts for those of us who are directly impacted. My heart hurts for those of you who do not understand the gravity of this outcome, who cannot see the terrible impact this will have on so many communities. So many families. So many human beings, who are no different from you. You support an America where these people do not have certain, unalienable rights. An America that believes all human beings are not created equal. An America significantly less free.
And my heart hurts for OU specifically. I have seen various instances of racial mistreatment on campus. This truly concerns me, especially because after these occurrences take place, all the university does is publicly apologize, and wait for it to happen again, so they can publicly apologize—again. I do not see any bold actions being taken to correct these situations, but something must be done.
- As students, we must learn to constantly show kindness and compassion.
- We must show empathy and love to all.
- We must stand up to hate and oppression when we see it.
Love must win. Love, equality, and justice must prevail. “This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” It is up to us to stand up and continue to make ourselves heard. We cannot lose to bigotry. We must continue to go high. We need to move forward into becoming a loving, accepting country, in SPITE of our President. Love will always, always trump hate.
Click to continue reading the issue “Disrupting Racism at OU.”
Valentina Caballero is studying International Studies. She quotes, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”