2016: The Year of Reevaluation

I am in shock. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking that America just voted in a racist unqualified man into office. I still did not digest the fact that Donald J. Trump is going to be our new President for four years. Now, I have called Donald J. Trump so many names throughout the elections. I have called racist, xenophobe, Islamophobe, homophobe, and much more. On January 20th he will be our sworn in President, and I never had the habit to disrespect a sitting leader.

I decided today that I will join the opposition forces. By opposing, I will be mobilizing, engaging, and rallying people to get more involved. By opposing, I will keep on educating myself and help others get educated about public policy. By opposing, I will plan for the 2018 Midterm Elections and work towards turning our House blue again. Others have different styles of opposition that I personally do not believe in. Protests are cool, but ineffective sometimes. Social media posts are cool, but not enough. We need a movement. We need a real wave of young people willing to call for change.

I call on all people whom are afraid today to not be afraid. We all vented last night. We all freaked out. We all posted on social media. The time has come to actually be part of the difference. Our social media posts will not take us anywhere. Sitting at home and not voting will not take us anywhere. There are winners and losers in every election. Hate won this election, and not Donald Trump. Racism won this election and not Donald Trump. Bigotry won this election and not Donald Trump. Donald Trump never scared me. He is a smart man indeed, and he used the right rhetoric to get these votes. What scares me is how normalized hate is today in America. How normalized is racism, bigotry, Islamophobia and Homophobia. What scares me is how normalized it is for us to divide so easily over an election.

Trump’s slogan is to Make America Great Again. I certainly believe that America has always been on the path to greatness. I, Omar Kurdi, vow to continue to be the best American citizen that I can possibly be. Not for Trump, not for Hillary, but for me, Americans, and America. You see, the election is over, results are out, and we can’t change them. I cried enough about it. It’s time to actually make things happen.

To Hillary Clinton. I had many reasons to back you up. I also had many reasons to not back you up. This was a tough choice for me. You’ve made mistakes, and you’ve admitted to them. You also ran a unifying campaign that unfortunately never got the airtime like the other one. You also ran for a party that failed the only candidate I ultimately believed in, Bernie Sanders. I did not fully decide to vote for you until I knew that maybe this will be my way of helping Bernie make things happen through voting all blue. Our government is all red today, and I blame the Democratic Party for that. The Dems need reform, and I hope that this election is the lesson that the party needed to start reforming from the top to bottom.

To my fellow Arabs and Muslims, this is our moment to realize that we need to get more involved to be taken more seriously as a constituency. They will never acknowledge us if we don’t show up at the polls. They will never understand us, if we don’t understand them. We have to become part of the process. It starts with educating ourselves and our younger ones. It starts with understanding what being an American is. We have family members in countries overseas that are dying to vote in an election. Let’s not take this opportunity for granted. I urge you to register to vote, and get involved so we can make things happen in 2018 and 2020.

To people of color, Latinos, LGBT, and every minority that is threatened by a Trump presidency. Fear nothing. You are here to stay. This is your home. Live your lives, and continue to call for the change that you deem is right. They want us to be quiet, but this is not the time for that.

To the America that I love, I will never let one candidate intimidate me to the point that I’ll have to check another country’s immigration website. I am staying here, I will work here, and I will continue to do the best I can do to help those who need to help. America, you elected a president, but it’s time to look at the people who truly need us and who go unnoticed. It’s time we help our Homeless, and spend time helping those with disabilities. These two populations need us today.

2016 is a year that I will never forget. It showed me who truly respects me, my background, and my faith. It showed me who is truly a real American citizen who understands why this country was originally founded. It also showed me that the beauty of this place is being able to speak my mind without fear. Here I am officially acknowledging myself as President-Elect Donald Trump’s opposer. Here I am also promising to praise the good that he will do if he does, and to criticize the bad that he will do if he does.

Ask me how to get involved and let’s do this together! Let’s keep America great.

God Bless America.

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