I can’t believe I’m staying this, but…
Donald J. Trump is our President.
A man who has founded his entire campaign off of racism, sexism, bigotry, xenophobia, fraud, corruption, fascism, and a slew of other “ism’s.”
At the beginning of his campaign, Trump floored the entire right-minded country when he announced his plans to build an “impenetrable, indestructible” wall at the boarder of Mexico, keeping immigrants from entering the country.
As bizarre and far-fetched as this proposal has come off to the general public, it has now become a possible reality following his election.
And as much as I hate to accept this possibility, the last couple of days have deemed a necessary time for self-reflection as I ask myself, have I already built a wall of my own?
This idea, to divide, to close off our country to those that “don’t belong” or who are often referred to as outsiders and aliens, has struck the heart strings of millions of other Americans that have created in their minds what their world looks like if America was “Made Great Again.” A world that many of us, myself included, have too created.
Social media is to us as candy is to a diabetic, it’s good in moderation, but potentially life threatening if one indulges. And my, have we indulged.
This medium, first introduced as a means to connect the world and gain/maintain our interactions with people who would otherwise be left at the mercies of a real-life phone call (remember those?), has shifted into our news source and our own little world. It has literally made the world smaller, much to our demise.
On Tuesday night, I watched in amazement as the Midwestern, Southern, and Western parts of the country revealed themselves, red with hatred, wondering, who are these people & where the heck did they come from?? And it wasn’t until the next day while discussing the results with a white, male co-worker of mine that things started to connect: I am in a bubble.
Funny how the blue state of New York functions in times of turmoil. Universal forces pull perfect strangers together for spontaneous protests and even impromptu subway discussions.
On the same night I realized the existence of my bubble, I decided to step outside of it and speak to three young women: one white, one Filipino, and the other Black, all of which had just left the first of many protests right outside the Trump Towers on 5th Ave. I soon found that they too shared my same sentiments, “The bubble has made it easy for us to believe our side was winning,” stated AnneMarie, an educator who seemed pensive under the circumstances as she offered her hope in our future. “You can see our generation and the one[s] behind us are extremely progressive,” she shared. “I mean, look at us. We’re complete strangers uniting on this one issue.”
Yes, strangers indeed, who decided that night make a step towards breaking down our walls by joining in a discussion about the state of the future before us.
There are many types of walls that social media & even our inner circles have created for us. Racial walls, economic walls, gender walls, political walls, religious walls, regional walls, educational walls. All of which we chime into every time we pick up our phones.
“I think there’s something special about social media & the way it’s brought us all together and connected us, but it has contributed highly to this bubble we’ve created for ourselves,” shared Zalika, the one other Black women contributing to this discussion.
Anna interjects, “like a chamber; like we’re in a chamber of our own thoughts. We get on our soapbox [on social media] because it makes us feel better, but all we do is receive the same affirmations.”
Just look at your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feed and you’ll see this vividly manifested.
The friends you still follow from high school all grew up in the same city/town/community as you. Bubble. Then you went to college/started your career and met a new cluster of individuals who shared your same views and became new citizens to your world. Bubble. Now, the influencers you follow most likely inspire you in some way because they share the same beliefs, interests, and backgrounds as you. Bubble. Anything deviating or deemed as unfit for this world gets unfollowed, blocked, deported.
Even for those who say, “If you follow/support Trump, unfollow me,” shrinks their bubble even more. By excluding those opposing voices, no matter how problematic, one becomes even more sheltered and pacified by the soothing sounds of agreement and confirmation.
This isn’t to say that you don’t have the right to protect your space because self-care is essential. However, there has to be a common ground where exclusion does not mean obliviousness.
I look at “the media” and see its simultaneous segregation and partnership with “social media”. With the rise in the cord-cutter generation, our worlds further divide from Baby Boomers who rely heavily on network broadcasting for their news, and share/reshare their articles of interest among fellow Baby Boomers. While on the other hand, Millennials and Gen Z’ers indulge in content shared through social media with their like-minded counterparts.
The only issue here is that with all of clickbait articles, meme logic, accompanied by the Milo Yiannopoulos’ of the world, the ability to distinguish what is true and what are simply fabricated half-facts becomes more and more difficult to recognize. Then, these articles are published, shared within our worlds, and we form our opinions.
What awaits us in the next 4 years or 1457 days from now, if you’re counting down like me, is unclear. The unknown can be daunting, but also encouraging because there are so many possibilities before us plan/strategize/organize, especially with the strategic use of social media and the sharing of true information. But in order to reach common ground and truly unite, we must first make an effort to tear down our self-constructed walls and built a new world inclusive and equal for all who resides in it.
How did you take the news of Trump becoming out president? Still in shock? Or has it motivated you to breakdown your walls and find a solution? Let me know that you think of this in the comments below, I’d love to here. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share if this post touched you.
Peace, peace, peace,