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Elections 2017: A great Victory for Minorities

Elections 2017: A great Victory for Minorities

Elections 2017: A great Victory for Minorities
November 09
15:31 2017

Eva Reinoso Tejada

The Ferris Wheel has begun to turn, and everything that goes up, must come down. The cyclical nature of politics begins to show up across the country with Tuesday’s election results. Usually, an election like this one, where no high offices were at stake, could have been considered less important; but this election has been, at the least, very revealing.

We have endured the hate language used by the president, from the very first day he announced his candidacy more than two years ago, to address immigrants. Particularly cruel towards Mexicans. We have seen ethnic and religious minorities being targeted and cornered. We have seen women being passed over for leadership positions, in the best scenarios, and objectified as something that you can ‘grab’, in the worst cases. Transgender members of our Armed Forces have been discarded and their service dismissed as less valuable, in less than 140 characters. Immigrants and refugees from the Middle East have been demonized, while white supremacists have been called ‘good people’, all while domestic mass shooters are just people ‘with problems’. This is a total horror movie.

But on Tuesday, something changed in our country. Amongst the most notable, in the state of Virginia, Danica Roem, transgender journalist, won a spot at the State Legislature that had been held for the past 13 terms by Bob Marshall, the Republican incumbent that, during the campaign, refused to use the appropriate pronouns to address Danica, who also had tried to pass a law banning transgender individuals from using public restrooms. Roem focused her campaign on roads and transit issues, while Marshall focused his campaign on attacking Roem and her gender identity. There are the results.

Without going too far, in Aurora, the most diverse city in Colorado, with a massive Hispanic community, Crystal Murillo got elected to the City Council, being the first Hispanic to have that spot in more than 20 years. The list of victories like this is long, and it includes many first-times, for African Americans, Asians, members of minority religions, and members of the LGBT community. This election has been defined as “a great electoral victory for minorities and underrepresented communities in the country.”

Of course, we got the usual tweet from the President, this time celebrating the first anniversary of his election. He emphasized that his victory was spectacular, and intentionally ignored the big elephant in the room: The fact that this election shows how the conservative party is beginning to pay the political price of his presidency.

Without a doubt, these results allow for a small light of optimism looking forward. It also makes me think that people gets tired of negative messages day and night. People gets tired of seeing minorities being systematically attacked and demonized in ways that are unjust.

I read a comment by Nicole Melaku, who leads CIRC, an immigrant advocacy organization in Colorado, who said: “It is important to reject hate. In our family nucleus, or from wherever it comes… our job will be focused on stopping the spread of hate against immigrants.” I couldn’t agree more with Nicole, but I would add that our country is suffering of an overload of hate discourse. But we must be careful. Hate speech travels in many directions. It would be tempting for me to hate in response to hate, which takes us all to the same mud pit. It is a must for the newly elected leaders to focus on specific goals, and these goals must not be tainted with hate or revenge, or the simple pleasure of destroying an opponent. Those leaders who seek the good for the whole community, including those who didn’t offer their support, will be the ones who prevail and win at this complicated game of politics.


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Edición Virtual | #315 | 21 de Junio 2018

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