Riley Speaks

"all i have is a voice" ~ w.h. auden

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It’s Not Okay.

20th January…the third Friday of the year…the most horrific of them all (and we had a Friday 13th already).

It is the day supposed President elect Donalda Trumpet gets sworn in. We watch as Barack Obama has to leave the oval office for the last time. Our hope of pushing forward is leaving with him.

To those that are scared sh*tless, I understand. I’m scared and I live on the other side of the world. I’m terrified for you. I’m terrified for the immigrants that face the fear of being deported back to a land that is destroyed. I’m terrified for the blacks, Latinos, and other coloured groups that will face racism beyond anything we’ve seen.

When you elect a tyrant, a mean and racist man, you allow hate to prevail. People voted for him with the prayer that they would be able to hate on specific groups of people. That’s what’s horrible about this election. We have seen how many people hate minority groups. We have been shown that the citizens of U.S do not care for disabled people. What should have been the end of his campaign was nothing but a stepping stone. We have seen that the citizens of the U.S do not care for woman – wanting to destroy their rights, the people of colour – being called rapists and other horrid unjustifiable things, and the LQBTQ+ community. Hate won out this election and it’s not okay.

Many voted because he promised to send the immigrants back to other countries. He promised job opportunities that will not exist. Immigrants are not stealing your jobs. We are stealing them from ourselves. We have created an excess of technology that complete the job at a lower cost – forcing many people out of jobs. There was no ONE group to blame. People wanted an answer, even if it was wrong. And Trumpet provided one. Remind you of another time in history?

It is an eerily similar election to that of Hitler. There is nothing that will compare to the holocaust, but this election is headed there. Fortunately with technology and the worlds ability to be aware of the situation in America, I predict Trumpet will not get far in the likes of Hitler’s regime. Other countries will force America to rethink their elected presidential choices. But the fact that we are in this place yet again proves that we are facing hard times ahead.

Sexual assault victims/survivors must watch a man known to think woman are his entitlement and a man with multiple assault claims under his name, woman are forced to watch him for four years. It’s not okay. I weep for these woman (and men) that have been through this and now have to watch a man known for sexual assault change their rights. They have to live with the knowledge that those that voted for him don’t care about woman (and men) being attacked. And they shouldn’t have to. None of this election is okay.

To anyone in the U.S, these next four years are about surviving. About making it through. Do not fear if progress is not made – if it is then what an accomplishment! But progress most likely will not happen in these next four years. You may see rights we’ve fought for be taken away. I want to say it’s okay, but it’s not. It sucks. But you will make it through. You have to. There is a fight on the other side of these four years that we need you for. There is a revolution growing and you are going to be apart of it.

If you need to remove religious items for the safety of your own life, your God will understand. It does not mean you believe any less, it does not make you a sinner or a pariah among your faith. This world is far worse than any God would have ever imagined it to get and people have deterred further from humanity. It is about keeping you safe and alive so that in four years from now – or earlier! – you are here to fight.

To those woman, men, and children that are taking to the citities around them in protest, bless you. You are the strength that so many of us are pulling from. I know many people felt alone after the news, seeing the solidarity proves no one is alone. Thank you.

It is okay to be upset. For all those saying “it’s just an election, you don’t need to cry” well aren’t they lucky? They don’t have to face the fear of losing their family, they don’t have to face the fear of having their medical insurance destroyed, they don’t have to face the fear of walking down the street terrified for their life. They are lucky. But they are wrong. It is not just an election, it is not just a loss of a vote. It is a hateful man being put in a place of power that can (and will) destroy minorities out of pure hatred. Nothing more. And it’s not okay.


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Heartache upon heartache – 2016 was a year from hell.

2016…what could have been a good, progressive year was not. Come July we thought “well, this HAS to be it. Only good from here.” We were wrong. It seemed just when you thoughtalan-kurdi people couldn’t become any more hateful and resentful they did. 2016 proved that so many people still hold hate so near and dear to their hearts. It showed that many people place their own privilege above saving lives – let’s vote for less tax, not someone that supports LGBTQ+ and pro-choice movements. It was a fight from the beginning.

But one thing I am so glad 2016 has brought us, is the undying truth that there is a fight for justice and solidarity in people. Finally people are no longer sitting idly by watching and hoping someone will do something. They are the doers. They are getting involved and helping and making a better tomorrow for ourselves and our future generations. We are asking “why” – a question that seems to have been left by the way side for far too long. Why are black lives being treated like a nuisance not the carefully crafted God created people they are? Why are woman being told to wear more, and men not told to stop being a vicious animal? Why are kids being bombed and killed? Why. Why. Why.

There is so much about 2016 that makes me mad, makes me upset, and makes me cry. The obvious one is the election of the U.S. Watching so much hope disappear from myself and millions of others too was devastating. The U.S could have had their first woman brian-snyder-tagpresident, they could have had someone that was going to fight for them – not fight against them. And they blew it. The world watched in awe (as did Hillary supporters) while the votes seemed to become a horror film no one paid to watch. It all seemed useless. It wasn’t just Trump’s policy’s. But the fact that so many people supported them. They said “hey, it doesn’t matter if woman can safely have an abortion as long as I can pay less tax”, they shouted “heck yeah, if Donald can assault woman so can I!” The most horrible picture I have ever seen is the photo of men as the results were announced. The pursubway-therapy-wall-union-square-subway-station-governor-andrew-cuomo-nyc-028e hatred they held towards woman was evident, I knew that they were cheering for all the wrong ways they would treat any woman that crossed their path. It crushed me.But I followed the journey of many families in NYC and saw as they still held these values, they still held hope. And that gave me hope. That it wasn’t the end. Maybe it would take longer to get where we’re going, but we would get there. No one was going to give up.

If I could say one thing to 2016, it would be “fuck you.” Fuck you for all that you put us through. For the kids in Aleppo (and their families), for the families of the victims of the Orlando club shooting. Fuck you for the deaths of so many talented people – we didn’t deserve this. Fuck you 2016, for forcing Standing Rock to be a thing of protest not hope. People shouldn’t have to fight for their right to survive. Fuck you for still not allowing Flint to have clean water – even though it’s been two years. Fuck you for being such a hardass. It wasn’t fair. We didn’t deserve any of this.

2017 – the year of progress. The year we will move passed all that was 2016. We will not forget it. We will not dismiss the way we felt. But we will not linger in the turmoil. We will build new homes, build new relationships – we will build a stronger, better future. We have strength and we have hope, we cannot give in to 2016.

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