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Photo by PartTime Portraits on Unsplash

In elementary school — you hear about slavery — but not that it was bad. Sometime or somewhere else, whether it be another grade, from your parents, or the internet if you’re young enough, you learn slavery was a form of evil by entitled people who got away with it as long as they could.

If you’re a decent human — you learned of it and thought: “Wow — people were sh*t back then. How could they let that happen?”

But someday — A few generations from now (at least), there will be a people who say that about us. They will hear the things Trump did, read the things Trump tweeted, and January 6, 2021 will make it into history books about how Trump incited a coup on the United States of America. That’s what this time will be remembered for. …


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NOAH BERGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

A Woman Vice President? What the…

I’m trying to remember being 9 years old, equipped with my used 3rd grade history textbook. Flipped to the right page, there were portraits of 40~ white men displayed side-by-side like an unnecessary yearbook. They were the United States’ presidents. I never questioned the monotonous race or sex as I stared at ugly faces and pre-trend contoured cheekbones. At the time, I likely reasoned that white and male 40 times in a row is normal. I am not white, but unquestioningly, I must have thought my immigrant parents just rented space in this country, trying to taste that sweet, juicy, freedom that George Washington bragged about in earlier chapters of the book. But I owe myself the comparison to think about me now versus that 9-year-old. Perhaps I can give today’s 9-year-olds some perspective since they’ve just witnessed Kamala Harris break centuries of unyielding ground in United States politics. …


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Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

How can this moment feel as monumental as it does regular, dull, and Monday evening? Is it even Monday? The ceiling fan above slowly turns, suddenly bothering me. The roof is splitting by gushed Brooklyn winds. What about the ticking clock in the room? It only seems to tick when I notice it’s there.

I’m in Bed-Stuy, and the 2020 presidential election is tomorrow. I’m alone, eating bad food, unable to concentrate. I was supposed to get work done. Yesterday, I spent 10 hours on my iPhone (it was daylight saving, so that makes it a little okay, right?! 25 hour day!), scrolling tweets, news, headlines, tracking the Liberal and Conservative stump trains as if it’s my job. We’re all nervous, afraid, restraining ourselves to admit that we think he’s going to win, too burned from 2016 to say it out loud. …


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NBC News

I imagine Chris Wallace was in his dressing room before the first Presidential Debate prepping himself in front of the mirror, similar to this bunny (below) embarks on his own professional obligations — obligations which I can’t presume to know.


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Major events remind me I have too many badge notifications for apps on my phone turned ‘on.’ I grab my phone annoyed, awaiting which politician or celebrity broke news in today’s cancel culture. But this time, each notification is necessary. The NYT, NPR, CNN, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, WaPo; each stack over the other on my lock screen announcing the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It takes that many notifications, each sinking my heart further down my body, to believe this is real and that the sewing of progress could be undone.

The immediacy in which politicians and Americans responded to what happens now that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passed is a testament to her importance and position. …


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The documented brutalities against innocent black people should be proof enough that the Black Lives Matter movement is justified. 2020 has forced us to pull the weeds rooted in America —lasering in on non-violent racism, because the protests over the year haven’t been enough, and because the silent forms of racism breed loud ones. And it’s brought us to today — coming to terms that perpetrators believe they can get away with treating black people like scum. To many, it’s a no-brainer. Society (we) treat black people worse than any other race. …


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Photo by Rafael Leão on Unsplash

A day after watching the Mr. Rogers biographical film starring Tom Hanks, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” I woke up to a stuffed Twitter feed denouncing the racism in the United States.

This is not unusual. If you watch the news, you likely need more than ten fingers to count the number of innocent black men killed by white civilians or police officers in recent years. But there was something off about this breadth of racism compared to recent days. It’s come during a pandemic, where COVID and quarantine fill our minds and headlines, most recently how we must act when tired of social distancing guidelines despite consistent numbers of new cases. It’s the day after a holiday weekend honoring our military personnel, a day some refer to as the start of summer. …


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Over 6 years, he loosened the church’s tight fabric — finding weaved within a hypocrisy they were committed to keep hidden: that his church doesn’t deem a gay man equal to others.

I’m talking about Johnny Santiago. He’s an Interior Designer, an aspiring rich Interior Designer…oh and he’s gay…and loves God.

This story is about the last two parts.

It’s the last days of 2019. I’m with Johnny at The Robey Hotel’s second floor lounge in Wicker Park, Chicago. Flecks of snow drift in the Wicker Park air through the surrounding window, overlooking Milwaukee Ave.

It’s coincidental ending the decade with the story that snatched most of Johnny’s 2010s, how the church he loved for 6 years, one he donated hundreds of Sundays, numerous tithes, and countless hours in supporting roles, couldn’t admit they don’t view the LGBTQ community equally. A church that pursued him to be a Coach, offered a position to lead their Youth Ministry, and asked him to help design events and coordinate worship gatherings, avoided straightforward answers for years, entangling Johnny in confusion of whether or not he was truly accepted. …


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Wikimedia

It’s 4:36pm PST, February 22nd, at the time I’m writing this. Nevada will go to Bernie. America seems to like recognizable names. Bernie, Hilary, Donald, George. There are 6 strong candidates heading into 47 more states (+territories) that will pass around delegates to decide the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election.

[Update 4:39pm PST — Vox projects Nevada goes to Bernie]

I still can’t tell you why Trump won the electoral college in 2016, and now I’m confused at how Bernie Sanders managed to score the first three caucuses for this primary. But there’s no coincidence that both are backed by a strong militia of social media vigilantes unperturbed by the vitriol it takes to win elections online. I recently read somewhere that we don’t vote for just ourselves in mind, we vote for our society in mind. Bernie supporters want a radical progressive takeover. Trump supporters want to shut out anyone that looks or thinks differently than archaic, nationalistic ideology. Society looks different to everyone. …


I spent the last few months moving around Vietnam, India, the Bay area, LA, San Diego, Seattle, and Chicago. I have belongings spread out between three American coasts (there is a third). Don’t ask me what my plan is. I do not have an answer. My shifts represent the fragments darting inside. Most people I tell get stressed out hearing it.

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Hanoi, Vietnam

I know so many people who don’t question things, so I question my questioning. Or is it them…because they don’t talk about it? Or they don’t talk about it with me? Is it better to be closed off? There’s no right way, I try to tell myself. Breathe in acceptance. Breathe out expectation. …

About

Nisha Mathur

Current Events, Well-being, and Social Science

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