Why I Joined The Resistance by Brianda Quinones
November 8, 2016 is a day that I will never forget. I was among the millions of Americans that were left with a feeling that felt like Coronary Heart Disease had plagued our lives; I found myself looking for answers. The morning of November 9th felt like I was walking in a hollow tunnel with no end in sight. How did this happen? How could a man who disparaged human dignity be the President of the United States? My mind was filled with questions. To be quite honest, I felt hopeless. As a young Mexican-American woman, I felt like the country that I had honored and proudly proclaimed as my home had let me down. You see, the United States of America is a country that was built by the very things that Trump attacked. Immigrants were welcomed on Ellis Island for over 60 years. Irish, Polish, Italians, Germans and various other groups were welcomed. Around 12 million immigrants migrated to the United States during these 60 years. 12 million immigrants made their own communities and introduced their cultures to a country that was seen as the melting pot. Those 12 million brought customs and cultures that would build the foundation of American culture. American history proved that immigrants helped create the almighty nation that reigns as leader of the free world… so why did a country, that was built by immigrants, elect a man who used xenophobic remarks to win the presidency?
The weeks that followed were—interesting, for lack of a better word. A clear divide between Democrats and Republicans emerged. Disputes between conservative values and liberal progression consumed my timeline. A modern day cyber-civil war consumed the minds of American voters. I was among those who were active participants in social media disputes. The more I wrote, the less frustrated I felt. So I thought. Really, I think I was trying to make up for the lack of effort and participation that I had offered the 2016 election. Like most of my millennial peers, I had relied on social media marketing to promote my candidate. I did not volunteer in any canvassing events, I did not make any phone calls, I donated money but that wasn’t enough. I didn’t do enough. I think that was the issue that plagued the Democratic Party as a whole; we simply didn’t do enough to win. Instead of spending my energy educating uninformed trolls online, I should’ve spent my weekends rallying my community, and getting them out to vote. As a first generation American, I should have done more because it is my family who would be affected the most. I joined the resistance because I didn’t do enough to prevent the need for a resistance. I am as responsible as the people who voted for Trump. I learned a valuable lesson on November 8, 2016. Never again will I be a passive bystander.