The View from Here: Let’s move towards unity

It has only been a month into the year, and yet it seems like our country has been bombarded with an entire years worth of scandals, issues and problems. Unfortunately for us, everything seems to be getting worse as our nation continues to divide.

The U.S. is supposed to be a beacon of hope and freedom to those in need. It’s even engraved on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The quote is from the poem, “The New Colossus,” written by American poet, Emma Lazarus. It’s a beautiful poem that portrays the idea of what America is supposed to be: a melting pot, and the land of opportunities.

Right now, it doesn’t feel like we’re a country with open arms. Instead, our nation is seen as a wall building, Muslim banning, Harambe worshiping, and kitty-grabbing living meme. We mocked BREXIT. We mocked the Philippines for electing President Duterte. Now we’re the butt of a joke that isn’t very funny.

Well, this joke has to end.

The only way the joke will stop is if the country can come together. Cheesy, I know, but it’s the truth. It feels like the nation is stuck in the idea of categorizing people in polarizing bipartisan ideals. You’re conservative, liberal, black, white, Catholic, Muslim, straight, gay, and the list goes on.

At the end of the day, we’re all Americans.

Whatever side you’re on, just know that there aren’t any “alternative facts” to what’s morally right or wrong. Yes, there are plenty of grey areas, but things like natural human rights should not be debatable. Everyone should have equal rights regardless of their gender, religion, color of skin, or sexual orientation.

Try to understand the opposite side’s perspective. Start asking more questions. Why are they protesting the so-called “Muslim Ban” that President Trump has signed? Why are people defending the ban? The more questions you ask, the more answers you’ll get, and the closer you are to understanding one another.

Don’t stop questioning issues that bother you. If it doesn’t seem right, question it. If you know something is wrong, let your voice be heard. You don’t have to be a journalist to have a voice, or to ask the hard questions. Keep an open mind to the questions and answers you receive.

And whatever you learn, don’t forget that our country needs unity to strive. We’re supposed to be living in the United States of America, not the Divided States of America.