As an American, I feel that I can’t not say anything about the election. You have likely heard countless opinions, both on the Internet and in daily conversation, over the last few days, but take a moment to hear me out. Yes, this doesn’t have a direct link to books (yet, I’m getting there!) but hear me out.
First off, no, I am not yet of age to vote, but that doesn’t mean that my opinion doesn’t matter. I did not love either one of the candidates but had I been able to, I would’ve voted for Hillary Clinton.
In these few days following the election of Donald Trump, hate crimes have risen dramatically. I have seen and heard about bullying of LGBT, Hispanic, and other minority students in my own school, even though my state voted for Clinton.
So many people said that they will move to Canada that Canada’s immigration website crashed almost immediately after Trump was elected. To those people, I say: stay here. We cannot run from our problems. We must stay here and fight for our rights. We must stay here and stand up to Trump. If we give in and run away we are only giving Trump more power; we are only exacerbating the problem.
My other plea is that we treat each other with kindness. Trump won because he was able to tap into the divisiveness and frustration that so many people in our country feel. To those who are ending relationships or dividing themselves because of varying political views: stop. We must respect each other’s beliefs. When we do not, we are only adding to the problem. Five of my closest friends are Trump supporters. The day after the election, I took a day to give myself some space from them. But the very next day, I hugged each one of them and we carried on. We are still friends. We share so much in common that our political views are truly irrelevant, and this goes for every other American.
So, how does this relate to books? As readers and writers, we possess an immeasurable power to create change. We have voices, and they will not be silenced. We must keep reading, we must keep writing, we must keep creating. Stand up. Fight for what you believe in. Read. Write. Create. Most of all, be kind.
A Post-Election Reading List:
The following is a list of books I have compiled that time and time again have offered me comfort and bravery. Let us turn to our fictional heroes and heroines for inspiration, courage, and solace.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Harry Potter by JK Rowling