Actions have Consequences

Written by Suzanne Graham

January 20th marked a new era for the United States as Trump left office for the last day and President Biden got sworn into office. While watching the inauguration, I felt pride at seeing the Obamas showing support as well as the Clinton and Bush families. In fact, the whole ceremony brought me back to elementary school when President Obama was sworn in and witnessing such a historical moment. My teacher at the time was educating us on Presidential legacies. One thing I remember him stating in particular was that if a president was elected twice that meant he was a good or least decent president. I mostly connected this reasoning with Nixon since at the time he was considered our worst president.

Looking back on all of the presidents the United States has had, I do acknowledge that they all had their faults. There were even decisions from our best presidents that affected other countries severely, which has caused them to look down poorly on us. That is because the position is filled by a human being and no human is known to be perfect. Therefore, all actions have consequences making it difficult to choose an option that appeases everyone. Yet, we all have the choice to try to be better human beings tomorrow than we were today.

Lately I have been contemplating a lot about the topic of morality. In storytelling of all forms, we are taught to take the consequences of our moral decision making to help us become better people. We then take what we learned and apply it to real life. Aside from the media we consume, individuals are often faced with their own moral problems, which they have to decided how to move forward. With the challenges we must face, it is how we decide to live our daily lives that define what kind of people we are. Is everyone going to agree with the outcomes? No. But did you try to choose the option with the best possible outcome? The majority of us would say yes.

Morality is the problem I have in regard to the last four years. From the very beginning, Trump blatantly stated that he was against human rights. His ideal America was were white males reigned supreme and they didn’t have to face the consequences of having no human decency. As a woman and hispanic, I was abhorred at the thought that this man existed and could not even fathom the people that supported a man who had no respect for others.

Where I live, the community is extremely diverse since we live on the border of Mexico. We used to be considered the safest city to live because everyone could feel welcome and feel safe to be themselves here without having to constantly feel threatened. At least, until August of 2019. A young white male from the outskirts of Dallas drove nine hours to my city and shot civilians at a Walmart. This incident still hits me hard because the Walmart was near my neighborhood. My mother and sister were in a building not too far away and my dad had been considering going to that particular Walmart to buy milk that morning. Thankfully my family remained safe from harm, but I still feel horrified for the loved ones who weren’t.

It wasn’t until later that the shooter’s manifesto was released. He revealed that he traveled to my city with the aim to rid the country of hispanics and latinos. The letter also stated that he was influenced by the countless speeches Trump gave against my community. This male decided that the wall Trump wanted was not enough to handle the hispanic “infestation.”

In 2020, when the protests surged for the Black Lives Matter movement, I was proud of all the people standing up for human rights. Across the world, civilians were supporting the black community for the unrighteous death of George Floyd. The movement also brought about the long deserved justice for other black people such as Breonna Taylor. What I find sad, however, is how the government handled the matters. The protests looked like a repeat of the protests from the 1900’s when Martin Luther King Jr. lead the black community against prejudice. People were harmed and arrested for standing up to the system. The government tried to silence them. But the movement still prevails as individuals use their social media platforms to spread awareness. People are still at the ready to fight for the rights they should already have.

The unjust actions our government implemented were justified by politicians and right wing supporter stating that the “rioters” got what they deserved despite the overwhelming evidence to prove otherwise. Many made claims that if white people performed the same action, the consequences would be similar.

On January 6th, the government proved those claims wrong. White supremacists were called upon by our own president to lead a coup against the house and were allowed to rampage inside the capital in an act of childish rage. A normally heavily guarded building where an individual needs to be invited to be anywhere on the premises was no longer protected as some of the police were too “kind” to use force or were even letting the rioters inside. These insurrectionists were allowed to just walk inside and break federal laws with no National Guard in sight. It wasn’t until the next day that only a handful of these insurrectionists began facing the consequences. My question is, why weren’t they arrested on the spot?

The United States was never perfect, in fact, at a young age, I felt very disappointed to call myself American due to our inability to feel shame for the mistakes of our past. Looking at the way racism and sexism is such a huge issue, I could never understand why others looked up to our system. Looking at the country now, I see how Trump made it look so easy destroying everything our ancestors fought so hard to build within these past centuries. But I do have a new found respect for the system we have in place. I am especially proud of the younger generations as we realize that to become a better country, we are now using our platforms to becomes better individuals who support everyone while recognizing their struggles. We are learning to give platforms for the voices that need to be heard and that is a beautiful sight I am proud to be part of. 

Thanks to the individuals who fight for basic human rights, awareness about the cracks in the American system are showing and politicians are being forced to correct it. Thanks to the system the founding fathers wrote in 1787, democracy prevailed.

For the past four years, our country was not lead by someone who upheld moral values, but rather by selfish desires. For the next four years, however, I look forward to seeing the positive change our country will be able to make. President Biden has his faults, I think this goes without saying, but we can feel safe knowing that at least he will aim to protect this country and what it is meant to represent. With President Biden in office, I feel like I can breathe knowing that my family is safe from further danger. But the fight for justice does not stop here. The journey is only just beginning.

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