A Millennial for Hillary

It seems like I can’t go on Facebook without being bombarded with a flood of posts, links, photos, and memes of 2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. I’m not complaining – it’s definitely better than logging on and finding out that I have friends who support the other guy. The orange one.

No, I have a deep found respect for those who support Sanders. He has ideals and pros that I can definitely get on board with. He’s an honest, consistent guy who has genuinely fought for everything that he’s believed in. We know he marched in 1963 during the civil rights movement. We’ve all seen the black and white photos of a young Bernie surrounded by fellow young activists, fighting on the front lines during a pivotal time of social change. Bernie is an excellent example of a man who is committed to what he believes in.

So… why don’t I think he should be President of the Unites States?

I ask myself this question often. How often? Pretty much every time I log on Facebook. Or every time I turn on the TV. Or every time an older person trying to sound hip makes a Bernie/college tuition joke at a graduation party.

Here’s my short answer: Bernie Sanders works as a symbol, but he is not as qualified for the position as, say, Hillary Clinton.

My long answer: One of the first things that a Bernie supporter will bring up when citing what makes the Democratic candidate so revolutionary is his stance on Wall Street, education, and the state of the economy/shrinking middle class. He has some great ideas. But it’s all a beautiful dream. An inspirational one, but a dream nonetheless. How is he going to make all of these things actually happen? I once heard him answer this very question during a debate. His answer was somehow both mumbly (yes, I made that word up) and crystal-clear at the same time: Raise taxes!!!

Raising taxes sounds somewhat plausible, but I hope you can take off the rose-colored glasses and come to terms with this fact: Raising taxes will not change the state of the country. Now, it may do a little of what Bernie is promising, but it will hardly create the revolution that my 19-year-old cousin and her friends think it will. And don’t get me started on Bernie’s plans (or lack-thereof) for foreign policy. Hillary on the Issues

Hillary Clinton is not perfect. She is contradictory, has made mistakes, and is a total try-hard (Hot sauce? C’mon, Hil). She is a politician, which in itself is a character flaw. But that’s what presidents are – politicians. And she’s currently the most qualified one of the bunch – see here for a list of some general accomplishments during her career.

Will she bring about the revolution that extremely progressive millennials
so desperately crave? Most likely not. However, she will keep us moving forward. I believe that while Bernie could make a decent leader (I will certainly vote for him if he clinches the Democratic nomination), he is a symbol more than anything else. Meanwhile, Hillary’s plans are actually tangible.

What’s funny is that I sat down and began writing this with the intention of writing a post about how torn I am as to who I will vote for come June 7, the California Democratic primary. But as I wrote on, I knew immediately that I had made my decision a long time ago. I decided on Hillary Clinton the moment my mom explained to me who she was and what she stood for when I was just a snot-nosed, Pokemon-obsessed little kid. Thanks to some initiatives largely spearheaded by Hillary, my mom – a Chicana single mother with no high school diploma – was able to put me in after school care so she could work at her full-time job without turning me into a latchkey kid.

I get votebuttonthe Bernie appeal, and I welcome others to share with me their opinions. But this isn’t a decision I made lightly. I stand with Hillary because she has the experience, has the plans, and has the brains. She also will be a source of hope for so many young girls and women out there – and my little sister won’t have to ask me why we haven’t had a woman in the White House anymore. Also, keep in mind that the only thing keeping Hillary from being the clear front runner here is the fact that she is not a man. Don’t believe me on that one? Let it marinate a bit. You’ll see what I mean.

Fellow Millennials, at the end of the day, the only thing I’ll actually ask is this: if Bernie doesn’t get the Democratic nomination next week, please don’t boycott the election. It won’t do us any good. Vote. Vote against the racist one with the fake tan and fake hair. Shyanne

 

Feminism: Black, White, and Shades of Gray

I recently read an article on none other than U.S. national treasure, Miley Cyrus.  You see, while I have never exactly been a fan of hers, I can respect some of her ideas – especially her recent ones. Ok, so mostly he recent ones. Ok. Only her recent ones.

Miley has been very outspoken about her criticisms for the way that society pigeonholes women. Most notably she has made statements about the perception of women’s breasts – mainly nipples – and how the censorship and ick factor of women’s nipples is kind of, well, bullshit. And it totally is. In fact, I was watching a clip of Miley on Jimmy Kimmel making this exact point, and I couldn’t help but smile at the points that she was making. The over-sexualization of women’s bodies is something that really needs to be thrown away in the garbage. Like now. Let’s kick it to the curb. When’s trash day?

But – and it’s a big but – as I watched this video I saw some related links/comments referencing the recent statement that Miss Cyrus made about the Nicki Minaj vs. Taylor Swift Twitter-tastrophe. Let me tell you, the respect that had grown for Miley quickly plumetted. One-hundred to zero, real quick.

Miley openly dismissed Nicki’s points because Nicki had come across as “angry” and “mean.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Why? Because I am over this pseudo-feminism. Miley has no problem advocating for the FREE THE TITTY!!! campaign yet she openly admitted that she can overlook Nicki’s comment on the industry’s dismissal of women of color simply because Nicki wasn’t polite about it. This is a prime example of what is commonly referred to as white feminism.

“White feminists” are women who advocate to be equal to that of men (they dress up as Rosie the Riveter and talk about how amazing the suffragettes were) but who fail to support, and even worse, to acknowledge, that women of color have struggled in a way that white women will never understand.

Do they know what it feels like to grow up in a world where every leading lady has porcelain skin? Do they feel adolescent shame when they look in the mirror and don’t see themselves as beautiful because the “ideal” woman is shoved in their face everyday – whether it’s a pop star, book character,or Disney princess? The answer is no. White women simply do not have this experience.

And that’s not a crime. Ignorance is not a crime, but you know what is? Parading around as a feminist who is liberated and socially-aware, only to knock down another woman because her struggle is not relevant to you.

Taylor Swift made an ignorant comment, and the moment I saw her reaction to Nicki’s tweet I cringed in embarrassment. I am a fan of Taylor Swift’s music, much more so than Nicki Minaj’s, and as a fan, I felt shame for Taylor. What Taylor saw as a personal attack and “pitting women against women” (irony considering Taylor’s nominated music video was essentially a drawn out and over-done fuck you to Katy Perry) was really just Nicki pointing out how flawed our society is and how women of color are not represented nor given the recognition that they rightfully deserve.

Bottome line for those who consider themselves feminists: Feminism is not just about over-sexualization. It is not just about getting the same income as a man. It is first and foremost about supporting your fellow woman, and acknowledging that every woman experiences different prejudices and dismissals. See things from their perspective. Acknowledge their pain and their struggle, and fight for it as if it’s your own.

“That’s just America”

Since coming to college there have been three major fatal shootings of minority teens by police officers that have really taken not just communities, but also nations, by storm.

I have written before on the atrocity of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and how the verdict acquitting George Zimmerman, was a crime in itself. I remember hearing about Trayvon’s death in my freshman year of college, but I didn’t really think anything of it besides “what a shame”. By the time the summer of my Sophomore year rolled around, I was much more educated and aware of the social significance behind Trayvon’s death. An innocent young black kid was killed. He had no weapon. He had candy in his pocket. We all know the story.

So, why is it that the man who killed him, who was not even a police officer, was let go with only manslaughter? Manslaughter is when someone accidentally hits a person with their car. It’s an accident, a tragic one that still requires severe consequence, but an accident no less. Trayvon’s death was not an accident.

Moving forward, as a junior in college, another event happened a little closer to home. About 15 miles away from my college campus, just a town over in Santa Rosa California, a young boy named Andy Lopez was shot at several times and killed because he had a highly realistic air soft gun and refused to put it down when cops asked him to do so.  The unfairness of Lopez’s death caused many to protest in the the city of Santa Rosa…which is similar yet vastly smaller than what is currently happening in Ferguson, Missouri.

Mike Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in August of this past year in front of several witnesses. It is an event that has sparked great debate and controversy throughout the nation due to it’s link with racial issues. Currently, the Mike Brown issue has gone to Supreme Court level, and whatever verdict is made regarding the cop’s innocence is going to have serious consequences for the neighborhood of Ferguson. So, this is a pivotal case and I, for one, will be incredibly disapointed if the Ferguson PD gets off free with this one.

I firmly believe that the reason Trayvon Martin, Andy Lopez, and Mike Brown are no longer alive is because of their skin color. If they were young white males, they would not have paid with their lives. Why is it that there are not more cases on TV where a cop accidentally shot a white teenager? Even if/when there are cases like that, the cop generally gets a much more severe punishment. They’d no doubt be deemed guilty by the court. I think it’s incredibly blind of people to say that there are not issues of race being dealt with here.

Until people stop closing their eyes to what is right in front of them, then tragic events like these are going to continue.