I watched Barack Obama take the stage at the Democratic National Convention last night and his importance in history weighed in my head.
This is a Black man, who lives in a house built by slaves. The leader of the land of the free. Only 50 years from the end of the Civil Rights Movement, this country had the courage to elect an African-American to be the President of the United States. That should make me, as a person of color, feel proud and inspired. I get to say that I saw the first person of color elected as President of the United States, and maybe my children will get the privilege of seeing an Asian-American elected as President.
On the other side of the aisle, we have Donald Trump running for President. Often accused of being racist, sexist, fascist, and many other negative things. A lot of things that are the polar opposite of how I feel about President Obama standing on that stage.
Every day, I scroll through my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I see the conversations that so many people have about this election: those who are feeling the Bern, those who are on the Trump train, and those who are happy to say "I'm with Her" - and through the bickering and bantering, I find value.
Donald Trump has been mentioned as a candidate who represents a part of America that hasn't been properly represented in the recent past. We can use what we've learned from his candidacy to enhance the dialogue about our country moving forward.
Maybe the best thing about this race is that we're finally speaking about emotions and angers that people in this country have, no matter what they may be. Whether you're frustrated with the 1%, upset with the politics of Washington, wanting our country to create more jobs, or looking for more social equality - that is all good. If you feel strongly about something or want to fight for something, keep fighting.
The most important thing that I've realized from this election is that we're having conversations and debates and that's better than not talking about it at all.
To use what President Obama said last night - "I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, not constrained by what is, ready to seize what ought to be;" these conversations help fuel the energy and new ideas to seize a better future.
The views expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of UniPro and its staff. For more information on voting, including voter registration, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: CNN
Anthony Castro is the Director of Communications of UniPro's New York chapter, and works at WES Global Talent Bridge in New York, NY. You can contact him at email@example.com.
A note from the author: "I would like to thank my good friend, Joseph Jordan, for always having fruitful conversations about a myriad of things, including politics, which inspired this piece."