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A Wrench in the System, by Shivani Persad

 Shivani Persad is a Canadian model and activist living in NYC. Her passions include: intersectional feminism, cats and boxing.

Shivani Persad is a Canadian model and activist living in NYC. Her passions include: intersectional feminism, cats and boxing.

This election threw a wrench into the system. It broke almost all of the rules, written and unwritten, that we know about politics. It’s safe to say we don’t have much of a chance changing anything the new President-elect does in office. Moving forward, it is important we realize that now is the time for mobilization and introspection. What conditions existed that allowed us to get to this point?

Let’s start with logistics. The number one thing that needs to change is the “electoral college” which creates a false sense of democracy while simultaneously dismissing its core values. As an ex-pat living in America I can tell you that Canada isn’t perfect, but our system works in present day society and at least remotely resembles democracy. Election results are, more or less, an accurate reflection of the population’s opinion.

Secondly, it’s clear that staunch republicans wanted “their” America back. They were afraid of too much progression (for instance, a black president). So instead they took 20 steps backward. However, despite the obvious regression society took in electing Trump, there is one upside – systemic racism is now blatantly irrefutable. Now the right cannot deny all of the oppression and hatred towards minorities that they’ve claimed “didn’t exist” in the past. We need to understand where the white working class is coming from, and why they felt this man appealed to them. Then, we need to figure out how to change their world into one where they realize he will not solve their problems and will not create progressive political change.

And finally, people hate Hillary. It may sometimes be for the wrong reasons but in reality: Hillary presented a real danger.  As a white liberal elite with connections to financial institutions, who pretends to be socially progressive – she would have done more harm than good. Hillary would have continued in this superficial rhetoric that insists the government exists for the people. She wants to keep the top at the top and thus would not have made any significant changes. We needed a radical change in government, now we have that – it may not be in the direction we hoped for, but our present situation is forcing us to demand change and figure out what went wrong. Trump’s election is making us question everything because it is now clear that politics is not, and never was functioning, as it should.

Media outlets will normalize his presence in this position. Ignore them. We must throw our own wrench into the system. We have the opportunity to react to a radical candidate now. In my industry [fashion], we have the opportunity to make minorities more visible. This will create minor ripples that have the ability to turn into considerable waves. We have to start small, these issues are relative and come from the same idea: the rich and the white are supreme. This idea needs to change and we can do that through the highly visible images we propagate.  

Through massive social movements, grass roots education and rebellion of art, music and culture – our job now is to change collective consciousness and turn ignorance into education so this situation never happens again. 

 

Post-Election Grief in Washington D.C., by Riya Dhaliwal

Whiteness Trouble, by Jonathan Sas