Today is the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, and boy, has it been stressful.
In the midst of the election, the people we need to focus on aren’t the candidates. Rather, we need to focus on the people affected by this campaign: minority groups in America.
Both parties have been guilty of harmful language towards minorities in America, whether it be negligence of protestors, anti-immigration slurs, xenophobic statements, misogynistic statements that normalize sexual assault, or the Islamophobic statements of both candidates saying that Muslims are responsible for stopping terrorism during the presidential debate.
Their experiences have been utilized to support political platforms and have been projected onto mainstream media on a daily basis, forcing people to relive their trauma and have their lived experiences invalidated by the public.
Marginalized groups — whether they be women, Muslims, and/or communities of color-need to have their mental health taken into consideration for this election. Their experiences have been utilized to support political platforms and have been projected onto mainstream media on a daily basis, forcing people to relive their trauma and have their lived experiences invalidated by the public.
Their identities have been invalidated time and time again because of their political choices. And don’t even forget the number of politically-driven hate crimes that occurred this past year. It’s emotionally exhausting to see your fears manifested through political comments and news articles.
People are not obligated to subject themselves to constant anxiety for the sake of a political platform. As important as this election is, we need to take a step back and not consider the candidates for once. We need to check on individuals that have been affected by the political rhetoric used in this campaign.
For a moment, ask your friends and family how they’re feeling, and do anything you can to be supportive of those around you during this stressful time.
Also don’t feel obligated to talk about the election, or make anyone feel obligated to discuss the election. Feel free to tune out and log off of social media. You’ll catch the highlights when you’re ready.