Political Unrest

Every year has its highs and lows, but 2016 has been one of the roughest years in recent memory. On a less serious note, terrible movies and video games have been released. More seriously though, we’ve grieved the deaths of legendary artists who’ve inspired generations of current and future artists. We’ve grieved the deaths of seemingly innocent black men, women and children who were gunned down on the street by police. And we laughed at, and now grieve the whole debacle that was the 2016 Presidential Election Race.

A protester holding a cardboard sign that says "GOP DE-EVOLUTION"

From the candidates, to the debates, to the scandals, the race was an utter mess, and as a result our country is constant worry about what the future holds.  “What will become of America when Trump is officially sworn in as president?” seems to be the most asked question.  I recently went to a Trump Protest, not as a participant, just as a photographer. The feeling of racial, political and social divide was quite disheartening. The sight of anger among protesters, lack of empathy amongst Trump supporters and apathy from the suits within the Trump Tower was disappointing to say the least.

hands holding up a sign that says "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." -Henry Ford

a mob of women protesting

There were several groups of young teens at the protest, no older than 14. They said to a nearby reporter “we’re not old enough to vote, so we feel that protesting is the only way our voices can be heard.”

But after having a 2 hour discussion with a Clinton supporter, a Trump supporter, and a man with no real allegiances, I realized that not all hope is lost. Although vastly different ideologies, beliefs and viewpoints were discussed, the fact that we could all come together and just talk to each other is a feat in itself. Right now, our country desperately needs more communication, empathy, and respect.

a woman in glasses holding a sign that says "NO TO MYRON EBELL!!!"

This is India Kotis, she’s one of people I had a 2 hour discussion with during the protest. One of her major concerns is the skepticism about climate change.

a hand making the peace sign

 

3 thoughts on “Political Unrest

  1. 2016, Personally, has been the most heart-shattering, depressingly amazing year of my entire life; I don’t think I have emoted in my whole existence as much as I did this year. But it’s amazing to find beauty in a heaping pile of despair and hopelessness. Your photos embodied all the emotions you described in the post: anger, lack of empathy, hope. Each one posed its own quest and was powerful in its own way.

    On another note, you deserve a round of applause for going to a protest. As an introverted person, I don’t think I could have had enough energy in my entire being to be immersed in such a diversely passionate atmosphere. How did you decompress afterwards?

    • Thanks, Sabrina! I appreciate that. Believe me I’m an introvert too and I found myself incredibly drained after going. But I felt like I needed to go, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to possibly take some great pics. Despite feeling exhausted, I definitely don’t regret going. I decompressed the same way I usually do after I feel drained: through music, books, and games. Works like a charm.

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