The Year Ahead

My view of the world was quite discouraging in 2015. Aside from President Obama legalizing same-sex marriage, the world was filled with gloom and terror. All over the world people were being killed and persecuted for their values, for who they are. As a citizen of one of the most privileged and affluent countries in the world, I am ashamed. We should be leading by example because of our privilege (power) and diversity, but instead we perpetuate the problems. Denial of Syrian refugees. Excusing racists who terrorize Blacks. Donald Trump leading the Republican Party nomination.

This year I don’t expect significant changes. Never in history have we seen people (oppressors) change their minds, or values, out of thin air. Change has only occurred through an uprising, a revolt by oppressed people. Not only is this historical, but it is also logical because its the only option left — oppressed people’s voices are rarely heard until they force oppressors to listen. Unfortunately, this is where I see America. Obama is the glue holding things together at the moment, but this is his last year in office. He’s been incredibly frank about his perspective on America’s value problem, particularly as it pertains to Black Americans, which has been refreshing to many American minorities. The next President will need to be just as progressive in her/his approach to America’s race problem, in order to prevent chaos.

Social and political events directly impact economies; the three are heavily woven together. Follow the dollars — how much money have firms made off of the Greek Debt Crisis? The world is more connected than ever: we’re living in a global economy. While I watched the stock market unfazed by the Baltimore Riots in April, American businesses will eventually be disrupted by the racial conflict in this country.

I am still hopeful that things will turnaround, and encourage people to fight economically for change:

-Vote in 2016: Too many of my friends joke about not voting, to the point where I know some of them aren’t joking…they aren’t voting.

-Support minority-owned businesses: Buzzfeed recently created a post about “23 Magical Gifts Every Black Girl Needs.” I nearly lost my mind — I wanted to buy, not just because the businesses were black owned, but because the stuff was actually really cool. I did walk away with Shonda’s book and Black Card Revoked. There are also a few start ups in the Bay Area, like Bevel (a razor-shaving company), popping up.

-Arm yourself financially in 2016: Know where you’re money is going. Make sure its not going somewhere that conflicts with your values (i.e. shopping at big business that have hurt minorities).

 

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