Sara Settle is a fourth year Human Biology and Society major and Global Health minor. She is interested in pursuing medicine after graduation, specifically hoping to work with children. While at UCLA, she has enjoyed volunteering not only on the PEDS floor at Ronald Reagan Medical Center but also at local elementary schools. For fun, Sara enjoys going to the beach, hiking, and being basic while eating acai bowls and drinking Dunkin coffee.
As I jog along the elliptical at Wooden, I wish I could switch the millions of channels they have plastered in front of my face to some sports game, maybe a fun RomCom, or even a cooking show. Somehow, I always end up with MSNBC or CNN fixed in front of me and I cannot run away from it – as much as I desperately want to.
I think to myself…if I don’t stay up to date on the issues, on the bills being suggested, the Justices being appointed, the budgets being proposed, the racial slurs/ inappropriate comments/ presidential tweets being said, etcetera… maybe just maybe I won’t be affected and it can all be forgotten.
The election in November took a toll on me, to a surprisingly large level, where I would spontaneously cry on campus without warning when I thought about our country electing that man to office. But, now, its normalcy to me. I’ve become numb. I don’t cry at the thought of what he and his appointees are doing, I am actually quite bored by it all. I wish I could turn off that TV, unsubscribe to my news sites, and just live my life.
Unfortunately, I could easily do that. I have the privilege. I have an amazing education, childhood, family, healthcare (currently…) and future plans. I have a UCLA graduation diploma *knock on wood* arriving in a couple months. I definitely have a good foundation to start my life as a white woman in America. I don’t have the fear that my family is going to be deported. I don’t have a personal connection to many of the inappropriate comments being made by officials. I don’t have the full understanding nor experience of what it means to be a minority in this White Supremacist take-over era in America. So, for the most part, I can just live my life. Besides sympathizing with my friends, trying to be an ally for change, and pushing women’s rights and feminist agendas, the last 6 months have been relatively uneventful for me. I could easily sit on the sidelines, watch some John Oliver to laugh the pain away, post an *I’m so annoyed* Facebook post, and watch the days go by.
But that’s boring, and kind of lame, and not who I am. I am someone who claims to be an advocate, an ally, and a spokesperson for social justice. I am someone who saw this coming as I drove through middle America last summer, watching house after house place TRUMP signs on their front porch and tried to warn my friends. I am someone who recognized the amazing privilege I have to even go on a road trip through middle America without issue. I am someone who physically cried from shame, but not surprise, that our country would elect a man with no decency for human life beyond his old white man bubble – but, here I am four months into his presidency avoiding the media like the plague. I don’t want to go back to that dark place of sadness and get wrapped into the drama that toxified my life in November, but I cannot give up without a fight. I can’t let my privilege win. Because, for many people, they cannot just pretend everything is okay.
It’s sometimes hard to find my place as a white woman in this revolution, but I know if I stay educated, aware, and open to the opportunity I can help leave a footprint on our generation’s pursuit for peace. So… I keep watching, reading, listening, marching, and demanding for a better democracy.