2016 Election Reflection: What Are We Supposed To Do Now?

By Whitney Hamer

As we enter a new political season in America I am overcome with feelings of bitterness on this election day. I feel bitter about how I have been ignored and forgotten. How the injustice system is still broken. How poor DC residents are taxed without any representation. All of the lies members of my generation bought into regarding education as a path to freedom and stability.  Those of us lucky enough to secure a position after school now face the reality of underemployment and inequality in our workplaces.

After coming so far in the 60's, 70's and 80's I feel that we now find ourselves in a particularly bad place. My political voice and many similar to mine have been stifled. None of the candidates running represent my interests or my family’s, period. In addition, the democratic and republican parties have not earned my loyalty and I’m forced to remain independent, treated as an “outsider” in the political process. It’s almost as though being independent means I must be less interested than my democratic and republican counterparts. The most relevant issues in my life have not been discussed and further to that I feel that no one fought for my vote during this 2016 election. Politicians, who continue to uphold the systematic oppression of community, in some cases intentionally, were not even questioned about their contributions to such oppression during this election process. Debates lack substance and we see more and more personal attacks, “bad hombres” and “nasty” women.

The political system and the leaders I have experienced in my lifetime have failed my generation – straight up. I did not have the privilege of growing up with the intelligent bold leaders that my parents and grandparents got to experience such as the JFK's or MLK's. I am not at all impressed with these crumbs we are given today. One of the candidates running for presidency has no prior political experience to qualify him for one of the most important jobs that exists in the free world.

I am 30 years old with a college education and no kids, despite how badly and desperately I would like to have family. I’m under employed and I cannot afford to live in the city where I work. There are no marriage or family prospects for me because the black men in my generation are virtually locked out of opportunities available to other races -- locked down in prisons for minor offenses, unemployed, under employed and mentally beaten down so badly they have no confidence and meek futures. Don’t believe me? Ask them!  I also don’t know how I will care for my aging parents who are nearing what used to be the “retirement age”; with no plans to retire due to financial hardship and overwhelming debt. Far from the "American dream" I was sold at a young age...

Those of us who are “doing well” are strapped with thousands and thousands of dollars of debt for student loans and subject to a sub-par health care system with no political representation to address these injustices.  As I continue to write, I think that maybe I am not bitter; maybe I am simply being honest. There is no more love I can give to America. These presidential “candidates” I'm forced to select from are simply rich, white, thieves – according to my tired brown eyes. I know better than to trust their empty promises, which are not even directed to me, any longer.  There is zero hope directed to me of a better life and a better America. Only talks of more hate, racism and wasteful spending. Please understand that I am not disillusioned; rather, I am beyond desperate for new leadership to believe in.

This 2016 election and the antics surrounding are not something I will EVER be able to take seriously. Who will step up for us?