Be Great, For the Culture

By: Kayla Pasacreta

On the night of November 9th, you probably gapingly stared at your T.V. with disbelief. The outcome didn’t make sense. Maybe Florida, Michigan, or Pennsylvania would come through, you thought. But they didn’t. After staying up to the wee hours of the morning to make sure there was no possible way Hilary Clinton would be able to come back with a victory, you probably spent the day in despair, with disappointment in your country; the election process. Van Jones' statement (below) on CNN really described the political climate and embodied what so many of us felt.

photo via CNN and Buzzfeed News

photo via CNN and Buzzfeed News

Let’s be real, 2016 ended on a shitty note. We ended it with Donald Trump as our President-Elect, man. How much worse could it get? Still, I know y’all got lit on New Years Eve, avowed to make this year better, had a nice list of resolutions, and positive vibes going into the year.

That is, until, you very tearfully watched President Obama’s Farewell Speech as you scrolled through your Instagram feed full of pictures of our beautiful First Family (yes, I’m still claiming the Obamas as my First Family, Trump who?) Then, we dreadfully made it to the Inauguration, and welp, 2017 has just gone downhill. We’ve seen millions of people at risk of losing their healthcare, the basic reproductive rights of women threatened with the cuts to Planned Parenthood, a rapid increase of hate crimes, breaking news alerts every five minutes about our idiot “President” …I think I’ll stop there. You know the list could go on for days, sis.

  Somehow, someway, in the midst of all this BS and chaos I see a silver lining. Even though we’ve seen hate exposed, the unending bounds of white privilege, and just outright incompetence, we’ve also very much witnessed activism, unity, and resistance. My friends who never used to think to watch CNN now have CNN breaking news alerts on their phones, celebrities are becoming more and more vocal, Black Twitter is at its prime, and MIGOS DROPPED CULTURE (I’m sorry, I had to put that in there).

 I feel this is important to note, because I am a firm believer in making the best out of any negative situation. I see my fellow youth doing big things – whether that involves creating your own brand, graduating (shout out to class of 2017!), people finding their passions… whether its communications, cosmetology, teaching, or politics, you can use it in a positive way. Together, we can truly reclaim society. That involves looking out for each other, supporting each other’s businesses (PLEASE, stop hating on your fellow peeps for trying to have their own business startups, look to help rather than worry about the competition). You have photography skills? Great! Use those to help your make-up artist friend of yours trying to build up followers on their Instagram page. Posting a quick shoutout (I know y'all #postanddelete) to promote your friend's services can help them more than you know.

Make a list of goals, have an action plan. What do you want to do, how are you going to do it? I know, for me, publishing this website was my goal for the summer. How can you invest in yourself and your unique qualities? Spotlight them - I know you have talents that the world needs to be exposed to. I believe in you.  So invest in yourself,  support your friends, and be great (we all want to be). 

President Obama, the first black president, hailing from the Southside of Chicago, didn’t forego eight years of constant critiques and resistance for you not to be fully captivated and inspired in your own potential. So, I guess my message to you is simple: don’t let Donald Trump win.

For the culture, of course.

Kayla Pasacreta