Class President Rob Dow Comments on Cyclic Struggle to Liberate Ourselves from Ignorance and Apathy

Statues symbolize the rising up and falling down of civilization in the face of oppression

Trinity College

Statues symbolize the rising up and falling down of civilization in the face of oppression

Row Dow, Guest Commentary Writer

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Breezes Editorial Board: In lieu of our regular monthly editorial, we have decided to showcase this commentary piece by our Class President as it consolidates our beliefs regarding domestic affairs, equality, and religious liberty.

We begin buried with our head so far in the earth that we’re barely able to ascertain the injustice that exists around us. When we face these realities, we begin the fight to rise up from darkness into the sunlight. Faster and faster we ascend out of the ground, out of our ignorance, driven and determined to liberate ourselves. Then, right as our fingertips are about to escape the hold of the earth below…we stop. Satisfied with what we’ve achieved, we become tired of struggling for change and slowly sink down until we once again find the strength and empathy to push ourselves back up.
The US was founded on the premise of freeing people from oppression. We Americans liberated ourselves from the British Empire to create a country built on principles of free will and equality. However, we’ve often stumbled backward even as we’ve progressed towards freedom for all.
Even as our new country proclaimed equality for all, African-Americans were enslaved and considered three-fifths of a citizen. When they were granted their freedom, they were discriminated against through Jim Crow laws. Even when these laws were repealed, African-Americans continued to face social persecution through subtle and overt racism, hate groups, and limited access to opportunities granted to their white counterparts.
Today in the United States, it seems that some of the core values of equality and freedom that were so strongly clung to at the nation’s birth are being forgotten. While s t r i d e s were made nearly 240 years ago to grant freedom of religion, there was recently an executive order to restrict the immigration of seven Muslim-majority nations. And while it’s unclear how this order will eventually pan out, it suggests a dangerous mentality that contradicts the foundations that this country was built upon and attempts to muddle the lines between liberty, justice, and politics.
It’s frightening to see the divisive and digressive direction that this country is traveling in at the moment. One might wonder if we’re doomed to this cycle of rising and sinking over and over again. However, each day we’re presented with the opportunity to speak up about things that matter. Citizens have begun to speak up in response to undeniable and unjust resentment towards Muslim people in America and internationally. Through rallies and protests in cities, capitals, and even airports, people voiced words of inclusion, love, acceptance.
We have to keep fighting against ignorance and apathy for what is right because if we can live full enough, speak loud enough, and fight hard enough, we just might be able to pull our fingers out of the soil and push ourselves out of the ground.