While we wait, we must start the work

Votes are still trickling in as the election hinges upon mail-in ballots in many states. However, American citizens must begin looking at the years to come. Photo courtesy seventeen.com

Across our nation, the American people anxiously await the results of election day but what the nation must truly grapple with is the winding road ahead to rebuilding a country divided. Polarized and pockmarked by social injustice, the next four years are pivotal to mending the wounds of the last four.

Portents of voter intimidation and civil unrest had appeared during this election cycle. Incumbent President Donald Trump’s “stand back and stand by” rhetoric for white supremacists or even the unprecedented reckoning our nation has witnessed are clear omens of our moral decline. COVID-19 has even made the cavalier disregard of morals even more apparent in every way imaginable as anti-maskers willfully ignore a piling death toll that leads the globe.

This intense and rigid divisiveness has created an abyss of malice and has indoctrinated our country to deem which lives matter. Just reflecting on the past year, Native American ancestral reservations, women’s reproductive rights, families at the border and Black lives have all been cast aside as unworthy of immediate concern.

In the next four years, everyone must remove themselves from such doctrine. Increasing asymmetrical polarization has removed reverence to humanity from the forefront of our country and the onus falls heavily to the right. Although it may seem extremely cumbersome to hold one side accountable for their insolent complicity in the millions of lives lost, it’s needed before we move forward.

For true change to come about, political accountability is the first step and steadfast patience for change is the next. The latter instruction doesn’t mean handling issues without a sense of immediacy, but having faith and holding firm amidst low morale. Progressive change is a marathon that cannot resolve every shortcoming immediately. Akin to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we have to take these firsts steps without even seeing the staircase to have faith that justice is on the horizon.

And much like the common critique of the Black Lives Matter movement, one consistent action cannot enact change without a consistent apparatus to amplify resolution. We cannot absolve our nation by just voting for new leaders in the White House, Congress and state senates; we honestly can never scour the immorality that taints America. However, if we consistently vote along with consistently rallying for those who can’t cast ballots, mobilized for those who have been immobilized and actively doing our part, we can start rectifying our wrongs.