Los Angeles Collegian Online

Do Not Follow the Leaders, Watch Them

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By Giovanni Brookshire

Americans are in the process of moving forward together after four detrimental years with a polarizing president.

Since that fateful day of Jan. 20, 2017, we have faced the harsh reality of a racist, self-indulgent capitalist president. We should all be proud we fought the good fight and were able to turn the tide against a tyrant we allowed in office. 

Prior to President Biden’s arrival, Americans were the laughingstock of the rest of the world. Not only did we elect a belligerent bigot, but we also let our beloved, diverse country be shown in the same demeaning light. Our country is a melting pot of diversity but was shown to embrace racism. 

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how racist our former president could be during a briefing in Washington D.C. on March 18, 2020. Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus,” even though neither ethnicity nor race have anything to do with the virus or how it is contracted.

For four years we were forced to watch as he bombed Iran, killed people and decimated a village. This gave Iran reasons to retaliate against innocent civilians.

Trump displayed a total lack of leadership when George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer and the riots and protests that occurred.

We must take it upon ourselves as Americans to become more vigilant about our democracy. We must pay attention to whom we allow in the West Wing as our Commander in Chief. This cannot be repeated.

Vote out leaders who do not believe in our shared values. Advocate for change in our government. Throw out the government officials who do not believe in equality.

This is not something that can be done overnight. It will take collective effort, but we are on the right track. A woman of color is the vice president of the United States. We should feel encouraged that the darkest days are behind us, and we can write a different page of history.

I am not saying Biden is perfect, but I feel more confident about his experience and qualifications. Voters elected him to bring change – and to guide us through the pandemic and its aftermath. He appears to be off to a strong start. 

Still, do not follow the leaders. Watch them.

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