Having recently elected a man who many have labeled as racist, sexist, un-empathic and outright dangerous, many people have begun to live in fear of the potential for disastrous discriminatory policies. As a matter of fact, our nation has already seen a rise in hate crimes and bigotry that has hardly been denounced by the man who initiated this destruction. As the dust begins to settle and the nation waits, I’ve begun to wonder how modern men might be supportive of their friends, family, loved ones and general community through what many fear might be a difficult time. While the media has made comparisons between the recent election and Adolf Hitler, the true possibility for destructive discrimination becomes increasingly tangible. Minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ people and women, have all expressed their grave concerns for a Trump presidency. As we near the inauguration of a Trump president, modern men must step-forward and work to protect, as well as advocate for those who may be discriminated against. In a largely patriarchal culture, men have greater recognized privilege than their female counterparts. With this, conscious men are poised to make an effort to protect and advocate for equal rights in these minority groups. Regardless of which presidential candidate you may have chosen, for conscious men, the potential for discrimination means taking steps to prevent and address discrimination and by doing so, men can hope to ensure a brighter future for themselves, their families, as well as their communities.
The media and those in positions of political power have a way of manipulating the public into agreeing with various ideas and/or perspectives. Unfortunately, much of this propaganda isn’t tailored toward supporting the diversity that strengthens communities. The media and propaganda often work to manipulate the public to move away from values systems into conforming and discriminatory beliefs by implementing fear tactics. With this, it become increasingly important to hold strong to a values system and to advocate for these values. For example, if you hold the value that says, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” you might share this with your loved ones, especially when you see it violated in the media or in the community. In addition, when it comes to any legislative action, vote according to you values system. By adhering to a system of values and living our lives accordingly, as well as with integrity, we can hope to minimize the potential discriminatory effects of a Trump presidency and redirect it when it occurs.
Be Aware & Don’t Assume
A positive step for the conscious modern man is to have some awareness of how minority groups are being impacted by recent events and potential policy changes. With this, a conscious man should never assume that they understand what someone is going through. In an effort to acquire greater awareness without making assumptions, it is important to ask questions. You might ask what concerns they have, or how you can be supportive. Having greater awareness without assumptions gives you the ability to be informed, all while validating their unique experience. Additionally, becoming aware while avoiding assumptions creates the opportunity to truly understand rather than to think you understand based on a variety of assumptions. With greater genuine and authentic awareness, you are now in a better position to be a supportive advocate of those who might be concerned.
With greater authentic awareness, conscious men can be empowered to advocate for those that may be impacted by the growing discriminatory public rhetoric. This can be done in a variety of ways. For starters, men can talk with their families about various injustices and how this aligns or strays from family values. You might get involved with political advocacy by making a donation to a certain organization, by signing a petition that your values support, by phoning or emailing your state representatives, or even by simply living according to the values that motivate your advocacy efforts. Yet another way that a conscious man can advocate is by offering support to those that are impacted by publicly normalized discrimination. Put simply, if you see something, say something. For example, if you see someone being mistreated, you might express disapproval for the disrespectful behavior, you might attempt to start a conversation as a means of offerings a safe outlet for the targeted individual, or if needed you might call 911. As we maintain our values and have an understanding of our social environment, we can advocate for safer and more inclusive communities.
Finally, with an awareness of our values and social environments, as well as some tools for advocacy, the modern man must work to always be kind. As Mom used to say, “Sugar catches more flies than vinegar.” With this, we understand that kindness motivates greater change than anger or aggression. Or as the late great Martin Luther King Jr. has said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” As conscious men navigate the frustrations of any form of discrimination, we must stand together and hold tightly to our values; with kindness and a keen awareness we can advocate for a brighter future. Through our communities, while adhering to our values and integrity… we will find our strength.