Voice of Democracy winner
Last updated 11/30/2021 at Noon
Lindsay A. Scott, a senior at Sisters High School, was awarded $400, a letter of recognition, two flag pins for her parents, and a Voice of Democracy essay contest medal for her entry in the annual contest.
The winning essay on the theme “America, Where Do We Go from Here?” follows:
Dear America, Where Do We Go from Here?
To answer this question, I think we must first look at where we have been. In order to move forward, we must look at the past. We must take in the good and the bad, and then find passion for our country despite the mistakes we have made. We must look at how far we have come, but also how far we need to go in order to keep moving toward the ultimate goal of liberty and justice for all.
First, we must look back to where we have been. More than 200 years ago, America was born with spirit like no other country. This spirit was full of loathing toward injustice, full of hunger for equity and freedom. We split from the British because our voices were not being heard, our God given rights were being stripped away. Although our country was small, we were strong of heart, and took victory over the British in the War of Independence. Freedom for some of the American population had been attained, but many minorities were still chained to the walls of prejudice.
Racial prejudice dates back to the roots of our country, a main reason being that we held African Americans as slaves for many years.
Even once slavery was abolished, African Americans faced the Jim Crow laws and segregation suffocating their liberty.
Thankfully, we rid ourselves of these laws, but the fight for African American equity is far from over.
Recently, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum, because even in this day and age African Americans are subjected to systematic racism.
An outcome of this systematic racism is the unjust shootings and murders of Black people.
In a town near me, a man was shot and killed for merely talking to a white man’s girlfriend when he was unaware she had a boyfriend.
Another example of this systematic racism can be seen in my small town consisting of a majority of white people.
I have heard the few minorities in this town called racial slurs, and they are often singled out due to their different hue of skin.
Although we have come a long way from enslaving people, it is important to recognize that racism still exists, and that each and every one of us must do our part to close the gap of racial inequality.
Women have also been the victim of inequality since the beginning of our country. It was not long ago when women were risking their lives to protest and fight for the right to vote. Today, women wrestle with the gender wage gap in the workplace. Many women make much less than men when doing the same job, purely due to their difference in gender. This is another issue that America must work together to fight and pursue the elimination of misogyny.
Another issue Americans have struggled with through the years is our political division.
We treasure the foundations our politics were built upon and our ability to vote and decide how we want to be governed.
However, politics has also led to great opposition against one another.
In the Civil War, this political opposition almost led to the destruction of our great country, but we somehow found a way to unify and become stronger together.
Over the past few years, it seems this political rift has widened even more.
Due to the global pandemic, people have been alienated from one another, causing our differences to manifest themselves and our affinity toward others to shrink away.
A large controversy over the pandemic has been how COVID-19, a disease with no feelings, no race, no political party, has turned political.
Instead of working together to fight this pandemic, we are worrying whether our political party supports the vaccine, or whether our party encourages wearing masks or not.
Looking forward, we need to unify to fight this disease and find our humanity and take care of one another again.
With this unity our country will become stronger and we can look forward together.
America is just as life, with its ups, downs, and in-betweens.
But more, America is just like its people, who have highs and lows but more importantly strength, courage, and passion for our country.
America, where do we go from here? We remember how far we have come, how our ancestors have built this country on the solid ground of equity and liberty.
We remember the mistakes of our past, but we continue to love our country unconditionally.
We continue to reform and strive to better our country using this love.
We continue to fight for racial equity and women’s rights.
We continue to battle a worldwide pandemic.
We continue to battle for unity, to battle together for one another.
We continue to fight for what we believe in.
We continue to fight for freedom for all.