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Opinion: Remember Who We Are As Ravers In A President Trump Era

"We are not at peace with ourselves until we are at peace with our neighbors."

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of ravers are completely flattened by the results of this presidential election. Many of us at Dance Music Northwest are still in shock and steadily going through our various stages of grief. In a time like this, it is hard to see a hopeful future and I know most of you feel the same. But in times like these we can not back down from the tenets that make up our culture as ravers: PLURR. Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and Responsibility. I want you to hold on to those now more than ever.

It is completely understandable to have feelings of anger, hate, disillusionment, and fear. Even as I write this article I am going through a whirlwind of all those emotions. But we have to repeat the mantra of PLURR in our heads. Those emotions I mentioned before are the easiest ones to give into, especially after a two-year long, divisive political season. We must be stronger than our lizard brain sometimes allows us to be.

We have listed away from our tenets of Peace as we run to the streets in protest of our elected officials. I fully support protesting injustices so long as they are done peacefully, but the amount of property damage is appalling to say the least. We are not at peace with ourselves until we are at peace with our neighbors.

Love has left us as we forcibly cut out our friends, family, and coworkers for having dissenting views from our own. We lose love when we spew hate and vicious messages to one another. It is practically the only thing we are seeing on social media right now and it breaks my heart. I have personally watched in horror as friends break up over 3rd party voting and I have (admittedly) been a perpetrator of that rhetoric. I will make amends for my own lost love, and I hope you will too.

Unity is what brought us together in the first place. We were the outcasts, the weirdos, the people with strange and confusing political views. No matter what happened, we used to always be accepting of everyone different. We must unite again. Let’s come back together and reconcile our differences as strengths.

Unfortunately we have done this to ourselves. We have created an echo chamber of political discourse that only reflects our beliefs and is reinforced by social media, and the ability to shut someone out by simply clicking the “unfollow” button. Yes, it is very hard to hear the arguments of a person who supports/supported a xenophobic, sexist, racist candidate, and we often dilute their support down to those very simple things. I would argue (hopefully) that not all of those supporters actually support those principles.

Many people are just as scared as you for the future of this country. Their fears are just as founded as yours because we all followed the same evolutionary path. We need to Respect that fear and be open to hearing it. If you were to listen to understand (not listen to respond), you may find a lot more in common with them then you previously thought. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but so is the fact that Trump was elected.

To those on the other side of the political aisle, we send the same message: Respect us in turn. The images cropping up online right now of hatred directed toward women and minorities shouldn’t be what represents your own personal message. It doesn’t have to be what defines your support of a Trump presidency, and more than that, it can’t be what our nation devolves into. There’s simply no room for hate and degradation in a community based on love and acceptance. None. Period.

Now we all have a Responsibility to come back to our roots, no matter who you supported in this last election. Now more than ever we must come together and promote Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and Responsibility. We are the creators of our realities and have to create a reality where everyone is included, not the ones with strange and confusing views. Our differences make us great in every possible way. Just remember when you were once vilified, abused, attacked, or hated for what you thought, did, or are.

I don’t expect you to take all of this in and accept it right away. Hell, you don’t even have to agree with what I am saying. I just hope that you will respect this position and try to make all of our lives better. Go out and hug the ones you love. Say something positive on your social media. Volunteer for programs you support. Most importantly, I hope you listen to the ones around you and hear what they have to say—even if it’s hard.