DEAR HARRIETTE: This upcoming election is important for minorities like myself. I remember when Trump was elected president how scary it was to me. On my college campus, some students were happy, celebrating in the streets, and students like myself were filled with fear for our country. Those who were celebrating were screaming and yelling in the faces of those who displayed any type of discomfort or were saddened by the news. For myself and my friends, it was a traumatizing event. Some of our clubs created support groups to discuss our feelings. With November ahead, that day is the only thing that plays in my mind. How can I stay hopeful for the coming election and put aside the memories? -- Young Voter
DEAR YOUNG VOTER: The beauty of the American democracy is that everybody is encouraged to have an opinion and to express it. The First Amendment allows all of us the freedom of speech. As you witnessed, there were opposing views about the Trump presidency when he was elected, and they continue to this day.
Our country is frighteningly polarized right now, with extreme views and voices on both sides. Your job as a young voter is to be fully informed about the issues. This requires you to do independent research. If you simply look at the news, you will glean information shared from a particular political perspective based on the news source you choose. You need to pay attention to a healthy cross section of voices. Dig deep to learn what the presidential candidates are saying about the issues, and ask questions when you are unsure.
You should also encourage your young friends to vote. You have power in your ability to vote. Make sure that as many people as possible execute that power.