1. I was in sixth grade during the Obama/McCain campaigns. The Civics teachers at my school seized the opportunity to teach us all about elections and political parties and staged a debate.
  2. They let us pick our party and gave us a topic to debate from that side.
  3. I was eleven and knew nothing about politics so when my friend said, "come over here MacKenzie, you're a Republican" I followed.
  4. I was placed on a debate team, given a topic, and began forming my arguments. We spent an hour every day for a week preparing for the debates on Friday.
  5. The Republicans worked in one room and the Democrats in another. All the information in that room came from the Republican Party. We used their websites, their media, all our sources came from Conservatives.
  6. I don't remember what my exact topic was but I do know that I formed a solid argument to defend it. I woke up on Friday morning ready to win my debate for my party.
  7. The time came and my team elected me captain (meaning none of them wanted to talk so I had to). My friend Jacob was the captain of the team we were up against. We all sat at our respective tables on the stage and it began.
  8. As the debate went on and I listened to what Jacob was saying I realized something.
  9. I agreed with him. The things he was saying made more sense than the things I was saying. I would say something and immediately realize that I didn't believe it.
  10. I realized in the middle of debate in which I was supporting the Republican side that I was a Democrat.
  11. We (I) ended up winning the debate.
    I may have had a political crisis in the middle of it but I'd be damned if I wasn't going to win it.
  12. Afterwards I sat in the crowd, no longer distracted by prepping for my own, and listened to the other debates. With each one I found myself agreeing more and more with the Democratic side.
  13. The lens in which I was viewing everything was suddenly expanded. I knew the Republican side and now I knew the Democratic side and one made a whole lot more sense.
  14. I don't know if my teachers intended to teach us about the problems with only knowing one side but they did.
  15. I never told my friends about my abrupt party shift. I let everyone assume I agreed with them while secretly voting for Obama in the mock election our school held.
  16. Luckily it was a simpler time when things were just Democrat and Republican not normal human and insane pumpkin.
    I still wish I had said something and not allowed people to assume I supported views I didn't.
  17. Basically the point of this list (other than lowkey bragging about my debate skills) is say that this is not the time to be silent.
  18. Be loud. Oppose what's happening. Don't let people assume you support things you don't.
  19. I know it's easy to assume every is outraged based on the environment we've built on list but people out there do support what's happening.
  20. Speaking up can be scary and it can change people's opinions of you but it's so so so so important.
  21. Let the world know that this is not who we are.
    Especially if you're young. We hold the power to fight this, we just have to fight.
  22. Don't be Ron and buy a badge just to shut Hermione up.
  23. Be a Hermione, shake that tin under people's noses and wear those homemade badges on your chest.
  24. This shit is fucked up and the only way to stop it is to yell louder than the people screaming.
  25. Go forth, make Hermione proud.