Every side has the right to be heard

Trump won the election and people of all ages, races and sexualities protested his inauguration, Jan 21.

Carli Berry is a reporter for the Capital News.

Trump won the election.

Trump won the election and people of all ages, races and sexualities protested his inauguration, Jan 21.

More than 600 people rallied in downtown Kelowna.

I support a rally which started in the United States because President Trump will affect the world. We’re neighbours.

I was against Trump when he wanted to build a wall between Mexico and the States.

I was against him when the Washington Post released a video saying he could grab women by the…well, you-know-what.

I am against him now as president.

I’m in support of a rally embracing women, aboriginal, equality and human rights.

But here’s the issue.

Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist bigot.

Not everyone who is against the Women’s March on Washington is sexist and not everyone who shares a different opinion from mine should be labelled an “idiot.”

Name calling doesn’t make me smarter, better, or stronger in my opinions.

Mean Girls taught me that at eight-years-old.

A few weeks ago, at a town hall meeting with MP Dan Albas, a West Kelowna citizen asked what the government would do if he felt like his freedom of speech was being disregarded, and his opinions only answered with insults.

It’s not just in the U.S. that people feel like they can’t share their opinions publicly.

People in our community are asking how to share their opinions without being labeled.

As a journalist, it is my duty to the public to report on both sides of a story and to give the opposition a chance to respond.

As journalists, we fail the public when we begin to label opinions, when we refuse to report on a side and when we fail to present an equal debate.

When I shared a post on Facebook in support of the women’s march, an old classmate said he was against it, sharing his argument.

He has that right.

He also has the right to be free from labels and to be met with discussion.

Discussion helps us learn, and we must accept this country has different views: Left, right and centre.

Calling someone a racist, sexist, or bigot doesn’t change an opinion, it makes it hide in the dark until election day.

I believe it is my duty as a Canadian to listen to these opinions and debate them.

As a journalist it is my duty to show sides, even if I disagree.

My opinions should be challenged, and so should yours, because the stronger you are able to defend and articulate it, the better it will be.

I don’t support Donald Trump, but I want to know why people did.

Share your opinions and be met with discussion, because the only way to progress is to acknowledge other opinions exist.

Carli Berry is a Capital News staff reporter. Contact her at carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com


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