Driven to Make a Difference – Jahad Carter

OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute. Learn more about the internship at victoryinstitute.org/vci.  

A young man stands in front of the Supreme CourtAs I begin to type this blog post, I think about the amount of privilege that I have. I think about the opportunity that I have to sit behind a screen and write my experiences for the world to see. I think about the chance that I have to gain a proper education. Most importantly, I think about the privilege I have to be sitting in a congressional office researching issues that impact many communities. Amongst all of this privilege, it is honestly very hard for me to take a back seat while I witness real people hurt.

It is one thing to be in my rural town staying informed about events happening across the country. However, it is another thing to live, breathe, and eat in the institution that houses a lot of the country’s issues. While many people are focused on respectability politics, networking, and grabbing coffee; I have been looking at what is happening at the border and I feel ashamed. I’ve learned that some of what I am facing is secondary traumatic stress. When I see this human rights crisis, I feel simultaneously distraught and driven to learn how to make things like this stop and never happen again.

I wish I could say more about my internship experiences or giving tours to constituents but I’d rather not. I believe that, as a true ally, I should yield my time to shed more light on this issue. I’m writing this to remind my future self on why I should always keep fighting for what is right! I pledge to myself that I will learn how to make serious change without using real people and their lives as pawns in a game of chess. I will use my privilege to the best to my ability to learn how to make this world a much better place.