Side note: sorry for not blogging much lately. I’m not abandoning this blog, but just cutting back from how often I want to blog. In terms of quality, I think it’s better to write when I particularly feel passionate about an event or topic. Maintaining a blog schedule does not result in quality writing, and I’m honestly not proud of any of those blog posts I’ve written. Okay, so now let’s talk about the elephant in the room (or rather the title).
By now we are all familiar with the results of the election and the man who is now our President-Elect. We are all familiar with the protests conducted all across the country as a result of the election results. We are all (hopefully) familiar with the hate crimes that started as a result of the election.
As a Muslim-American woman (and obviously a POC), I am terrified, but I’m not terrified because of Donald Trump. Rather, I’m terrified because the racist, white supremacist rhetoric that has unfolded as a result of his candidacy and now election. Let’s be clear, I’m only 22 years old (so I’m young, but I’m not naive by any means). I never wanted to admit it, but the second he was selected as the Republican nominee for president, I knew that racism had not gone away. The Civil Rights Movement of the 60s would be resurrected, except this time, it wouldn’t include just Blacks, it would include Muslims, Latinx, LGBTQ, and women. White supremacy never died, it was just buried under ground waiting for someone to unearth this.
My father, a Muslim Pakistani-American, had experienced racism long before Trump was elected. Do you know what it was fueled by? Trump’s campaign. He was given a Bible by one of his coworkers who told him to consider conversion to Christianity because Islam does not preach peace. Islam is a backwards religion, according to his coworker. His coworkers subtly hinted at white supremacy by ganging up against him and trying to get him to quit. They made his life a living hell, to the point where he experienced his first episode of depression.
But this was all long before Trump’s election, now that he is elected, I fear for my father. Not just because of the financial aspects that result from losing a job, but because this is the America he worked so hard to come to. This is the America that caused him to leave his entire family in Pakistan and come to in order to provide better prospects for his children. So while it is easy to joke about booking a one way flight to the motherland or Canada, it leaves you wondering– what was the point of my parents’ sacrifice?
We leave our countries to come to America, the land of freedom and liberty. A land where we are free to practice our religion and free to maintain our traditions. I can wear what I want and not be taunted by every one around me. This freedom was not present in Pakistan. But now, it seems that the country my parents wanted to come to has let them down. Freedom is simply a catchphrase for America, but is that what the general population truly stands for?
Since when did America become a largely become an evangelical entity? The answer is, it’s always been. Trump’s election has just unearthed this ideaology, and like many other minorities, I am terrified. Does this mean it will now be okay to burn POC’s houses, steal their cars, physically assault them on the streets, and hurl racist insults at them? I want to say no, but the truth is I’m not sure. A day after the election, hate crimes have surged. Hate crimes against women, against Muslims, against Blacks, against Hispanics. If this is what will continue for the next four years, then this is not the great America my parents sacrificed their happiness for.
People have said the election will not affect anyone, but they are privileged. If you are not genuinely terrified about what will happen to your family, what will happen to you, then you are privileged. Privilege is such a nice place to be right now. Just because we’re in 2016, it does not mean the world is perfect. It’s still racist, sexist, and homophobic– and that is a scary place to be.
I’ve written a lot, and if I continue, I think the message I want to get a strong won’t be as impactful. I do want to say that maybe Trump won’t be as bad as a president. Maybe he just utilized racist and misogynistic rhetoric to get votes. What I do know is that we have unearthed something terrifying, and we need to be strong and support each other. If Trump stands for everything he mentioned on his campaign, then I’m sorry, but he’s #NotMyPresident.