On Tuesday, November 9th 2016, we elected one of the most provocative, unqualified candidates for President.
I understand why so many people voted for him, I understand what he said made sense to some people. But as a young women of color living in the country, I’m terrified as well. I’m terrified because 59 million people agreed with him. Even if they didn’t agree with his racism, or sexism or xenophobia, they still supported him, which means they supported all of him. You don’t get to pick and choose what parts of the candidate you voted for you liked, the minute you voted for him, you decided to agree with his discriminatory measures as well. But ok, fine. I realize that being a person of color, a woman, a daughter of immigrants it’s not going to be easy, and you have no motivation to make sure we are safe or have rights.
Hate crimes around the country have started rising. Donald has taught those bigots that it’s okay to be racist or sexist, and it’s ok to hurt people. You can be the nastiest, most horrible person in the world, and still win the presidency. And that message scares the shit out of me. You know what else makes me scared? A fully Republican run government. We haven’t had that since 1928, and we plunged into the Great Depression. The Republican side of our government, especially our house and our senate, has expressed their want to: repeal Obamacare, make abortions illegal, get rid of reproductive rights, suppress LGBT rights, retract climate change regulations, and much much more.
These things will matter to me, I’ll be going to college in the middle of this administration. What if I can’t access birth control or contraceptives? What if my little sister doesn’t get access to healthcare because of her pre-existing condition? What if my friend isn’t allowed to marry because they repeal gay marriage? What if I’m not allowed back into the country because of the way I look and the name I have? These are all real fears people my age have around the country.
Fear is gripping our nation, I can see it through the protests occurring throughout the country. I see it when people are desperately getting IUDs or people of color are making sure their documents are in line, even if they are American born. Trump’s America is a scary, lonely place. If I didn’t feel American before, I sure as hell don’t feel American now. I don’t believe that when I fly I’ll be treated fairly. I don’t believe that if I exit California I’ll be treated with respect. And I don’t believe that as I grow up into a woman, I’ll be treated with basic human decency.
I have these fears, many people do. But I also have a lot of gratitude and respect in my heart. So, I want to thank senators such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris who have vowed to give the Republicans hell if they try to discriminate. I want to thank the state of California for electing our first half Black and half Indian-American senator. That sends a message to the country that times are changing, and they should start changing with the times. I want to thank Hillary Clinton. Because she has fought so hard, and for so long just to make sure that we would have someone who was fair and just in the seat of President. She proved to the world, and to young girls everywhere that they can do whatever they want. Hillary Clinton is the symbol of the strength of girls, and the class they have. She’s inspired so many, including the future first female president of the United States.
I want to thank those protesting Donald Trump. They show how many of us don’t want him and don’t recognize him as our president. It also sends a message of opposition, and a message that says if you ever try to take away our rights, we will protest, we will be heard. The people protesting give me hope, hope that sooner or later love will certainly trump hate. Finally, I want to thank President Obama. The first President I knew and respected. While I was alive during the Bush Administration, Obama was my first president (as he is the one I have followed and watched get elected, twice.) He represents change and progress. He represents feminism, equality, justice, and class. He’s my President, and for the next four years he will continue to hold that space in my heart.
I’m filled with fear, but I’m also filled with hope and filled with gratitude. We will fight bigotry, we will fight this violence and hate. So America, I know you’re torn. I know you’re hurt, I am too. But know, that this pain and this anger will spark something much bigger. We got this.
If you want to donate to any organizations that advocate for immigration, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the rights of people of color; I’m listing some below. Now is not the time to give up, now is the time to fight.
You can find out more about Ananya on her author page.