To the Editor:
It has almost been a week since Donald Trump has been announced as the next president of the United States of America. Even before this time, we had already seen an increase in levels of bigotry, assault, harassment, and discrimination against people who do not resemble the characteristics of Trump, that is, anybody who is not a white, wealthy, straight, able Christian male. Somebody like me.
Since Nov. 8, stories of hatred have become the dominant story throughout the nation. Students have expressed their hatred toward specific groups, writing racist messages on the back of bathroom doors, chanting slurs, and “Build the Wall!” The words “Make America Great Again” or “Make America White Again” have been spraypainted on baseball dugouts, billboards, cars, and homes. The hashtag #WhitesOnly is now trending.
Individuals have been physically and verbally assaulted just because they are a person of color, identify as LGBTQA+, identify as a female, practice a different religion, are an immigrant, and/or are disabled.
As an African-American, a female, and university student, it concerns me that another student felt comfortable walking around our campus wearing a construction hat with the word “TRUMP” and a shirt with the words “Build the Wall.” It is troubling that black and brown freshman students at the University of Pennsylvania were invited to a group called “N***** Lynching” through the texting app GroupMe. Students received violent messages, racist texts, and all were given the date and times of their lynching.
A woman has told her story of while shopping at Wal-Mart having her hijab ripped off her head and told to go hang it around her neck. Another woman has shared her story of a man who assumed she was Mexican and said, “I can’t wait until Trump asks us to rape your people and send you back over the biggest damn wall we’re going to build.” Unfortunately, there are so many more stories that will be silenced in the midst of all that is happening.
People all over America, no matter what their background, have had conversations about what it means now that Trump has been elected. There are a lot of us who are scared, upset, angry, frustrated, confused, and hurt. Our feelings are real and they are valid. Not only does it impact us personally, but also our loved ones, our friends, our community, and even the ones we do not know but who are now in fear of their wellbeing.
For those of us who are worried about what the future holds, we must remain allies, advocate for one another, and stand against the racism, sexism, discrimination, and oppression that so many preached no longer existed.
For those who do not understand, do not wish to understand, are not triggered by the stories, and continue to celebrate the outcome of this election…I suggest you go check your privilege.