On Nov. 8, I was shocked and disappointed as I watched as Trump’s chances of becoming our next president rose from 20 to over 95 percent. After he was officially elected, I cried, yelled at the TV, laughed at jokes on social media about the impending doom of our country and watched thousands of my peers yell “Fuck Donald Trump” in protest of his presidency.
As an Asian American woman of color, I don’t want to live in a country where the majority of the population doesn’t accept me and those I care about. Wanting to leave the country is not a joke to me, but to myself and so many others who are endangered by a Trump presidency, that’s not a reasonable option.
I am afraid, disappointed, angry and sad. Everything I’m feeling as a result of this election is real and valid because the consequences of Trump’s presidency will be real. Our future president has insulted foreigners, Muslims, women, LGBTQIA+ and so many others in a way that has made these communities feel legitimately unsafe by normalizing bigotry. I’m disappointed in my country for choosing hate as the popular discourse for the next four years.
Now that Trump will be our president, others have started to insult and even commit hate crimes against minority communities. I’m afraid because there has already been an outbreak of hate crimes across the country. According to USA Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center received over 200 reports of hate crimes since election day.
Asian Americans have been called “chinks” and told to “go back to Asia” even in seemingly progressive places like Los Angeles and Chicago. During Trump’s campaign, which often placed blame on the Chinese for the USA’s problems, suggests the Chinese invented global warming and mentioning China repeatedly throughout the campaign, which drew spiteful attention to Asian Americans.
This is making me feel unsafe and afraid for everyone who will be more affected by the result of the election than I will be. I have the privilege of being able to say I felt safe in my skin before the election, and I can only imagine how much worse it is for people who were already unsafe before Trump became president-elect.
Our campus’s reaction to the election has been a solemn one. The day after the election, many students received emails and messages from resource centers, colleges and RAs, opening their doors and ears in support and solidarity.
Chancellor Blumenthal reached out on Wednesday morning, encouraging students to find support in campus resources and communities. UC President Janet Napolitano, along with the 10 UC chancellors, reminded us in an email that “the university ‘strives to foster an environment in which all are included’ and ‘all are given an equal opportunity to learn and explore.’”
Despite their reminder, there have already been multiple cases of hate crimes at UC campuses. The UCSC Police Department is investigating a case of aggravated assault on campus as a possible hate crime. At UC Berkeley a man threatened to pull off a Muslim student’s hijab and there have been two Neo-Nazi displays at UC San Diego, one of them a spray-painted message reading “Heil Trump.”
UCSC students have been expressing frustration with the election results through protest since Tuesday night. Protests give students a space to come together and make their various negative reactions to the election heard on a public level, forcing people to listen. We are angry and for good reasons.
So many people are endangered and enraged by Trump’s election because it shows that our country has chosen hate. I wish it could go away, but it will continue throughout the four years of his presidency and his legacy will continue after he’s gone. Having a president who is openly discriminatory and promotes hate towards minority groups creates a space for other racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic and xenophobic people to come out of the woodwork, endangering and antagonizing those targeted by Trump’s bigoted rhetoric.
Minorities and allies in this country are truly afraid of a Trump regime for legitimate reasons, yet even people who are against Trump can’t grasp the gravity of how real the consequences of Trump’s presidency will be for many people. They say to try and understand where Trump supporters are coming from, or to stop being so dramatic, or stop complaining about moving to Canada, and just have hope and we’ll all be okay.
But the thing is, we’re not going to be okay, and we’re not just being dramatic. A Trump presidency will have very real consequences for countless people. Trump has said he will outlaw abortions and punish women that get them, defund Planned Parenthood, deport undocumented immigrants, build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and heavily restrict immigration and visas from all parts of the world, among many more examples of people whose lives will be disrupted by Trump’s presidency.
As much as I want to disappear from this mess, I know leaving the country is not the best choice I can make right now. Leaving would mean giving up on my college education and future career. I won’t let my fear and anger towards Trump and his supporters deter me from those goals. I will fight for the future I know I deserve regardless of what people like Trump think I’m capable of. As a mixed race woman of color, I won’t let Trump erase me.