I am an immigrant. I’ve lived in this country for 17 of my 19 years. I am a student, a friend, a daughter. I have faced racism, and I have had to work hard to build the small safety net I have, and because of the results of this election, I am horrified and fearful for the lives of people that aren’t privileged white males. This is my story and how I feel.
When my parents came here 17 years ago, they came with two suitcases and the hope for something better for their child. They left India, starting over in America from square one, rebuilding their life in a new land. They have worked tirelessly to provide me with the resources and opportunities to succeed in a country I find pretty amazing, but they did not put their blood, sweat and tears into the country whose leader could be Donald Trump. I am so truly saddened by the fact that so much of America in 2016 has chosen to vote for racism, bigotry, prejudice, sexism and homophobia. I am so sad to see that there has been a man elected who doesn’t see beyond himself: straight, wealthy, old, white, male.
America would never be the country it is today without the diverse people bringing their lives here to make themselves and this country better. America should be celebrating the diversity and cultures shared here, because it has been a long road to equality.
Instead, I hear people already screaming hateful words at one another outside of my window.
I have never felt so fearful to be in this country before. I have never felt such a strong divide in the nation. I have never been so disappointed to be surrounded by educated people that can’t see the monster elected into office. I have never felt so trapped in the “land of the free.”
If you still don’t agree with me, put yourself in my shoes. Put yourself in the shoes of anyone that isn’t conventionally “American,” and imagine sacrificing everything to start over in a new country. Imagine being in a place where you are attacked constantly for not being exactly like everybody else or for not fitting into the boxes everyone expects you to fill. Imagine feeling unwelcome for looking a little different or speaking a different way. Imagine being in a position where you are filled with fear that your life is about to change drastically because of one man who thinks he’s making America great again, when he’s pushing it back about sixty years and thinking solely about himself. Put yourself in anybody’s shoes that are not your own.
Normally, I am proud to be an Indian-American. Today I am scared to be an Indian-American.
America was not great [in the past]: it was not progressive, it was not equal, it was not fair.
We’ve worked far too hard to be in such a dire situation, and this is the first time I am truly disappointed to be an American.
If you disagree and feel the need to share your hateful views, do so elsewhere. Remove me from your friend list and take a good look at why you can’t see what a significant setback this is for our country.
– Apara Sharma, sophomore