How could I call Donald Trump “president” when his name only makes me shudder in fear? For the past few days I have been in denial about who the next president of this country is going to be. I never thought a man who sexualizes women and promotes hatred toward immigrants, Muslims, blacks and Latinos would get such a prestigious position. I guess I was wrong.
As a Muslim woman who is accustomed to harassment based on my religion, I prayed day and night that a man whose presidential campaign furthers hatred against Muslims would somehow disappear from sight; that the American people would see through the bigotry and pick a more reliable candidate. But,now that Donald Trump has been elected, I fear what is in store for my people.
Donald Trump has incessantly called for the ghettoization of Muslims, requiring all Muslims to have a form of public identification and allowing government officials to have constant surveillance over mosques. He also has the audacity to call for a complete ban on all Muslims entering this country. His mentality is nothing short of the Nazi mentality, and I fear that by slowly inculcating these thoughts into Americans, sooner or later he will incite another genocide.
Muslims, especially Muslim women, have seen a surge in hate crimes against them in light of Trump’s rise. Events such as the one at San Jose State University, where a Muslim woman was assaulted and had her headscarf ripped off, have become commonplace. Friends and family tell me that they have seen people on Facebook express hatred for people of color and immigrants, especially Muslims, far more frequently than ever before. My female Muslim friends who wear headscarves felt safe living in what they thought was liberal Los Angeles, but now see Trump signs on their neighbors’ lawns and wonder if it is safe for them to sleep at night near such people.
It sickens me to think that my newly-elected president will actively propose policies that subjugate minorities. I no longer want to wear a headscarf in public and often restrain myself from telling others I am Muslim to avoid discrimination. I’ve had to hide my identity because, clearly, the majority of Americans have no qualms about hurting me.
What really baffles me is that, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we are more likely to be crushed to death by a couch or television than attacked by a Muslim terrorist. Furthermore, FBI reports show that 94 percent of terrorists attacks between 1980 and 2005 in the US were carried out by non-Muslims. You might argue that Europe has seen a surge in Islamic terrorism, but the same FBI report stated that only 2 percent of the terrorist attacks in Europe were carried out by Muslims.
So why is Trump scapegoating the entire Muslim population? Because it is easy. The media only reports on the damages caused by Muslims, so people often think that they cause the most trouble. If our newly-elected president cannot distinguish between facts and media reports, how can we trust him to lead us efficiently?
I certainly cannot trust him, and for that reason, I will never truly accept him as my president. I just hope that he doesn’t further divide this country and make my life harder than it already is. As a Muslim woman, I am simply going to try to live the next four years cautiously and hope that “Trump’s America” does not ruin my love for myself and this country.
Sharmin Shanur is a first-year cognitive sciences major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I never actually thought that Donald Trump was an option for president. I’ll be honest, I thought he was a joke. No one would ever vote for someone who made such blatant racist, misogynistic and insulting statements, so I wasn’t worried until I watched the states change their colors to red.
I began as a strong Bernie supporter, but my vote went to Hillary after Bernie’s endorsement of her. Despite some of her flaws, I quickly became attached to the “pantsuit nation,” as I saw her as the saving grace from having World War III sit in the Oval Office.
All night, I constantly refreshed the poll results page on the New York Times’ website and crossed my fingers. Broken is the only word I can use to describe how I felt. For the first time in my life, I cried myself to sleep.
The prospect of Trump’s presidency was a bigger shock to me than Prop 62, the death penalty repeal, getting rejected in California. I don’t even care that he’s a Republican;
I am upset because Trump is a horrible person.
I don’t believe anything about who I am agrees with Trump.
I am a woman and a feminist. I am part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. I am a Democrat. My parents are deaf, and even though I don’t think they have a disability, many think they do. My cousin was adopted from Mexico. More than that, I am human. I shouldn’t be afraid that any of my rights as a living creature can be taken away by the leader of my country, but I am. That is why I don’t want Trump as my President.
Despite his election as the next president, I will fight all this hate with love. The only way to get out of the darkness is by using a little light.
Molly O’Donnell is a first-year drama major. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Fear — that one word sums up the major driving force of this election.
I watched Donald Trump’s campaign use the fears of people of different colors and beliefs when he called Mexicans a bunch of rapists and criminals, called for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the country and glorified “the old days” during several campaign rallies, as he encouraged his supporters to kick and shove African American protesters out.
Throughout these past 18 months, I held onto the belief that this man would pay for the hateful speech he constantly delivered throughout his campaign. Learning late Tuesday night that fear had won was heartbreaking.
I felt degraded when Trump won the election. The man who began his campaign by vilifying Mexicans and immigrants will now lead the country for the next four years. It was an uncomfortable realization that there are still so many people out there who will not judge me based on the content of my character, but based on my skin tone, the way I speak, or my physical characteristics.
For the first time in a long time, I am afraid of being who I am. I am frightened people will believe they are enabled to yell slurs at me, threaten me, or even hurt me for being Latino. I am scared to think that people may berate my grandmother now when they hear her try to speak in broken English. I’m terrified of the thought that children will bully my younger cousins and sisters and be influenced by Trump’s language. With Trump’s election, hate was not only allowed, it was awarded with the highest position of power in the country.
I am afraid, but now more than ever, I realize I must fight for what I believe is right and let my voice be heard.
Marco Miranda is a third-year drama major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week brought an emotional end to a turbulent presidential election cycle, with the election of Donald Trump elating and enraging people worldwide.
Reactions were varied and powerful: Tears were shed, laughs were shared, cheers were sounded, protests were held and my latest class was dismissed 45 minutes early.
Those belonging to the “losing side” of this election are obviously and rightfully upset, just as Trump supporters would have been if he had lost.
And, while it is fine for these people to feel this way, there is no reason to.
Sadly (and kind of hilariously), having Donald Trump serve as our president will not be the worst thing to happen in our lifetimes.
There are so many bad things that can and will happen to us as time passes, and I, for one, am not willing to waste energy and stress over the things that will most likely stay the same as before the election.
These next four years are an opportunity for everyone to educate themselves politically, to overcome the challenges this administration may pose to ourselves and our friends. To learn how to accept the results and how to use them as a building block.
Stay informed and stay positive. Past generations have been through and come back from much worse than this — we will, too.
Isaac Espinosa is a second-year electrical engineering major. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The fact that a campaign based on hate and fear has triumphed makes you wonder what this world has come to. Every minority, every citizen who is not a straight male is petrified to be living in the United States of America. As an international Indian student, I am terrified of walking alone even though I am living in one of the safest cities in the country, especially in light of the acts of vandalism and violence based on racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism after just day one of “Trump’s America.”
The scariest part is not even what he’ll do with his newfound power, but the feelings and thoughts he incites in people. His election accentuates the dormant racism that has always existed in people’s mind.
Just as concerning, people who are against these ideals forget that using any form of violence and force makes them no better than Trump or what he stands for. It is not worth it for us to stoop down to his level. The common people can still guarantee a good future for the U.S. if we tackle this conflict as rational and peaceful human beings.
I am still a proud UCI student and happy to be studying in this country; we’ve just hit a speedbump in the progress we were making. Acceptance of all cultures and educating ourselves and our peers before making hateful claims should be the ultimate goal.
Yanit Mehta is a first-year international student. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.