On a personal level, I am scared. I am scared of going back to a country where rape culture is already alive and well and is now spurred on by the most powerful man in politics. I am afraid to walk down the street because Trump has communicated that my body is not mine. My body is for others to judge, to rate, to grope (if they’re famous enough), to be taken away from myself. This already happened to me countless times in pre-Trump America. I’ve been groped. I’ve been followed to my home. I’ve been masturbated at. I’ve been threatened with rape, even murder, for refusing a man’s advances. But for the first time, this behavior is not even just silently condoned by Trump – he’s actively empowered people to think this way, that a woman’s body is a commodity, trafficable, commutable by wealth. I’m scared of the Repeal the 19th Amendment movement that shamefully surfaced in the last month of Trump’s candidacy.
On a less selfish scale, I am scared for my friends. I’m scared for my Muslim-American friends, who are at increased risk of hate crimes, which are already happening constantly in even the most liberal cities. I’m scared for my mother’s Indian boyfriend, a legal immigrant and amazing human being, who may experience racism and backlash, as the American understanding of the difference between Indian and Arab is… tenuous at best. I’m scared for my half-Ecuadorian best friend living in Arizona, one of the most backwards states in our nation when it comes to immigration. I’m scared for my father’s Filipina wife. I’m scared for my mixed race, half-Hispanic stepsiblings. I’m scared for all the black men and women who have been important parts of my life over the past twenty years, who have been subject to increased police scrutiny, illegal stop and frisks, occasional cold blooded murder, and just general police terrorism.
I’m scared for my Mexican friends living legally in the United States under H1B visas, being sent back into the murderous chaos and corruption of their country after having worked so fucking hard to settle in the U.S. I’m scared for my LGBTQ sister living in the Midwest. I’m scared for my lesbian best friends, engaged and ecstatic, and how the wedding they wanted to have in the state they chose to marry in may no longer by possible by the time the time they plan the wedding. I’m scared for the disabled and mentally impaired students I used to teach, having a president who not only doesn’t give a shit about their disability, but will actually mock them on television for it. I’m scared for those same students, many of whom are here without documents, being ripped away from the only education and the only home they’ve ever known.
I’m scared for my Jewish side of the family. My uncle was born in a refugee resettlement camp in Poland after his parents met again for the first time in a camp for Holocaust survivors. They were separated in different concentration camps and, by way of some small miracle, met again at a refugee camp in 1945. His many brothers and siblings were already dead at that point, murdered by Germans. He grew up with ghosts for brothers and sisters, never having a chance to know them. I know this sounds dramatic, this invocation of Godwin’s law, the ultimate logical fallacy. But my fear is that this thing that seemed so long past, belonging to another country, may be so far from the truth.
I’m scared for our economy. I’m scared that all the money I’ve saved up to travel will soon be worthless when our economy naturally tanks. I’m scared that as the global market rightfully sees what a fucked up country we are, opportunity will drop, jobs will again become scarce, and that’ll only lead to people blaming the usual suspects – Latinos, usually – for “taking our jobs” when the reality is, a Trump presidency isn’t going to create jobs. It’ll destroy all the work that Obama has done to rebuild out country.
I wish I could be callous and say that everyone who voted for Trump gets everything they fucking deserve over the next four years. But honestly, no one deserves that. No woman deserves to be “grabbed by the pussy” – not even the shockingly large number of women who somehow found the cognitive dissonance within themselves to vote for Trump.
No one deserves him. But then again, maybe America does. After all, we are a country built off the genocide of native Americans, slavery, segregation, and hate. Maybe those are American values after all. If over half of our country thinks so, then fuck, maybe it is true. Maybe we have already been living in Trump’s America, and now we just have the toupeed bobblehead to match.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to do some frantic Googling to see if I can become an Italian citizen despite my grandmother having renounced her citizenship in ’45, when she fled fascist Mussolini. And so history repeats itself.
Thank God she’s not alive to see this day.