Almost a week later, I am still in a state of shock.
“How did we let this happen?” “I woke up to a terrible nightmare.” “What are we going to do?!?”
All of these thoughts went through my head, were posted on Facebook, talked about across the nation.
After last weekend’s wonderful display of activism at NSJP, I went into Tuesday excited and hopeful. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The past few days I have been in a state of complete disbelief, and haven’t been able to truly sort out my feelings, let alone put them into words or write them down. America elected a president who not only ran his campaign on hatred, bullying and racism, but also openly called for a ban on Muslims entering the country. He hasn’t even taken office yet, and already pledged to help Israel and deport millions of immigrants in the US.
Across the nation, people are walking around distressed, crying openly and taking to the streets to protest. These protests are taking place in almost every major city in the US – declaring upset over the election results, and claiming that Trump is “not my president.” They have been going on since Election Day itself, and do not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon.
We need to stand together. This is a time for unity, strength, solidarity and demonstrating to the rest of the world how many Americans truly feel. My biggest question is where there are not MORE people protesting, MORE people showing the world that this is not what the whole country wanted. It’s true, Trump was democratically elected, and it does no one any good to argue that point. And yes, it’s true that each American had the right to choose whichever candidate they wished, and that not every Trump supporter is a racist. The reality is, however, that the American people voted a racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim white man into office. This is the new reality we have to deal with, and we shouldnt do so sitting silently on the sidelines. Now is the time to act!
The news is dominated by opinion pieces from all perspectives – those who voted for or against Trump and their reasons behind it. To me, the most fascinating view points are those of Muslim-Americans, especially those who supported Trump. These American citizens, many active in daily Muslim life, believe that Trump’s win is not the worst thing for the Muslim community in the country and, in fact, it would be much worse for other minority groups, especially the Latino population. That being said, the Islamophobic comments made by Trump in the past, the racism that is prominent in his campaign and platform, and his general attitude toward the Arab and Muslim world incite a fearful and negative reaction by Muslims across the nation.
While looking through endless articles, I came across two great pieces in Al-Jazeera. The first describes some of the opposing opinions I mentioned when it came to support for Trump:
The second, a more intense and yet powerful piece, describes the reality of Islamophobia in the new era of Trump as president:
This is the time to come together, work together, be together. Join me in doing so!