Since Donald Trump won the presidential race, on the night of November 9th, the United States have not been so united. Hate messages and actions have reached immigrants, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and many more; as a part of all the three categories mentioned above, I have been scared out of my mind. My fear of being kicked out of the country (although I am here on a completely legal student visa, that will be renewed if I continue my studies and find a job) and of being targeted got so bad I could not bring myself to leave my room. And when I finally did...
It was November 10th, and my primary instinct was to spend yet one more day hiding in bed. My chronic mental illness does not make this any easier on my behalf, but I had my weekly therapy appointment to go to, and I let my therapist know I was struggling to get out of bed. She sent someone to pick me up, so I made it out. After that, I was able to kick my fear in the back and start my day like a boss: I showered, I went to a meeting, I ran some errands, I hung out with my best friend for a while. Then, I got back to my room... and found a disgusting surprise.
A note had been slipped under my door: it read "Italians out #trump".
If anyone had told me this would have happened to me, that I would have been the target of a hate crime, I don't know if I would have believed them. Sure, I was afraid, I had been afraid... but you never think it can be you, until it happens to you.
My instinctive reaction was not fear, it was not hiding. It was not tearing the note apart and pretending it had never happened, only to let that fear and feeling of danger sink in and swallow me whole.
It was anger. I had never been so angry before. I took a picture of the note and I posted it on Facebook for the world to see. Everybody needed to know how disgusting and hateful the world can be.
I reported the note to my campus' Public Safety, and it is being taken care of. I feel safe here, and whether this was a prank in very bad taste or a legitimate hate crime, there is one more thing I want the world, and the vile person who slipped that note under my door, to know.
Italians are in. Italians are not going anywhere, and neither are Muslims, Mexicans, the LGBTQ+ community, or anyone else, really. We are staying. We are staying, and we are fighting. No matter how bad you want us to leave, we'll stay. We'll stay and fill the world with love, cause it needs so much of it right now. We'll stay, and make the United States United again. We'll stay, and if you want us to go... we'll be your worst nightmare.