To all minorities who feel scared and unprotected,
To the Latinos and Latinas, to the African-Americans, to the Asian Americans and Muslims. To any minority who is afraid: know that you are not alone. For the first time in 18 years, I can truthfully declare I am afraid to live in America. I am not only in fear to be a citizen of the United States, but also a minority who has been a victim of discrimination. It should not have to be this way. I should not be scared to reside in a country which encompasses "the land of the free." I should be frightened, to envision a nation targeting minorities and depriving them of equal stance in the nation.
There have been too many tears shed--many being my own--by the outcome of the current election. I have shed tears for myself and other friends who are terrified to be a minority in America. This election has increased racism to inexplicable and inexcusable amounts. Racism, in such a diverse country, will always exist, but I have never witnessed discrimination like this.
It pains me to read stories of Muslim women, questioning whether or not to wear their hijab, a part of their cultural identity. It pains me to read stories of elementary school children, crying with their teachers, in fear of their lives. Children are worrying if their parents are going to be deported and they will be forced into adoption. There are Facebook posts of panic-stricken Latin Americans formulating plans to move back to their home countries. They are dreading deportation from a nation that gave them a chance at the "American Dream."
People should not leave their homes and be victims of racial crimes, demeaning their humanity. The American Dream has now become a sliver of light minorities can only hope to reach. Whether some want to believe it, white supremacy exists. Solely blaming minorities for their own destruction and oppression cannot justify reasons for government and societal oppression. Minorities do not need to apologize to anyone for being who God created them to be. The United States is a place in which the minority flourishes and will soon be the majority of the population. America is a country that claims to emphasize inclusion for all but still manages to express abhorrent behavior towards minorities.
I pray that we never lose hope. Minorities have been fighting for their rights for centuries. Now is not the time to be discouraged. This election took a toll on myself and many others, but it does not mean we should be reluctant and allow the government to continue to impose laws we disagree with. Now is the time to fight.
The Constitution allows us free speech and we must be heard in every way possible. If we have not been heard, we need to be now. This election proves we must come together. We are deserving of our chances no matter who says differently. Our dreams cannot be tarnished. We need to continue with the vision of inclusion and press for its success.
We have been given a window of opportunity; the ability to coincide as one and compel the rights that are bestowed upon us by our forefather through the Constitution of the United States. This our time to use them and fight against oppression.
I was walking past a bulletin board and came across a sign that said: "If you want peace, work for justice." This resonates with me now more than ever. We all need to come together to promote peace. We must continue to spread love throughout the country instead of the animosity that continues to permeate through our schools and work environments. We cannot stoop to these levels if we want to achieve peace and change in our nation. We must coincide with each other to block the brigade of hate.
I do not want to be afraid of my future and neither should you. Our future is real, not just some segment on "Saturday Night Live" or the "Daily Show" we can simply laugh about and our problems magically dissolve. Our future is worth the battle.
We need to step up from the shadows overcasting us and present ourselves in a new light: a united front. It is time to work for the peace that is required upon a nation such as the United States. Injustice will not fade and unity will not flourish unless we work for it. Our future is what we make of it. The negative thoughts and pessimistic outlook will do us no good. We shall not back down when problems arise, but face them head on and move to greener pastures. We must keep fighting, keep working for the justice that we deserve.
Know that I love you and I am here for you. No matter what you are going through, we can face it together, despite the odds being against us. I will stand by you and fight alongside you, ensuring peace and prosperity for our generation and for those to come.
Psalm 30:5 says: "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." No matter how difficult the climb may be to get there, I will be right there with you, persevering through the most difficult times. We can and we will do this.