WTF America

From a not-really-American, American woman

Amanda+Qui%C3%B1ones+sits+in+Red+Square+and+takes+in+the+reactions+of+fellow+students.

ERIN MCKEON

Amanda Quiñones sits in Red Square and takes in the reactions of fellow students.

Amanda Quiñones, Photo Staff

There was no anger, no sadness, no emotion. Just numbness when I work up on Nov. 9. My mind could not understand how there were people out there who actually voted for Donald Trump. People who stood behind him and supported his racism, sexism, and bigotry. People I knew and members of this institution, were celebrating the win while many others poured out tears in heartbreak and fear.

I am a Latina woman, and while I was lucky enough to be born in Puerto Rico which is, technically, United States soil to pass as white, and to have English as my second language, as soon as I open my mouth I am labeled as a spic. You’ll forget how good my English is. You’ll forget that I am an American citizen. You’ll forget my worth as a person and I will become nothing more than a label and a stereotype supported by the President-elect. I may not be Mexican, but I know when he refers to them, he is talking about me too. He is attacking my culture and my history.

When I moved here from Puerto Rico three months ago, I believed I was coming to a place of opportunity, a place where I could study and make a future for myself. However, even though I am American, I will always be discriminated against. I will always be “the Latina,” I will never be truly accepted. Because even though I am American, I could not vote in the elections. There was nothing I could have done to stop it, and now I’m forced to face the consequences of others’ decisions.

Many Latinos, Africans, Asians, Americans, immigrants, muslims, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and people all around America are going to have their lives changed. America is controlled by ignorance and lack of knowledge, and that is the problem. Because as much as we are scared by the most powerful man on Earth saying he is against same sex marriages, LGBTQ+ rights and immigration, that he has accusations of sexual assault, that he openly degrades women and minorities, we are more afraid of what this represents for America. We are afraid of what all of his followers will do in his name. We are afraid of sexism, racism, and bigotry becoming socially accepted norms. We are afraid for our lives and we have every right to be.

So please, stop trying to discredit my feelings. Stop trying to tell me I’m overreacting. Stop trying to tell me to get over it. Stop trying to tell me that just because I look white, this does not affect me. My melanin may not be of color, but my soul sure as hell is. I am Latina and proud, but this election has left me Latina and scared, and that was something I never thought I would be.