Featured Writer: Esther Nevarez
The Election Edition
ESTHER NEVAREZ talks about being Mexican American in the midst of a looming Trump presidency and learning how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Political leanings aside, the one thing most of us can agree on is that the election results were shocking. I am a Mexican American woman—not Trump’s target demographic—and I can say with all confidence, these results have made me very uncomfortable. The first day was filled with fear. Fear that the majority of white folks (European Americans) wished there were only white folks in this country. When a man who is endorsed by the KKK, calls for a Muslim registry (in a country founded on religious freedom), and encourages “Build the Wall” chants at his rallies is elected to office, one might assume his supporters are not fans of people of color. I wouldn’t want the principal of my local high school endorsed by the KKK, let alone the leader of the free world.
These feelings of fear made European American Trump supporters feel uncomfortable. They didn’t want to be looked at in a negative light and they didn’t want to be portrayed as racist even though they voted for a candidate that was supported by racists. Throw in the fact that some black folks and Latinos voted for Trump as well, and you’ve got a whole country that’s uncomfortable and looking for labels. Our brains are trying to make sense of this unexpected outcome, and we’re trying to use logic on a situation that’s fueled with emotion and personal identity. Some people are uncomfortable with Syrian refugees in this country. Some people believe Trump has plans for the economy that will benefit everyone, and that he’ll do his best to end corruption in Washington. Some people think liberals are overreacting. The bottom line is a lot of us are uncomfortable.
I’m trying to learn that it’s okay to be uncomfortable. We all want our voices heard; yet, we all want to be content. One can choose to ignore the noise of the world, turn off the TV, and attempt to live without consequence. Or one can tune into the information available and realize we live in a country where we have a voice, and we are allowed to make it heard through various means and organizations. I was always of the belief that I didn’t want to share my opinion online or in public because I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and that it was rude to do so. Now the country has voted in a leader who has made a large majority of my Mexican, Muslim, Female, LGBTQ, Black, and Liberal friends uncomfortable. They voted because they were not being heard. They made a change in this country through their votes. You can choose to turn off the world and attempt to live in a peaceful bubble, and I can see the logic in that choice. Or you can choose to stay connected, get educated, and take action in any way you see fit. You can strive to fight for human rights even if it makes people uncomfortable—even if it makes you uncomfortable. I believe there is more good than bad in the world. Most people love their families, love puppies, and love a pretty day. As humans, we have experienced how hate is a heavy emotion to carry. I will strive to see the good in people while fighting for human rights. I will maintain a peaceful determination while being as comfortable as possible being uncomfortable.