By now you are probably annoyed at how much people have been discussing the results of the presidential election, or about how appalled people are about them. Given how close the election was, the experience must have been at the very least nerve-wracking. I won’t discuss the results, or offer my critique of them. I will speak from the heart because I am Mexican, and I am nervous.
I don’t know or care about what the upcoming administration holds in store for the likes of me. People have proved time and time again that the “average Joe” is quite resilient, regardless of inertia at the public policy level, as they will be implemented over long periods of time, during which Latinos, Muslims, Blacks and other minorities will eventually adjust. What keeps me up at night is the problem of perception that Mr. Trump’s campaign infused in the American population. Millions in the USA pride themselves of being open-minded, but we have to face the reality that this is not the world at least 60 million Americans, through no fault of their own, were wooed into. I am not talking about the ones who were ex-ante racists, but of those whose view was neutral or absent, but that now are ruled by a proponent who came to power advertising his propaganda. These people were essentially taught that it is ok to hate, because it gets the job done (at least it did for Trump). The results are obvious and immediate; Twitter is testament to that.
I am nervous and scared because policies like the ones in the minds of Trump-voters (even if they do not exist and will never be proposed) give free range to speak out directly against minorities with arguments fitting of the 1940’s. I’m not saying that America has gone 70 years into the past in terms of social politics, but I am implying that many people certainly have a reason today to rewind their mentalities– after all, the president thinks that way, right?
I am nervous not because of what the economy might do, or how the tax cuts will drive deficits up. I am nervous that if I go walking on the street or climb into an Uber, the driver or my fellow pedestrians might yell at me, or attack me, simply because I am Mexican… and to think that the US *was* a model country, a beacon of light to be followed. On a larger scale, I am nervous of what the ramifications will be for generations of college and grad students, American or otherwise, with foreign heritage, to have as many opportunities by how corporations will perceive them, simply by the shift in mindset of what is permissible brought by the new administration.
I am optimistic, however, that people cannot be that ignorant and retrogressive. My mom used to say “think wrong and you’ll get it right!”. I pray to God, that in which America trusts, that she was wrong.
Rafael Tuachi (’17) is a Mexican Boothie living in the States, scared but hopeful.