Don’t Pack Your Bags to Canada Just Yet

These past two elections have proven that anything is possible. Barack Obama showed America that it was possible for an African-American man to become the President for not just one term, but two. Donald Trump has proven that it is possible for someone with no political experience to become the President of the United States. Donald has made history in a way that many Americans didn’t see coming. What made Trump’s win a hard pill to swallow was not his lack of experience, but compassion and sensitivity for minorities and women.

This election, I’ve witnessed a shift in American values. The country that promises equality and respect for all has elected a President that has not represented those values. The moment I found out that Donald Trump was our next President the world stopped. I felt an uncontrollable sense of darkness over my body and stared into my dark room. I had to get up and get ready for my training for my new job but my body shuts down. I didn’t want Hillary to win, but Trumps victory wasn’t something that I was prepared for. I gave myself a pep talk and pushed myself through the day. I tried to remain optimistic and I smiled at everyone I encountered on my way to training.

As I sat on the public bus I couldn’t help but notice the many Muslim passengers that sat on the bus with me. On the west side of Buffalo there is a presence of refugee communities and I could not help but to wonder what were they thinking. As I got off the bus I notice a few Trump sights downtown that I’ve never seen before. I managed to remain humble until later that day. When I returned to campus a secretary was so rude to me for no reason when I was trying to register for classes. At the moment all of the bottled up rage that I held inside exploded. I rushed to my dorm and just collapsed onto my bed.

Why would someone vote for Trump? I began watching protest and riots on social media and decided to take out my anger on the Republican Party and blamed them for everything. I was convinced that Trumps win exposed the millions of racist people who hide behind their prejudice in silence. Seeing people post rude and discriminatory statements only angered me more.

The next day I went to class and I found out that some of my classmates voted for Trump. They said they never told anyone because they didn’t want to be criticized and accused of being a racist. At this moment I decided to hear them out. As soon as I got back to my dorm I began to research both sides. I listened to republicans, democrats, and people who were anti-political and realized that maybe I was a part of the problem. We get so caught up in politics that we divide ourselves from one another. We have to take time to understand one another before we are quick to strike each other down.

In a perfect world, I would have wanted Bernie Sanders to win, but if he won, would we be discussing race issues today? Probably not. Race and diversity is a topic that America is very sensitive about and this election pulled the band aide off of the wound. When Obama was president many minorities became more vocal about the issue of race and now that Trump is president more Caucasians are speaking up.

We need to use this opportunity to face the past together, connect with one another and heal the nation. Trump has taken American out of its comfort zone and this may be a rocky four years, but let’s not let it go to waste.