Donald Trump has been president for 10 weeks and in that time there have been a myriad of responses to the different bills, laws, and choices that have transpired. There have been uproars across social media responding to various issues, but there is one response that I have heard, quite frankly, predominantly from white US citizens that support and or voted for Trump.
“I’m so tired of hearing about politics.”
I’ve found this response to be sad and extremely self-focused in that it shows no concern for those that are experiencing difficulty in many of the changes that the Trump presidency has begun. As a white collegiate female, whose life has been *relatively* unaltered by this presidency, I wanted to hear perspectives from other women: women of color, women who have come into this country as foriegners, to hear how they felt about this presidency, and the issues they see in our current political climate.
I spoke with a friend and collegiate female of color, Jasmine, and asked her how she felt on election day, she said: “The day after I felt uncomfortable to be a minority, as if we were betrayed in a way. Walking around campus seeing the happy faces, or unbothered faces, made me feel that nobody cared that I felt in danger.”
Jasmine speaks to the fear that so many US citizens are living with right now, the fear of being of the color or religion or heritage that they were born with, the things that make this country diverse and open and accepting. It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but when citizens are scared to be who they are? That’s when it’s time to take a second look at things. To say to someone that you’re tired of hearing about politics is quite literally to say: I am tired of hearing about your issues, that I probably do not experience, and I don’t want to attempt to understand.
I also had the chance to speak with Sara, a PHD student from Iran currently studying at OSU. I was curious about her views as a foreigner during the election and in the space since. One of the things that she said that hit me was, “This is something I was scared to happen, and it happened.” She went on to talk about the recent bans on entry into the US from many middle eastern countries, and the fear she and her fellow Iranian friends felt. She discussed with me their fears of not being able to find a job, to see their families, or even that if they left the country they would be unable to return.
These are real concerns, from real people living under what they feel to be a dangerous time in this country. We can’t stop talking about politics, because even if they don’t effect you, they effect someone, whether it’s the ban on immigrants, abortion, taxes, missiles, you name it and it’s happening right now. Regardless of your political affiliations and beliefs, the importance of asking questions and listening to others whose opinions seem foreign to you is extremely important. We can’t stop talking about these things, and we can’t go back to before this election, even if we would like to. So, ask questions! Ask your roommates, your colleagues, or even the foreign exchange student in your science class that you’ve never spoken to before. Keep talking, don’t be silent about politics, just because it’s uncomfortable. Talk about it because it’s uncomfortable. And it matters.