**Disclaimer: The following article is written from a liberal perspective. This perspective is my own personal perspective and does not necessarily represent the rest of the Her Campus staff.**
I thought my worries this year were supposed to be about school, my friends and family. The only stress and anxiety I should feel should be because of my exams and finals. My fears should not be what is going to happen to me if I walk outside of my house. I should not be texting and calling my friends and family asking if they are safe and for them to be careful. I cried for hours when the result of the 2016 Presidential Election came out and had to convince myself for an hour to go to my classes. The pain and sadness I felt when I heard that the Donald Trump had won was one that I thought I could never feel.
I have asked myself so many times, since the results came out “why America?” It occurred to me that this was a man that expressed all the ugliness that some Americans like to hide. An ugliness that they can express freely without feeling like it will be reprimanded. My fear is not only what Trump will do during his presidency, but what some of his supporters will now do. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories already. I’ve heard cases such as the U of I case or the University of Minnesota case. I should not read articles that say 8 transgender people have committed suicide after the election results. I should not hear from a friend that they are afraid of this country or that parents have told their children to not wear their hijab to hide that they are Muslim. This is not the country I grew up in.
I cannot accept a man that produces such hatred and violence in our country. A division has been created. The feeling of fear and terror has been set into so many people. I cannot accept a man who is a racist, bigot, sexist and more. People should not be fearing for their lives. I should not feel afraid to walk outside of my house because I am a woman of color. I should not keep looking over my shoulder when I’m outside or just have a feeling of anxiety that someone might try grab me by the pussy or that someone might attack me because of the color of my skin. This is a fear I never thought I would feel in a million years
The violence and hatred from the election is one that hard to watch. People attacking someone for their race, sexuality, or gender is horrific. It is just as hard to watch people being attacked because of who they voted for. The violence has to stop. We cannot fight fire with fire because it will get us nowhere. I will not let my fear rule me nor will I let this anger and hatred consume me. I’m angry with who won just like many of you are, but I cannot turn to violence because then I would be just as bad as them. This is the hatred and violence he wants. I will not calm down though like I’ve been told to. I will fight back, but in a positive way.
I will protest peacefully and not burn down our flag. I will not flee the country because of fear of what might happen to me. I will not belittle those that voted for Trump or attack them because, even though I might believe that they chose wrong, it is still within their rights for who they pick. I could argue all day with any of my friends and family that voted for him, but I know that it’ll not go anywhere. I can stay and fight back. I will fight back against any policies he creates that could harm a group of people. I will fight back against those that attack a group of people and if I am attacked. I will be a voice for those who are afraid just as you should be. I will not accept him as my president, but I have to have hope that things will be okay. I have to move on from the results and be ready to fight back when needed.
To those who are afraid, I will stand by you. You are not alone because we are in this together. You are valued and loved. The hate and violence I have to believe is a passing moment. If attacks begin, I will fight for you. I will fight for you if any policies try to take away your rights. You are safe because our new fight is to create peace once more. We don’t know what will happen, but what we can do is hope and fight back peacefully.
A little quote from Hilary Clinton, “I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks- sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts. But please, never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is. It is worth it. And so, we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.”