Waking up to a Donald Trump presidency is like getting punched in the face by my best friend. It is like having the security ripped from my body. It is having the rose-colored glasses knocked off my face and seeing the world for the first time as unwelcoming and cruel.
Although I am not old enough to vote, I followed the election very closely because I knew that this election would have a huge impact on my future. I watched the primary debates on both sides, the Democratic and Republican conventions, the interviews, the “Saturday Night Live” sketches, the speeches, the general debates and the The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner.
I first suspected there was something very different about this election when protestors at Donald Trump’s rallies fighting for the basic right to be seen and heard, to matter, were sucker-punched by Trump supporters as their leader egged them on. Even journalists were knocked to the ground for covering the opposition. Fights broke out. Finally, a video came out with Mr. Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.
The theme of the Republican National Convention was Make America Safe Again. But I do not feel safe today. As a black Muslim woman, I do not feel safe walking through my hometown, where the Confederate flag and Trump signs are found side by side, because now people have a license to channel all their fear into hate of, in Donald Trump’s words, “thugs” “terrorists,” and “nasty women.”
But I write because Mr. Trump and his supporters can never silence my voice, my art, my activism, or my survival. Like President Obama, I still believe in hope.
Maya, 16, is a senior at W.D. Mohammed High School. Maya also created the art for this story.
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