Dear America, We Need a Reality Check
Dear America, let's have a much-needed conversation for a moment.
This past week, on 11/8/2016, a hard election season finally came to an end. As the votes were tallied and the impending announcement made, many, many lives were irrevocably changed. The outcome: Donald J. Trump became the President-elect — a metaphorical meteorite landed onto the political and social landscape of America. Its impact was heard around the world and continues to reverberate in the social media streams of consciousness, on the streets amongst heated protesters, and deplorable displays of outward hatred/intolerance towards minorities of all spectrums.
Being a triple minority myself, as a foreign born, gay Chinese-American, I found myself suddenly thrusted into a vitriolic world that was filled with more uncertainty than possibility. The memories of being bullied on the sandbox playground came flooding back, which I am no stranger to. But as a result of this election, we are dealing with a type of bullying and hate that is much larger than ourselves. The amount of hate crimes and physical/verbal harassment in public settings towards minority members, like me, have spiked significantly under the prospect of a Trump regime. Previously covert racists have now become full-blown discriminatory zealots. Never have I witnessed so much misdirected fear, anger and aggression towards an invisible, non-existent enemy. It frightens me to know that a sizable population of this country can express and exhibit hate so boundlessly and, quite frankly, without any rational reason.
But how did things become this way? Where did all this catastrophe stem from? These are some questions that I’ve been ruminating about over the past few days.
I don’t have the exact answers as to why humanity is wired to fear and antagonize each other, but I do think America, particularly Trump-Pence supporters, need a reality check:
Are we to assume that minority-filled jobs, like gardening, dishwashing, trash disposal, sweatshop/warehouse work, are suddenly desirable for White Americans? I mean, let’s be honest here, they are not losing out on job opportunities to minorities and immigrants. It is simply because they never wanted these low-paying, menial and laborious jobs in the first place.
Are we to assume that the Trump-Pence administration will be favorable to the middle and working class? Their own personal heritage and political track records (or the lack thereof for Mr. Trump) seem to indicate otherwise. Let us be reminded that Mr. Trump was born into wealth, not into the struggles we so commonly encounter in our pursuit towards economic stability. He’s already hand-selecting a cabinet full of people who are part of the political system.
Are we to assume that minorities are the real threats and obstacles towards Make American Great Again? Truthfully, many immigrant families are simply looking for a way to survive and make a living so they can support their extended families back home -- just like many working and middle class, white Americans. We all benefit from this — we pay taxes, rent and property taxes, which all contribute to the wellbeing of our domestic economy. No one is planning to takeover.
Are we to assume that minorities have not benefited this country in any capacity? If I remember correctly Panda Express didn’t just appear out of thin air overnight. In fact, it is founded and owned by Chinese immigrants who came to the States in search of better education opportunities and futures. Taco trucks (in every corner, might I add) have become such a staple part of our national diets that Tex-Mex restaurants of every variety exist even in Middle & Rural America.
Are we to assume that every minority has some sort of vendetta against the white majority? No, not really, we just have some beef with a system that keeps us continually invisible and oppressed. Some of my best friends and people I know are white. This was never about race in the first place, but how would you feel being treated differently because of your skin color, culture and heritage? Let's fight against systemic oppression and racial discrimination together.
The sooner we realize that this affects us all, the better off we are as a society. While I may be more fearful of what's ahead of us, I am equally faithful that kindness, compassion and love for our fellow humankind will ultimately prevail. Let's go higher and win this sweet, sweet victory together. #ImWithUs
Now that I've had the opportunity to air out some of my most immediate and pressing thoughts -- what do you think? Where do you stand? I am all ears.