I do not feel free

Cheyanne Gonzales, General Manager Emeritus

The past year and a half, the social media world took the presidential election to a level that no one in history has ever seen. Each candidate was ridiculed for every move they made from interviews, to tweets, to memes, to scandals, as the country watched on.

As a mixed woman, as a college student and as a U.S. citizen, I am angry at my country. This past year, I’ve seen as society juggled being serious about sexual assault to making it a running joke. I am scared for what my future holds, and I am scared for my country.

On the night of Nov. 8, I received a phone call from of my best friends, an Indian-American and the daughter of two immigrants, her voice shaking and worried as she quietly stated, “He’s going to win, what’s going to happen. I’m so scared.”

It was in that moment reality sunk in; the country that I was born and raised in made a decision that I’m not completely accepted here. The day after the election, New York City was somber, cloudy and quiet. I could feel the sadness and the uncertainty around me, through the people I talked to, to sitting on public transit, there was fear.

Our President-elect Donald J. Trump has this nation divided in half. The country has watched as he openly bashed Mexicans, expressed his hatred towards Muslims, called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese, encouraged Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails and encouraged hatred and racism. Trump is currently involved in a class action lawsuit for fraud involving Trump University. His foundation is being investigated by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for violating state law.

Nearly a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual harassment or assault, but none have pressed charges. The woman who has accused Trump of raping her when she was 13 years old dropped her case last week. This is the next president of the United States, this is the man the country has chosen as its leader, a man who has faced many legal troubles and public outrage for not being true to his word. A man who built his campaign on “Making America Great Again” and building a bigger wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

This election has many women, people of color and others scared for the future. The past week since Trump’s win, the public outcry is only the beginning. There will be more protests and  marches, people will continue to stand up against Trump and what he stands for. I don’t know what the future holds for this country.

It’s not expected for everyone to understand this fear that people have, but it should be acknowledged, not mocked, that there are people living in fear because of one man.

As a college student and as a woman, I am saddened by the results of the presidential election. Though, this will be an election and a presidency that will be significant in our history books, it will impact this country in ways no one can foresee. This is a country founded on freedom, but I do not feel free.