Living in my (br)own skin with Trump

Rahul Lal, Staff Writer

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, that was motivation that I could be somebody. When Donald Trump was elected, that was motivation that I needed to be somebody. While disappointed, I’ll go out into the world with brown skin, a beard and tattoos. To some Trump supporters, that negates the fact that I am an educated, hard working man destined for success in this country I call home.

But, I can’t lie, it hurts.

“59.5 Million?! For him?!” These are the words I astonishingly remarked while watching CNN just after the polls closed. I could talk about the electoral college, I could talk about a lack of political experience, I could talk about a lot of things. I want to talk about how heartbroken I am.

The man that nearly 60 million people took time out to vote for is the same man who announced to the world that men who look like me are a threat. The same man who has been accused of sexual assault and is running on an anti-abortion platform. The same man who believes an entire community of African-Americans are thugs because of “the inner-city” and that Mexican people should pay for a wall to keep themselves out.

Regardless of upcoming legislation, 60 million people said, “Donald, you’re right,” to at least one of these. Social media has played a huge role and I have gotten too used to seeing incredibly hurtful posts about marginalized people like myself. Despite the fact that I am just somebody who wants people of all colors, genders and races to be able to see happiness, I am also somebody who wants to be surrounded by love.

I now feel that America wasn’t made for me. Many Americans still have to label my parents becoming successful citizens and having a family “The American Dream.” This country wants me to be part of some conforming, indivisible melting pot. One where my culture, my idiosyncrasies, melt away and we are considered part of this bland liquid.

I’m not moving to Canada. I’m not budging. I grew up to be the conscious thinker I am in Barack Obama’s America. One where celebrating my culture wasn’t considered a threat to white culture or American culture as a whole. I’m tired but I’m not resting.

White privilege is all around me. White privilege is being able to not care about the election because everyday life hardly changes; white privilege is being elected president after saying insensitive and racist things. White privilege is not being able to walk down parts of this country post-election without my own mother being worried about my health and safety.

Am I angry? Yes. But, I’m not the terrorist, anti-American man that too many Trump supporters make me out to be because of my skin. Instead, I hope to be the face of a generation; angry and starving for success. I want to show this country that my culture and generation are something. If we can’t do it, it can’t be done.