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  • Writer's pictureKelsey

This is why we're scared.

Someone asked me a really important question today. I post a lot about Trump and the fear people have, but they asked- "Why? What are people afraid of? What do they think is going to happen?" This is a GREAT question. So many of us, especially middle class white people, can't even begin to understand why so many minorities are scared right now. And I get it. Until you've experienced some type of assault or racism or sexism, you can't understand it. But I am begging you to try to see where the rest of us are coming from, try to understand why we feel the way we do. So here was my answer: Many people believe Trump is a racist. He has said so many racist, bigoted, and sexist things in his lifetime. I know that not every agrees that he's a racist, but many of us believe he is. The KKK endorsed him, he wants to build a wall to keep Hispanics out and wants to stop allowing refugees in. His campaign was (to many of us) built on a platform of fear and dislike of minorities. So the fact that a majority of Americans supported him seems to say that a majority of Americans don't want minorities in their country. And that's very scary if you're a minority. America has a history of oppressing minorities or people we're afraid of. Native Americans, slavery, Japanese internment camps during WWII, Arabs after 9/11. We tend to be a pretty racist bunch. And normally presidents denounce that sort of behavior, but to many it feels like Trump encourages it. So it's not so much that we're waiting for one specific event to happen. It's much more a spirit of fear among minorities knowing that (from what they've seen) white Americans don't want them here. And it is scary to think what that could lead do. Whether or not Trump is a racist, his fame and campaign has seemed to make a lot of people feel like it's ok to be racist and to be afraid of people who are different. And we've seen from our history what happens when people feel comfortable being racist. It's also a fear for women to know our president has publicly joked about assaulting them. I can't even tell you how many people I know that have been victims of assault and are now being forced to re-live their attacks because of Trump's words. There are hispanic children in schools being bullied and told they're going to be sent "back home" because "Mexicans shouldn't be here." People have chanted "Build the wall!" at Hispanic teenagers who were simply standing in line outside a store. People feel comfortable being racist now because they think their president endorses it. It doesn't matter if he really does or not because they believe he does and it makes them feel powerful. And what's even more dangerous is that middle class white people (who aren't racist and don't see or experience this type of racism every) think that nothing will or could happen. Many people think America is above that or we're too advanced to do that. And that's dangerous, because when we stop being aware of what's going on is when radical, racist people make their move and become powerful. This is not a comparison to Hitler because I think Trump is Hitler, just to be clear. But before WWII TONS of Germans were supportive of Hitler because he promised them good things and they thought there was no way he would do something as insane as murdering 6 million Jews. They didn't believe it because it seemed so crazy to them. So when they weren't looking, it happened. Because the average, moderate person wasn't paying attention or realizing how dangerous that kind of rhetoric was because to them it seemed like it would never happen (and it wouldn't affect them so they weren't worried about finding out if it could happen). So again, it's not that there's 1 specific event people are afraid of, but they are afraid of the general spirit in America right now, knowing that over half the country approves of a man many believe is incredibly racist and sexist. And they don't know what that means for their future. It may mean more hate crimes, it may mean deportation or bullying or feeling unsafe in their own homes. But the point is that a president is giving racists power and strength and a voice. And that's very scary. Trump may not be racist himself, it's entirely possible he's just capitalized on what he knew would win him votes. One friend said, "I don't think Trump is particularly racist, at least any more than a lot of 70 year olds, but I do think he's an amoral opportunist who knew he had to differentiate himself in a large pool of candidates and he used latent racism in the country to get his start. Many of us said this was bad not because he would round people up, but because of things like this. Everyone knows there's cockroaches around, but if your roommate starts feeding them and you find them on your toothbrush you're still gonna be pissed and blame him for it." But the point is that racism is now almost acceptable in our country. And many are afraid of what that means for their future. If you want examples, here are a number of them. This is a list of troubling events that happened on the very first day of Trump being president-elect,

including graffiti that said "Make America White Again" and "Black Lives don't matter and neither do your votes." This is a school in Pennsylvania where the school leadership had to have a convocation and send a letter home because kids were yelling "cotton picker" at black students and doing Heil Hitler salutes. So please, white people, Christians, middle class Americans, don't turn a blind eye to what's happening just because it's not happening to you. Don't ignore the turmoil our black, Muslim, and gay brothers and sisters are going through. I beg you to do more research, keep an open mind, talk to people that have a different opinion than you and be willing to listen. You might not be racist and you might not be sexist and Trump might not even be any of those things, but there are people that ARE those things. And we've given them power. And that is terrifying. You may have voted for Trump. And it's ok. It's done now and there's no point in us continuing to fight about it. So now is the time to stand with us, stand up for the voiceless, speak out against hate, go out of your way to do something kind for an immigrant and show them that WE LOVE THEM no matter what happens. You say you aren't racist, you aren't sexist, you only voted for Trump for economic or religious reasons. Fine. Let's SHOW IT! Show the world we aren't racist, show the world we love everyone, show the world we can rise above. Christians, let's stand up together, stand up for love and for acceptance and let's show the world who Jesus really is and what his followers are capable of and willing to do in the name of love.

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