Published on March 1st, 2017 | by Marcelo Torres0
I am scared. Scared that the progress we have made as a nation could be torn apart in a matter of minutes. Having your parents worry about their immigration status and being deported when they have been legal immigrants for over 40 years is not a good feeling. When your younger brother tells you how scared he is, that he is going to be racially profiled for fitting the stereotypical Latino look, you are fearful for him. When your older brother expresses that he is nervous for his future employment and how difficult it is to find a job, you get scared. When you have to question your ability to marry the person you love or how your education is going to be changed for the worst, you worry. When my whole generation, 15, 16, 17 and 18-year-olds have to worry about climate change and how it will affect you because the “responsible adults” that should be finding a way to fix it, but refuse to acknowledge what is actually happening won’t, you are scared.)
Trump was successfully elected President of the United States through the use of a 1984-esque regime of power and has built upon it, with his cabinet, throughout the past 40 days. My parents, two documented immigrants that came from Mexico when they were 5 and 14, are scared they will be sent back after over 40 years of being in the United States. When President Trump has a notorious homophobe as his Vice President, who, according to the New York Times, wants funding for electroshock therapy and conversion camps in order to turn the LGBTQ+ community “normal,” not only am I scared, I am mad. When one man, an inexperienced, unfit and miscreant of a man, takes the most powerful office in the world and is able to strike fear into people of every age, every gender, every race all over the world, something is wrong.
As a Latino, I am mad at the fact it is now socially acceptable to be racist and just plain rude to people of different races. Ever since President Trump was elected, there has been a rise in hate crimes towards minorities, according to the Southern Law Poverty Center. There has been a social change within society where being racist is an acceptable norm. This increase in racism could possibly lead to children growing up during Trump’s presidency to think racism is normal and common, which would put the United States in a 1933 Nazi-esque social order.
As a gay man, I am mad that my right to marry can be taken away and that conversion camps are still suitable methods to “fix” me. Conversion camps are filled with horrendous ways to “fix” the LGBTQ+ community such as electroshock therapy and relentless “praying the gay away” sessions. The fact that people still believe the conversion camps work to change a characteristic that you have had since you were born is beyond preposterous, it is ignorant. Growing up in a traditional, conservative, religious household, I know what it is like to experience hate. Having to deal with conservative parents as a homosexual has not been an experience I would like to recall. Although my mother was completely accepting of me being gay, my father, the more religious conservative one, was not. My dad used to be one of those macho men, that believed being gay was wrong and unethical, now he has grown to be one of my biggest supporters. When I came out he was initially confused, frustrated and upset, over time he has become the person I knew he has always been. He resembled the emerging demographic making their hate public throughout the nation now. These people think it is okay to publicize their hate just because we have a president that thinks it is okay to do. Like my father did, these people need to stop being ignorant and stop spreading hate and fear.
As a student, I am mad that Betsy DeVos, a completely unqualified Secretary of Education, has had no experience within the public school system. DeVos believes that funding should be cut from the public school system. This would be detrimental to the 50 million children and their teachers in public schools nationwide, as well as the very future of the United States. Cutting funding from public school could lead to overlooking the next genius. Being able to afford an education is not a reality for all families, the person that can fix climate change or the next President of the United States, could possibly be in one of those families and will never be able to reach their full potential. As a student that has been in both public and private schools I can vouch and say that the friends I have made in public school are some of the most hard working people I have ever met that have to fight for things just given to you in private school. Do not let my friends and peers let their right to an education be taken away.
Although these worries have surrounded my thoughts every single day for the past 40 days, I am hopeful. The over-excitement and crowding of protests for rights that every American should have, the growth in the amount of younger people becoming politically active and the fact that we will fight on gives me hope. Hope, my fellow students, is what this country runs on, not by the fear instilled in us, but by the hope each of us has to get through these next four years and not be swayed by a bully’s threats and midnight tweets. Be scared, be worried, be alarmed, but do not lose hope.