By Génesis Román Melgar
By Génesis Román Melgar
New York – I woke up this morning to the news that Donald Trump had won the elections. I felt a heavy weight on my heart as images of minority groups crossed my mind. Deeply disturbed by the news, I started to think of the implications this would have on lives of minority groups, as well as the possible domestic and international political ramifications.
On my way to work, I sensed a different ambiance on the train. People looking at the news on their phones or newspapers, most of them with an expression of shock or sadness shown in their faces. It broke my heart to hear the reaction of minority groups, which Trump has disrespected and/or discriminated against by remarks he has made, especially Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, and women.
A friend shared his experience last night as he watched the election; he stated “Seeing an older Latino couple looking at the huge monitors with tears streaming down their faces is so heartbreaking. Right next to them is a Muslim family with young children who look with big eyes up to the screen. They don’t know what all of this means but the look on their mother’s face says it all.”
As I get to work, an African American woman I was having a conversation with on the elevator told me: “My eleven year old son was crying this morning and asked me if we were going to move to Canada.”
On a personal level, it hurts me to hear my little brother cry and ask what me what is going to happen to his friends in school. It is angering to know that innocent children are having these feelings in their hearts, created by the remarks they have heard Mr. Trump make.
As a woman, as part of a minority group, and as a well educated person that believes in equality, justice, and respect of others regardless of their ethnicity, gender or religion, I cannot feel comfortable at the result of the elections. I do not applaud someone who disrespects women; disrespect others because they are from a different ethnicity or because they are from a different religious belief.
A person who does this cannot be competent to represent a country whose constitution protects their citizen no matter what is their gender, origins ore religious believe. In a time when the world should working together for world peace, where women are working hard to obtain gender equality, and where people from different religions should be more united than ever before, it is crucial that heads of state abide by not only their constitutions, but also the universal human rights that we all share.
For a moment, I thought that it would be difficult to live in a place where I cannot seem to see the values and morals I was raised with. Thoughts of moving to another country crossed my mind, perhaps my motherland Bolivia, or Morocco “my adopted country” as I like to call it due my strong appreciation of the country.
However, as I thought about this, a voice inside me told me that it would be selfish to do this, if I am a woman who wants to help others, perhaps going away would be like escaping for my own benefit, but that would mean to leave my friends and others I know that are considered a minority. Many Hispanic, Muslim friends, and many empowered women are determined to close the gender inequality barriers. All of them are great people, whose struggles are my struggles because I care for them, and I am part of them.
A friend reminded me of a verse I had read on the Quran “Don’t love something that may be bad for you. Don’t hate something that may be good for you. God knows but you don’t.” I understand what this means, I am a person that trust God’s plans.
However, I do strongly believe that in this case, the verse doesn’t apply, because I am certain that our Creator did not plan for humans to be discriminated against, disrespected, or put down because of their ethnicity, gender, or religion.
This is a time when minorities have to be united, because union makes us strong. Whether we are Christians, Jews or Muslims, whether we are women or men, whether we are Hispanic, Black, or Asian, we need to defend each other, remain firm, and not allow anyone to disrespect us in any way. I hope that the elected President remembers what this country stands for that acts according to its values and believes.