By Ellen Asermely
By Ellen Asermely
Rabat – The day after Donald Trump became President-Elect of the United States, I sat in a cafe in Rabat, Morocco with my American friends. The mood was somber as we reflected on the results of the election and discussed what a Trump presidency will mean for our country.
We had gone to bed the night before confident that Hillary Clinton would be elected, it seemed like it was her destiny. None of us believed that Trump, a failed businessman and egomaniac who had built his campaign on the basest fears of the American public — fears of black people, of Muslims, of immigrants, would actually be elected. But we woke up to that reality, and we now have to live with the disastrous consequences for four years.
We voiced our disappointment with the American public, specifically the white voters who swept Trump to victory. We talked about the uncertain future of women’s rights, civil rights, the environment, and foreign policy under the Trump administration. The phrase that was repeated over and over was “I cannot believe this is real.”
As we rehashed the results for what felt like the millionth time, Luke, a 20-year-old from Washington, D.C., posed this question to the group: “But are we overreacting? Are we unreasonably rattled? Because I feel really rattled.” Nate, also 20, from Florida, added, “I’ve never felt like this following an election before.”
I can understand why people may think the backlash to Trump is an overreaction. Protests are breaking out across the country, but we go through this process every four years, right? There can’t be a national temper tantrum after every election just because our candidate didn’t win. But this election truly is different, and all of us were quick to assert that no, this is not an overreaction. Our fear is completely justified.
We are not upset because our candidate didn’t win. We’re angry and scared because of what Donald Trump stands for. The policies that his administration will enact will doubtless prevent progress and set America back. However, a more immediate effect of his election is the empowerment of white supremacists across the United States to act as though they have immunity. There have already been numerous hate crimes committed in the name of Donald Trump — swastikas spray-painted on buildings, Muslim women wearing the hijab assaulted, black people threatened with slavery, Latinos threatened with deportation. For many people, Trump’s slogan of “Make America Great Again” really does mean “Make America White Again.”
TeAndrea, 21-years-old from Tennessee, put it this way: “People think we’re acting like the world is going to end, that we’re upset about the bad things that will happen in the future. But the bad thing already happened. Donald Trump’s election was the bad thing.”