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On being disappointed in America

By Faria Afreen

Section: Opinions

December 2, 2016

I’m not sure if it’s crazy and naive for me to feel this way, but I’m happy. I’m happy because I know that although the man-who-shall-not-be-named has become the president-elect of the United States, I’m part of a community that will make damn sure he is checked and that he is unable to progress with any of his racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, sexist, ableist and other bigoted views. This is a wake up call to Americans and especially to my generation, which has learned that they need to take elections seriously and realize the views of our elders still matter and should not be disregarded so easily. We have learned that all our voices, even those who don’t agree with us, do matter. More importantly, it is a call to do things more intelligently, kindly, compassionately and respectfully.

I am also disappointed because, like so many others, I was confident that we would have our first female president for the next four years, my college years. I’m disappointed in the Democratic National Committee and in those who voted for a dead gorilla, Harambe. I’m upset with those who simply voted for the Republican candidate because he was against the establishment, those who thought their votes wouldn’t matter, refusing to vote even though there are people who wished they had that privilege. I’m upset with those who didn’t take Trump seriously, those living in swing states who didn’t realize the impact of voting for a third party, and that the psychology behind this whole election was deeply flawed. Because of this election, so many people are hurting. It is hard to forget my mom’s face, beaming of hope quickly turning to one of such disappointment and sadness, and all those other sad faces I saw walking by.

What finally broke me down and made me cry were these words from Clinton’s concession speech: “To all the little girls watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.” It made me think of my family, my immigrant household, my Muslim parents, my (mentally and physically) disabled relatives and my LGBTQ+ friends, but mostly it made me think of my little sister, my mom and myself.

No doubt, I’m scared because people think they’re justified in acting belligerently, because the recent calm in America is probably the peace before the storm. I’m afraid because after building myself up, I feel small again, and because I’m too optimistic for my own good. It is scary that the future is more murky than ever, and that I really can’t comprehend the weight of this. I thought too well of others, and I hate that only now am I noticing how terrible they can be. Ain’t I lucky?

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