Via: Sahaj Kaur
A few hours ago I was told to “go home to where you came from because no one wants your f**king disease,” on a sidewalk in midtown by a finance-looking, expensive suit-wearing maybe 30-something white Trump supporter (he told me with such pleasure after he spewed this at me) who added “you people aren’t going to last long” all after I ignored him telling me I’m pretty and peacocking for me.
I’ve been trying to hold on to a semblance of American pride, for the sake of immigrants everywhere in this nation, and for the sake of my parents who moved here before I was born to give me a better life, and especially for the sake of an identity I’m questioning and lost without.
This past week has had me feeling conflicted, like I don’t belong as an Indian because I’m too American and like I don’t belong as an American because I’m Indian/Sikh and have brown skin.
I feel defeated.
People don’t respect me as a woman and they don’t respect me because of my skin color. This isn’t entirely new, sadly, but never have I been approached and treated in this way.
Now we’ve elected someone to run the free world who gives privileged, white people like that man a “safe” space to spew hate and demand entitlement and whatever they want from me, but God forbid if I don’t obey, then I’m not a human being deserving of respect or privacy or safety?
We’ve elected someone who gives anger a scapegoat and a vessel to explode within — gender, race, identity.
I’ve been fortunate to barely experience firsthand hate and violence for my skin color, knowing all too well that it happens to my Sikh and black and Muslim family and friends (along with other marginalized minorities). The saddest part of this whole thing is that I’ve been naive, so damn naive, to hope I’ve perfected straddling my identity and being American enough and Indian enough that I could escape hate, prove myself a minority ally for the people who need me and liaison. I’ve been dumb to think what white privilege I have had would be enough for this terrifying outbreak catalyzed by Trump.
But in a time where I don’t want to see “sides,” I’ve been shoved to the other side.
Am I not welcome in my own home country? Tell me again that I’m overreacting. Tell me he only said that because his ego was bruised. That I wasn’t exoticized before I was dismissed. Tell me my helplessness and fear are unnecessary. Misogyny and racism are rampant and Trump has only made it acceptable and worse.
Update: Thank you for all the support and for reminding me that I’m not alone, that being an other is beautiful and that I (along with other minorities) am what makes this country have the potential it does. I do think inclusion begins with awareness though. I’m not going to give up, but I will allow myself to process this temporary defeat.