The past few days have been a devastating reality check.
For me, this election felt like a dream — not a pleasant one, but lucid one where I felt disconnected, as though I was just an observer looking in.
I spent the last six months mocking our new president and his supporters, shaking my head and retweeting posts that were so outrageously vapid, they were funny.
But all the while I never truly believed this would become a reality. Like millions of others, I played along, dismissing any notion that our future could indeed fall into the hands of a bigoted devil.
There are no words to describe the dread I felt as news about the Dakota Access Pipeline, censorship of the EPA and plans to proceed with “the wall” flooded my timeline, so I shall not attempt to describe it.
But it was only then it finally dawned on me — this man is my president, and he has already taken fast and unpredictable control of this country without a second thought, whether the masses like it or not.
But this is not what I want to confess.
After some soul-searching, I came to the realization I didn’t take this election as seriously as I should have because I’ve never truly felt like an American citizen in the first place.
To me, America is white.
Due to my Asian identity, I have always been a strong advocate for minorities, which has lead me to severely criticize the white race. I never resonated with what people call typical “white” behavior and made a conscious effort to separate myself.
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Being called an American puts me to shame, for I know the labels we are given, the image we uphold and the laughter we generate from the rest of the world.
Sure, the United States is the most diverse country in the world, and radical improvements and changes have risen from this nation to provide a home for different ethnicities, the LGBTQ+ community and different religious groups, to name a few.
America has come far, yet to no avail — minorities still feel ostracized daily.
For many it doesn’t feel like home. It’s time we stop pretending America is the land of the free, for all of us.
This is a country where arrogance, a superiority complex and a thick wallet are a trump card. Awareness of this may not be obvious to the white population; they don’t know of anything else. As a person who has traveled across the world, splitting their time between starkly contrasting countries, these American values are clear.
With this insight, sadly, I’m not incredibly surprised by the term “President Trump.” He embodies these traits perfectly.
White America you have done it again.
There is little sympathy to offer to those of the Caucasian race who fought vehemently against Trump. Thank you for your efforts and I know you are just as devastated. But understand the society created by your people, one which you benefit from, built this reality. As a result, the minority will suffer most.
This time in America will test the strength of our society and white America knows it, becoming anxious and afraid that their power is fading. Resist all you want but people of color are here to stay.
In addition to becoming increasingly dedicated and resilient, we will continue to embrace the diverse cultures that keep the world colorful.
We will also continue to grow in number and influence, as more and more people realize the importance and value of people of color.
I will not condemn the accomplishments made this past decade and more. But all of it will soon disappear as white lash grows stronger and escalates, the power in right-wing hands fueling it.
The plight we have today is not my America and it never will be. White America, be accountable for the results of this election and be ready to aid in the move forward with aggression and urgency. People of color are far from done, it has only begun.
Lisa Heverly ([email protected]) is a freshman majoring in international business.