“Help me, I’m legit going to get deported or shot”, a Chinese-American friend messaged me early this morning, scared for her life. And sadly enough, she wasn’t the only one scared.
The much-debated US Presidential Elections have finally concluded with the victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday, November 9th. During the course of his campaign, Trump has constantly reiterated racist, sexist and homophobic rhetoric – including a proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, the building of a wall on the Mexican border to stop immigrants, mocking the disabled, and most shockingly, bragging about having committed sexual assault. In light of this, the fact that he will now represent a democratic “superpower” like the United States of America has disturbing connotations for the entire world – but for women, people of colour, and LGBTQ people, the horrors are far more real and palpable, and many of these people have been using social media to articulate these fears.
Tumblr, a platform with mostly American users (a large portion of whom are liberal) has been overflowing with posts about what the repercussions of Trump’s win, now Presidency, will be on their personal lives, and nearly everyone is shocked, frustrated and scared.
The entire election cycle has been brutal for racial, gender and sexual minorities and never before was there so much paranoia and anxiety surrounding the outcome of an election. Now that Trump is President, American Muslims and Latinos are scared that they will get deported, women are scared that their reproductive rights will get taken away, people of colour are scared of the kind of racially-motivated violence Trump supporters are capable of (and how Trump’s victory is going to legitimize that), queer people are scared that they will lose marriage equality and every other right they have earned over the years and trans people are scared that they will lose access to healthcare, and hormones or surgeries that help them transition.
Twitter, too, has seen a flood of panic surrounding Trump’s victory. It’s a mix of rage, disbelief and fear as people try to come to terms with what this victory means for them both personally and politically.
I'm a woman. I have a disability. I am fodder for Trump's abuse. But I know so many others are much more vulnerable. I care. #ElectionNight
— Catherine Q. (@CatherineQ) November 9, 2016
RIP women's rights
— #1 Rachel ✨ (@rachel) November 9, 2016
My 16 year old nephew is laying on my floor crying. He is a Muslim. His parents are immigrants. He is terrified.
— Amadi (@amaditalks) November 9, 2016
me if trump wins an they come knocking on my door looking for gays to take to conversion therapy camp pic.twitter.com/8oaGrLPA7y
— ems (@jenkormack) November 9, 2016
There is a lot of reflection that has gone behind the result of this election. While many saw it coming considering the kind of hatemongering that already led to Narendra Modi’s 2014 victory or Brexit, many still cannot wrap their heads around the fact that people voted for Trump despite everything that he has said and done in the past few months – and despite the fact that he is currently on trial for allegedly raping a 13-year old. The fact that his bigoted rhetoric appealed to so many around the world (including Hindus, might I add) and was actively encouraged by not just his supporters but also his party, just goes on to show that discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, religion continues to be rampant, and continues to affect various minorities. A Trump presidency is going to be a scary one indeed, and no longer something we can joke about. As twitter user Peglet very wisely says: “The United States of America would literally rather elect a hate spewing Cheeto than a woman president. Let that sink in.” Indeed, let that sink in.