Mr Trump, I'm An Indian American Teen And I'm Putting You On Notice

Published: November 10, 2016 11:23 IST
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I woke up unusually early and rolled over to look at my phone - this is SOP for a school day. One look at my long line of Snapchat notifications and I immediately knew. Trump Won. And I was furious. How could my fellow Americans do this to me? Did my countrymen not understand what Hillary stood for? For me, a young Indian-American girl, Hillary represented hope and strength. She showed girls that we were more and better than property, to be acquired and flashed by billionaires with "locker room" practice, and that we could be something. Something really big. Hillary was our confidence-builder. She was going to take us into the 21st century. She was more than just Equality. She was the voice of a minority otherwise suppressed. For years, women fought for voting rights, education, and equality. To me, Hillary was our Susan B. Anthony. Hillary represented my family's shot at the American Dream. She was going to take all of my parents' sacrifices after moving from India and make them worth it.

Throughout the election I had joked about getting deported if Trump won, never really believing that this was a reality that many minorities would actually face. In my Dad's words (he thinks he's really funny): "Enjoy your last day with Maria, Jorge, and Nina." My family and I didn't know about the immigration status of so many people we encountered every day - those who worked with us, some who worked for us, and others I went to school with. Now, I fear a new reality for those who are illegally here. I have become close to their families. They were getting me through Spanish 3 in school. I learnt how to cook with them. What greater gift is there to snacking than guacamole? We are tied to each other through the common stories of large meals, warm and over-talkative cultures with no shortage of aunties and uncles, and of having moved to a new country that told us we could work hard and win a better life - and belong.

So yes, I am crushed. Our High School Senior Class president urged us during morning assembly after Trump's win to take power back into our hands. We are the leaders of the future and today. We stand for change and hold the ability to make the difference. So, Donald Trump, I choose hope. Now that you have won, we will look to you for leadership. And reconciliation. If Trumped Up Trickle Down Economics is our future, then redefine it for the country that has chosen you. Your outdated 70-year-old views and demeaning comments do not define who I am. Your misogynistic views will not be accepted by society. And if they are, we will push back. Over and over.  

Trump will never understand the problems that I face as a minority woman, and he is not going to try. And despite the outcome of this election, #imstillwithher. When Florida went red last night, I knew that it was over for Hillary. But there is no giving up. She has shown us that. I believe in equality for women. I believe in breaking the barriers and stigma of gender roles. I believe in my voice - and the voice of women vying for the chance at greatness. 

As a nation of fighters, we will get through these trying times. We will look for the best of a bad situation and we will build on it. When we seem in danger of collapsing, we will build again. And if a misogynist and bigot wants to tell me otherwise, he has a long and uphill battle for the next four years.  

Ananya Singh is an 11th grader at Sanford School in Delaware (which voted for Hillary)

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