“You get paranoid and you can’t talk about it. You can’t voice it. No one around you gets it, so you can’t speak about it. And in the end it just comes out in a rage.” -Daniel Kaluuya on racism
Racism has always been alive and thriving in this world. However, since Obama was elected into the Oval office we kept telling ourselves that yeah, things are getting better, they can’t take this moment away from us… but then Trump happened.
Let me tell you what it’s like living in the U.S. right now as an immigrant and as a minority.
My parents are U.S. citizens. I am not. I chose to study abroad in the U.K. with the intention of returning to the states as soon as I get my degree – which is still my plan. This meant that I had to put my citizenship process on hold and instead, leave the country on my green card and I-131 re-entry permit. I planned every step carefully so that as soon as my degree is over, I could come back home and start a life for myself in New York. But now, everything seems uncertain. After all, if other green card holders in America can be deported, who’s to say I cant be kicked out as well?
So let me try to make you understand what racism under the Trump administration FEELS like…
It feels like losing your appetite for two days, starving yourself because you lost your friend in a racially motivated shooting by a white supremacist. You forget what crying is because you can’t even seem to grieve anymore.
It feels like telling your parents every night that you love them because you live in constant anxiety of what the local KKK group is capable of then crying yourself to sleep because it’s so unfair. No one asked to be born a certain race, no one even asked to be born in the first place.
It feels like your heart racing constantly because you’re in a constant state of fear because you’re so scared of being deported and being separated from your family. Then waking up the next day and finding out you’ll never see your close childhood friend ever again because she had been deported earlier that morning. It feels like shock, anger, frustration, sadness all at once because you are helpless.
Racism makes you feel small. You live in a constant state of paranoia because you never know if the person standing next to you on the subway is a white supremacist. You never know the next time someone will throw a punch at you or corner you and yell at you to leave their country.
Racism means your childhood is cut short. It’s like a splash of cold water in your face at the age of 5 because you find out too young, that life for you will be difficult.
It means, while your housemate is crying over a boy she met on Tinder, you cry because you’re so tired of losing loved ones and wondering, ‘when will it be my turn?’.
Do you get it yet?