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An American in Cardiff

a lifestyle blog

Racism in the age of Trump

“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?

 

 

 

 

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The problem with feminism today…

Equal rights and opportunities for woman and men.

Sounds good right?

Of course it does. And if it were as straight forward as that, I’m sure most of us would be identifying as feminists. But the problem is that it ISN’T as straight forward as that. I’ve always called myself a feminist, I’ve always believed in women & men coming together to fight for equal rights. Recently, some things have changed that made me feel conflicted when speaking about feminism … hear me out.

When you think of feminist icons who do you think of?

If you thought of Emma Watson, Taylor Swift & any of her minions or Lena Dunham, that’s exactly the problem I want to address.

When’s the last time you saw a famous feminist icon with the same platform as Emma & Taylor who was black? Asian? Hispanic? Struggling to think of someone? That’s what’s wrong with feminism today.

Minority women have been excluded from this new wave of feminism. White feminists try to speak on behalf of us instead of including us, claiming that they stand for equality for all… then they turn around and appropriate different cultures and refuse to stand up for minorities: Gigi Hadid mocking Asian eyes & and wearing an afro wig in a photoshoot, Karlie Kloss’s kimono photo shoot, Emma Stone playing a Hawaiian woman in the film – Aloha, and Scarlett Johansson playing a Japanese woman inĀ Ghost in the Shell, and Taylor Swift refusing to comment on Trump’s racist comments.

During the nationwide anti-Trump woman’s march across the U.S. in February, many woman were angered that Black Lives Matter supporters showed up to the march demanding racial equality.

Just last week, I was asked last minute to be interviewed in a video about intersectional feminism by a fellow student. When I showed up, I looked around the room and saw the other female students being interviewed and I could feel my heart sink to the floor. My hands and feet went cold… I was angry and heartbroken at the same time…. because I saw that I was the only person of colour included in this video. For the next 20 minutes I had to grit my teeth and hold the tears back as I listened to one white girl after another, telling me what racism feels like, as they told me that when it comes to feminism, race needs to be ignored so we can all come together as WOMEN.

Let me tell you what the problem with this new wave of feminism is…

A girl who writes an angry post on Facebook about how she was sent home because she showed up to school wearing a light white shirt and no bra will get endless sympathy; her post will go viral.

An innocent black woman who was raped in a New York jail cell and shot will never get the media’s attention. And IF it does go viral, people will argue about how the woman must have acted in a violent manner to deserve such a fate.

Where are the feminists then? White women, how can I stand with you and fight for your rights when you refuse to even bat an eyelid when women of colour such as myself are being abused?

I can’t. But someday…. someday when it changes, I will march with you in the Woman’s parade. Until then, you can see me at the Black Lives Matter protests.

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An Introduction…

 

Welcome back guys,

If you’ve stuck with me since 2015 when I started this little space on the internet, you know that I like to keep things light and happy… even when it comes to topics such as obtaining visas, which – let’s admit – is outrageously boring yet nerve wracking.

BUT.. but, things have changed now.

In 2015 we had the good ol’ Obama’s in the house and we all thought things were going to be okay, I mean, surely things would only go uphill from then on? Right? NO.

Trump took over the White House not too long ago and let me just say, for minorities such as myself, it hasn’t been easy. So, I want to get a bit more serious. I want to be serious because within just the last few months it has been a roller coaster – I have been yelled at by racists on the street, I’ve had to fear for myself and my friends safety, I slept in fear of being separated from my family, and I’ve lost loved ones.

From now on, this section of my little haven on the internet will be dedicated to political pieces, whatever that may be. I’ll still be keeping things light but I want you guys to see and experience things through my eyes. I want to focus on talking to you about what living under the Trump administration as a minority, non-citizen immigrant FEELS like rather than just what it LOOKS like.

If you’ve met me in person, you know that I’m definitely a Nate Silver kinda girl – his blog, FiveThirtyEight is my shit (just in case you didn’t know, Nate Silver is a data journalist & blogger among other things). I’ll be referencing him quite often and take inspiration from him but I won’t try to BE him in any way. It’s Nate Silver… no one can be Nate Silver except Nate Silver and let’s be real – no matter how many cute little interactive maps I make on Carto or Tableau, I’ll never be as smart as him.

I’ll still talk to you the same way I always have, I like to keep things light and you guys know this by now. To be honest, I can’t take anything seriously for more than a couple minutes at a time… here, I’ll make you a promise. I’ll aim to retain a Caroline Calloway-esque sense of humor at all times. If you don’t know who that is, first of all, where the hell have you been? Second, she’s a lifestyle blogger at Cambridge University.

So there you go. See me as your way less intelligent Nate Silver with a Caroline Calloway sense of humor, friend.

And… off we go.

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Homesickness Cures 101

 

This one goes out to all of my fellow uni students out there.

Continue reading “Homesickness Cures 101”

A Quick Update…

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First of all, I want to start by apologizing for my rather long leave of absence. Sorry.

Moving on, next order of business…

Continue reading “A Quick Update…”

First day of uni lectures

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First day at a new school is a nerve wracking experience for everyone. I still remember my first day of High School, walking through the gates; 5 feet 2 inches of pure awkward prepubescent teenager. But first day of university in a new country with no clue of how anything works or where your classes are? Now THAT is cause for a whole new level of anxiety.

Continue reading “First day of uni lectures”

6 hours in Montreal

There is a quiet beauty found on the streets of Montreal. It doesn’t shout to be heard like the flashing lights and huge billboards of Manhattan because frankly, it doesn’t need any of it. The old town charms of Montreal are perfect for a casual day trip or a short getaway.

Continue reading “6 hours in Montreal”

Step 3: applying for a student visa

One look at the yelp ratings for the New York British Consulate General and you’ll find yourself pacing the floor, furiously biting your nails. I wish I could tell you that all of those UK visa horror stories are highly unlikely… but that would be lying.

Continue reading “Step 3: applying for a student visa”

Step 2: obtaining your CAS

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Congratulations! After countless sleepless nights and several anxiety-filled months, you’ve finally received decisions from your UK unis (yes they shorten university to uni here, cute, huh?). I’m sure you’ve already started mentally packing for your big move but wait, we’re not quite there yet! Continue reading “Step 2: obtaining your CAS”

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