What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

All views are our own and not representative of any of the brands we promote or represent. The purpose of this post is not to incite political controversy but merely to present to our friends abroad who have questioned us about the turnout of the U.S. election with a raw conversation of what the Trump presidency means for minorities in America. We would like to encourage you to travel more so you may be exposed to different world views and that you may be able to consider all consequences of your actions from the perspectives of others.

What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America
What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

Last night after the election results were released, friends that I had met abroad started messaging me things like, “What is happening in America right now?” and “We don’t understand what is going on” and “We were so sure Hillary would win.” I genuinely did not know how to respond to them because I, too, had no idea what had happened. I was disappointed beyond words and ashamed to be in this country that had once led the fight for social rights and in one night threw it all away. All the progress that I believed we had made was instantly wiped out as I watched our nation take leaps backward. Through conversations stretching to the early hours of 4 AM, I was able to receive more perspective and understanding on what may have happened. I read an interesting article comparing our modern day society to movies such as the Hunger Games and Star Wars. It explained that, like the movies, the rural areas are often oppressed and seen as insignificant compared to large cities. One example given was about how during Hurricane Katrina, all the attention was on New Orleans. Rural areas in Mississippi where hundreds died were barely mentioned or given notice. It described this election as a rebellion against powerful cities. When it comes down to it, anger can fuel people to do anything, ridiculous as it may seem.  

What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

The Diag at University of Michigan was covered with inspirational words written by students.

This morning, as I was walking to class, I had a series of epiphanies. First, that I was so thankful to be in Ann Arbor, a liberal college town of individuals who tirelessly fight for equality. Second, that this thankfulness also stemmed partially from a relief that I was not in an area of America that voted for Trump. Thankfulness in knowing that, had I been in a less diverse area, I would genuinely feel afraid of what people might yell out or do to me, an Asian American female. Third, that if I felt these things, I could only imagine how groups far more oppressed than mine felt on this day. My heart absolutely sank at the thought that Muslims and the LGBTQ community, to name a couple, would wake up this morning and feel a level of fear that I am not able to comprehend. That while I may have faced some simple name calling or jeering, they would potentially face physical harm and hatred by close minded individuals who now know that they have an enormous portion of the country standing behind them.

What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

It is important to note that exit polls showed 74% of non-whites voting for Clinton and 58% of whites voting for trump. Additionally, 64% of those not born a U.S. citizen voted for Clinton. The unfortunate reality of this suggests that minority groups were largely underrepresented in this election. The outcome of last night’s election is not representative of America as a whole. Rights are useless if they are unable to be exercised. Foreigners and undocumented immigrants are one example of this. One might argue that these groups do not deserve to be able to vote because voting is a sole privilege of American citizens, but I believe this policy is indicative of the unhealthy underlying bias that has plagued America. The overall mindset still remains that those already holding American citizenship should be protected first. However, a large percentage of undocumented immigrants have tried for 10 or 20 years to obtain citizenship. They work tirelessly for this country that refuses to accept them. Their children grow up in this country and call it home, only to be told that they are not Americans. It is incredibly difficult to be approved for citizenship in America because those in power are afraid of what will happen when the oppressed groups receive the same rights as other Americans. For immigrants who are unfamiliar with the legal system and language in America, it is extremely easy for complications to be had in the visa process. 20 years ago, during the Bill Clinton administration and before I was born, my parents and sister were in America with an expired visa. They had no idea that this was the case and only found out when seeing a lawyer for a separate matter. I can only imagine what the ramifications of their error would have been in Trump’s America. Had they been deported for this mistake, I would never have been born and my family would never have had a fraction of the opportunities that they’ve had from being in this country.

What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

My sister at the age of 5 in front of the national mall in our nation’s capital, proud to be an American.

What does this mean for people of other ethnicities who live in America? This means that we will have to fight harder than ever. This election only goes to show the great inequality in this country that still exists. It shows that hate can prevail if we allow it to. Now more than ever, we need to look out for each other even if we are not personally affected by this decision. This is a wake-up call to everyone in this country to spread the message of diversity, love, and equality to all areas. These are things that, unfortunately, Donald Trump may never understand, and I will stand against him for the remainder of his time in office. However, this is not synonymous with me being against all of his supporters. The reality is that everyone comes from unique backgrounds. It is naive and wrong to assume that because you personally have certain experiences that make you think one way, everyone else should have had these same experiences. If I had never known diversity and if I were not a minority group myself, I too would find it easy to believe the words of someone who speaks to me in a relatable way.

What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

Venture outside of your cities – there are countless people who have not had opportunities to experience the beauty of diversity. This is the importance of travel. It opens the minds of people to the beauty of every single culture, gender, ethnicity, etc. It is an incredibly humbling process as we learn that it is our responsibility to follow the values of the places we travel. We learn that people everywhere have different life experiences, perspectives, and valuable knowledge to share, and that is to be respected and cherished. Donald Trump will be the President of the United States for the next four years. There is nothing we can do now but find some silver lining in the midst of this disaster. Yes, right now we are angry, and we have every reason to be. Yes, we have taken steps backward and we now have more battles to fight. The important thing to remember is that if we fight against hatred and violence with more hatred and violence, America will never advance. Instead, we must join together in a common purpose and practice what we preach – to love and to accept everyone.

MVMT Blog

Author: Hope Chen

Student at the University of Michigan with an insatiable desire to travel. I blog about budget travel for students, my spontaneous adventures, and occasionally an outburst about global politics as it relates to travel. Currently planning for another summer in Germany – this time in Berlin.

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36 thoughts on “What the Trump Presidency Means for Minorities in America

  1. I totally agree that travel opens a person’s mind! I think people (myself included) definitely start to realise that everyone has completely different experiences and perspectives, and sometimes it’s hard to see all that until you visit a place that is very different than you are used to!

  2. Very insightful thoughts here. As an Indian born in New York but now expat’ng it abroad, it feels like I don’t know the country I once called home. Life will go on but I do view this as a major setback and hope the country gets through the next 4 years without chaos, oppression and a horribly marred reputation on the world stage.

    1. It’s very painful not knowing what will happen in the future and whether I will still be accepted in a country that I’ve previously felt safe in. I hope that it will still be the home you once knew when you come back. Let’s hope for the best!

  3. Excellent post. I live in Hong Kong and was completely shocked by the news (as were you and the rest of the world). But you are right, time to look forward with a common goal.

  4. Quite an insightful perspective. I totally understand the perspective of your friends giving calls. Outside the US, we were pretty sure Hillary would win. The results have taken everyone by surprise.

  5. Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts and feelings on this! It’s increasingly important to reach beyond borders to understand other cultures and perspectives and travel is such a valuable source of education – it teaches us things that can’t be taught in a classroom!

  6. Oh gosh, this is so poignant right now! I also had a bunch of international friends asked me what happened! I’m not really a minority, but I do worry about it for my friends, and the guy I’m seeing (his parents aren’t citizens, but he is). I think this was a very well thought out response. Good luck to us all!

    1. I think everyone around the world is confused right now 🙁 It is heartbreaking that we’ve come to the point where we need to wish each other luck for a safe life in this country, but good luck to you and your loved ones also.

  7. Thanks for this insightful post. I’m British but I’ve been following along with the US elections (as much as I can!) and I was completely surprised by the outcome. It’s great to see this from an inside perspective.

  8. Like you & so many others I’m still disheartened by the election results. I can’t fathom how one person could cast a vote for such an ignorant bigot, never mind enough voters to put him in place as the leader of the free world. Your words are eloquent and I couldn’t agree more about travel opening your eyes to diversity!

    1. It is definitely a difficult thing to grasp. I’ve spoken to many of my friends who voted for Trump and have gotten to see their perspective on things. Most of it has to do with the environments in which they were raised, the people they were surrounded by, etc. It is so important for us to respect each others opinions while fighting peacefully for our own though! Thank you for your comment! 🙂

  9. This is a real thought-provoking post and my heart goes out for anyone feeling worried or anxious about what their future may hold. The statistics say it all. Thanks for the share!

  10. I watched tooth and nail the results of the election unfold. As a Canadian, I can only watch and have thoughts about the results, but cannot do anything further as I cannot vote. This being said, there was a lot that went down in the campaigns and the words that were said about minorities was indeed negative. We can only hope for the best and pray that minorities are not treated unfairly. Bless.

    1. Hey Janine, I especially relate with your comment because I lived in Toronto and have many friends who have been keeping up with the election from there. They have posted more angry statuses about Trump than even my American friends have, and one can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Canadians had been able to vote.. anyways, I hope that this will be a wake-up call for America to admit that discrimination in America is so prevalent and needs to be fixed! Thank you for the comment!

  11. Really thought provoking piece, also feeling for the minorities in certain US states that must be feeling so scared and hurt at the moment. This is definitely a backlash from a lot of poor, rural people blaming their problems on the wrong group of people. When the upper class elite direct the hatred towards immigrants over themselves (who really are to blame lbr), people like Trump seem like the saviour to all their problems! Goddamn it, hope this all gets better in years to come.

  12. Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m in Toronto right now, but even in Canada, a lot of people are worried about our friends south of the border. I’ve been reading stories about individuals in minority groups being harassed already by Trump supporters and am very worried about how this election will shape important current issues like Aboriginal rights with DAPL and the BLM movement. Especially since Trump had many supporters vote him in. (Although I hope that one day his supporters can see the rest of the world to better understand it, like you mentioned.) I truly hope that Trump will be a better president than he was a Republican candidate. Stay safe! Lots of love from Canada!

    1. Hey Dani! It’s great to hear that you’re from Toronto – I’ve been talking to a lot of my friends there and they have the same concerns as you. It is incredibly sad to think about how all the progress that Trudeau has made with the Aboriginals may be pushed back once again, but we can only hope that this doesn’t happen! None of us know what will actually end up happening, so let’s all stand together and believe in the goodness of people! Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  13. Great perspective. I am Kenyan and been following the race to White house closely. When trump won, my hopes as a traveler to even visit the US was washed down the drain considering his previous statement about Kenyans and Black people. I hope he turns out to be better than we all perceive of him.

    1. That’s heartbreaking to hear, and I hope that the nation will stand up and show that we will not embrace the hateful message that Trump has brought. Please come visit sometime, we will make sure we stick together to ensure your safety!! 🙂 Sending you lots of love!

  14. Thank you for writing such a rational, eloquent, and encouraging piece. As a Canadian, living in New Zealand, for the most part I feel pretty far removed about what’s happening back in North America. This election however, has been felt across the world, with even the children of my Kiwi friends wondering how it will change their lives. I hope everyone, not just Americans take the theme of this post to heart. 2016 has been an incredibly trying year all around the world, but now more than ever we all need to love and understand each other with everything we have.

    1. I know how you feel! It’s a shame that even though it affects everyone so much, Americans were the only ones controlling the outcome of this election. I hope above all else that this election will not affect your Kiwi friends negatively. We really do need to stand together – I don’t believe that the hate that has been spreading from Hillary supporters to Trump supporters is the way to go at all. Thanks for your comment and encouragement!!

  15. Awesome post. I am a Hindu and an Indian and have so many friends in the US. I can feel their concern with the recent changes. I myself was planning my further studies in the US but now I think I should look at Europe and drop US.

    1. That is so unfortunate, but I also see a lot of reality in your words. I hope that one day you will be able to come to the US and feel completely safe and accepted 🙁 We will never stop fighting!

  16. This proves that traveling is good for the soul and that everyone needs to go visit someplace different than their homeland.

    When we left America we never imagined we would be coming back to a country where we feared for our safety. Even though we are both born and raised in America, our background is Hispanic and Asian. I guess I we’ll see what happens….

    1. No one should ever have to fear for their safety in their home..I’m so sorry that this is what you’re coming back to. Please stay safe and remember that many people are watching out for you and on your side 🙂

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