Never before had I looked in the mirror and thought of myself as different. I was always Tami and that was enough. But since November 2016, the world has made me realize that I am not the same as my white American friends.
I am brown (neither white nor black)
I have a slight accent when I speak English and also when I speak other languages
My parents were immigrants
I am liberal
I am a woman
I am an activist
I always believed that being different was an asset, since the elections, I have changed my opinion. Since November I have had three different encounters where I actually felt sad that I wasn’t a white man!! I know that goes against every feminist /activist belief that I have, but let me explain why.
Encounter no. 1- I was at the store I was told to “go back to where I came from and that he would see me outside in the parking lot” (of the store). No one spoke up for me instead, bystanders allowed the man to harass me.
Encounter no. 2- I was told by someone who didnt agree with me politically
“Oh so you got lucky and didn’t become a radical Muslim, instead you became a radical liberal”
Encounter no. 3- Someone trying to flirt with me
“I would love to take you out to dinner”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea”
“Why?“ was the clueless answer.
“Firstly because I”m a liberal and you’re a hardcore republican, and Im sorry but I can’t respect anyone who voted for a racist, xenophobic,homophobic, misogynist man……”
“Oh dont be that way, all you guys do is go to rallies and protests. Ill attend one of those for you” and then came the evil chuckle “ Enjoy it while it lasts, like the jews you guys are going to be wearing badges soon anyway”
Discrimination, has been a part of the human race since the beginning of time . The ones that were physically, financially or socially “weaker” were taken advantage of. But then when the people in power started to feel threatened (or an ulterior motive), they crack down on a certain religion, ethnicity or group of people. Its like bullying in schools where a group of one or more insecure people get together to “bully” someone who seems weaker.
Living in “Trump’s America” I definitely feel like an outsider. I feel like I am not understood and that I have “to go back from where I came from”, but I have nowhere to go. I was born here, I am as much of a citizen as the two white men who stand outside Planned Parenthood and protest or as President Trump himself. I was confused and angry because all of a sudden I became an “outsider” in my own home.
But then something beautiful happened. Despite the hateful rhetoric, so many people are standing up and working tirelessly to regain the dignity of every American. Not just in the wonderful marches that we saw(and attended) but also lawyers and activists who are working day and night trying to help families struggling because of the bans. Everyday people who have come up and said “ we will register as a Muslim if you have to” and hundreds of others who are standing up for me - The Brown Girl.
This is my America, where we will overcome this, but until then I am just a brown girl in Trump’s America!