What scares me more than Trump himself are the thousands of supporters who rally around him and cheer him as he spews his hateful rhetoric and nonsense. There really is no other way to describe the level of pure insanity that comes out of Mr. Trump's mouth not only in regards to Muslims, Arabs or the Middle East, but about many minority groups who frankly just don't look like him.
Growing up, I never really thought I had to prove my loyalty or love for America to anyone. Even after various tragic events put my community on edge and made some feel isolated, I refused to change my outlook continuing to believe the majority of Americans view Arab and Muslim Americans positively.
Many of us have become accustomed to Trump's hate speech, some even justify it as "saying what's on other people's minds." And this quite honestly is what worries me the most. When was hatred, intolerance and out-right bigotry on the majority of Americans' minds? When was avoiding bigoted statements just being "politically correct," as Senator Rubio said in Thursday's debate?
I am that Muslim Arab American woman you mentioned, the one you say is oppressed and treated so horribly by members of my own community.
No, Mr. Trump and Senator Rubio, that is not my America. I grew up in a country where my neighbors greeted me with a smile and asked about my day. I went to a university where my classmates were as genuinely interested in learning about me, my religion and my ethnic heritage, as I was about theirs. Where my professor and I discussed her obsession with owls and my love for shoes.
I worked my way through college holding various jobs from making smoothies to being an after school counselor. Yes Mr. Trump, upper class white women from Palm Beach County trusted me to watch and educate their kids.
I am that Muslim Arab American woman you mentioned, the one you say is oppressed and treated so horribly by members of my own community. But the truth is, I haven't been treated horribly by anyone but you. But don't think your words will break me or the thousands of other Muslim women in this country.
Mr. Trump, the reality is Islam doesn't hate America but your lies are going to make people believe that Americans hate Islam.
We are strong, independent, overachievers who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and lovers of our nation. Your words will not stop our community service, civic engagement, leadership or thirst for education. We will go on being teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, psychologists, business women, and so much more.
You continue to let us down because, as a public figure who is running for the highest office one can attain in this great nation, you are choosing to not only ignore but actively put a whole community in danger.
Mr. Trump, the reality is Islam doesn't hate America but your lies are going to make people believe that Americans hate Islam. And that is just as big of a falsehood as the words you speak.