This is just another political topic, but not really I guess. Just more of a way to get some frustration down somewhere, and honestly work through some serious fears I have for my future. I'm in NJ which was blue during this election, so for the most part I'm safe. I just got back from dinner with some friends and most of them were pretty demoralized about a lot of things not just as minorities. There was some vandalism in a neighboring town involving some signage that was supporting a local candidate (who happened to be Muslim). There were some minor disturbances throughout my town and surrounding areas involving slurs, anger, and stuff like that. Some women harassed, nothing vicious. None of this is very serious, but my parents are both a bit worried. My parents are both Puerto Rican and struggle emotionally with regards to discrimination they faced as children. My mom is probably going to try to convince my family in Puerto Rico to leave the island. Poverty is rapidly expanding into their neighborhoods, along with severe crime. With no real relief in sight their prospects seem bleak.
I keep hearing people say, "It won't be as bad as you think it is going to be." I definitely hear that, but there is this feeling that I do not belong that appears again. It is an overblown feeling from the election results for sure. There is this anger that I have spent good portions of my life trying to prove that I have a place in my own world. Every aspect of my life, my personality, my demeanor, my mentality has been shaped by the color of my skin. This discomfort I'm sharing is merely a moment of weakness in a lifetime of fighting. I'm just tired and want a moment of respite from tomorrow where I will have to continue challenging the marginalizing of my culture and its perspectives.
I see the people protesting, and my heart goes out to some of them because I understand their anger in some way, I understand that fear, and I can't judge them for it. That feeling of alienation creeps into your everyday life. Are people staring more? Am I being too loud? Is my hairstyle weird? I understand when that feeling rises to the surface once again, in a place you consider home, there can be this immediate reaction of anger. I hope they can find peace, and can direct that anger into meaningful change.
If you've read this far thanks for sticking around. I will be alright in the end, I have to. Tomorrow I will wake up, go to work, and strive to make change.