“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald Trump
“The point is, you can never be too greedy.” – Donal Trump
“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” – Donald Trump
I was wrathful, to say the least, and my head was nowhere near sanity. I tried to let my emotions not get the best of me, to thrust them away, and usually, that would be un-challenging for me. But at this very moment where I sat two feet away from my best friends, I couldn’t begin to imagine the ignorance that they would say next. It was a junior year in high school, and the sun was glistening on everything its rays could reach, the campus was cacophonous and crawling with high schoolers undoubtedly enjoying their lunch. Well.. every high schooler but me. It was my idiotic idea to bring up politics thinking everyone at our table would agree with what I had to say. But my fault here was being utterly naive and stereotyping that my latina friends would see eye to eye on the presidential climate of the United States like me. As people of color, we agreed on many things, spicy food was always the best, never say the n-word if you’re not black, and two languages was always better than one. But obviously, you didn’t have to be a person of color to agree. But I also knew that we were different from even before, because, they were very Christian, therefore their beliefs were conservative, and they were hardcore Republicans. But because I was Muslim, my beliefs were a lot more liberal than they were conservative, and I was a Democrat. I knew our difference in religions
separated us from political boundaries, but what I still didn’t expect what was the response I got when I said
“Trump is going to get us all killed,” I announce laughingly with a smug grin my face, and when only one of my friends, Nathalie, laughed back, I knew this wouldn’t end well. “What do you mean? He’s kicking out all the immigrants, hiring black employment rates, and bettering the economy.” My two best friends shot back.
I was in utter shock. TRUMP? I wanted to yell, BETTERING THE ECONOMY? I was on the verge of losing it, and maybe because it was the lack of knowledge I expected my friends to know, like that Trump is all over the place lying about numbers and rates, and that the only economic power he gave was to rich white businessmen like himself, and everyone knows to make the rich richer does anything but better the economy, or maybe it was the betrayal I felt. I was of no latin origin, yet the way he demonized them, touched a spot in my heart, because for years that’s what america has been doing to me, doing to people with any Arab or Muslim heritage. Because to them a group of extremists who take everything out of context and twist them to fit their own personal demographics, to try and justify what they do, means millions of innocent people doing the same thing, even if they show no signs of harm. And the way they let it happen to their people, and didn’t care, just because it wasn’t happening to them fueled any ounce rage I had. They thought they knew the facts, but what did I expect? They watched news networks like Fox News. All they did was follow like sheep, blindly into the unknown, thinking everyone was wrong, but them. When they saw my concerned facial expression, one of them asked
“You’re mUZlim, don’t you believe in the same things we do?”
“MUSlim. Where do you see the Z in that?” I questioned clearly annoyed.
“And for the record, no. We don’t believe in some things that you do, and vice versa.” Which got me thinking, that were we much more different than I thought we were, which gave me an even better reason to resent them.
“Look I know you probably don’t like him. But how are you not seeing that he’s doing it to protect us? Like it or not you’re safer when the border has a wall, and when the Muslim ban is enforced”
I almost spat out my milk. It was one thing to attack her own people, but now she was attacking mine. I tried to calm myself down, it’s okay I reminded myself just educate them, and don’t get mad. But then I got mad that everywhere I go I have to explain myself and had to explain my worth, and even with my own friends, it was no different.
“So…” I said as calmly as I could while playing with a fork circling my food. “What makes you think you’re any better than they are, if you know, they are rapists, drug dealers, and murders. I mean that’s what most of them are, right? But aren’t you them? Don’t you have the same race? And what makes me different from the 1.8 billion ‘terrorists’ who did nothing wrong to earn that name.” They stared back at me.
“Because, it would be pretty privileged of you to say that you are better human beings than them just because you don’t live in war and poverty, oh and because of your geographical location.” I laughed humorlessly.
“It sucks that they live in those circumstances, but that’s the way it is. Because of that, they can’t be trusted. I know all of them aren’t bad, but we can’t take that risk” They responded.
“Sweetheart, there are more than 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, and more than 500 million Latin people, if they were even an ounce as bad as you and your president claim they are, we would probably be dead. You know it’s funny coming from someone who is pro-life, that they would rather risk the one in a billion chance to be killed by an immigrant, on millions of those immigrants dying because of war.”
Silence filled the table, everyone at the table was staring at me and my two friends. I knew I was being a total bitch, I knew I should just be quiet and let them think what they want to think, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
“He’s better than Obama”
‘What the literal FUCK does this have to do with Obama” I said smiling through my teeth as my fist clenched under the table. They all laughed. But as I went home that night, I do what I usually do, just before I go to sleep, I stay staring at the ceiling, whispering to God about my day. I refused to believe all Christians thought the way my two friends did, there was no way I kept repeating to myself. We believed in the same God, and the same fundamentals, but it’s the details that made us so different. Islam encourages us to ask questions about our faith and about our world both secular based and non-secular based, we believe in human rights very deeply, we believe in global warming, we tolerate no amount of discrimination or racism, and we do not believe in closing doors for those who seek a better life, we believe that human nature is good, but it’s Satan who tries to lead us astray, but we still have consequences for our actions, we believe in respecting all religions, and beliefs and everything that makes us different. We believe in all these things, but ignorance has made people generalize us into conservative, extremist terrorists, and they would never know the truth if they never asked. Yet these girls I called my friends didn’t believe in most of them, and whether it
was because of culture or religion, I wasn’t having it. Explaining how frustrating it was, and asking what I should do. I sighed deeply, it wasn’t like he was going to answer me, but it would be nice to get some kind of sign. Then, it hit me like a truck. I was judging them this whole time and debating whether I should still even be friends with them, while it never once crossed their minds. And that’s when I realized, I was the one at fault. Why should I stop being friends with them? What made me so superior to them that made me think I was better off. I was the one being ignorant and only accepting one train of thought when I should be open to hearing all of them. Maybe I was the sheep this whole time, doing what everyone does and disliking someone because of their political views, when I should stand up and like someone because of their different political views because the second diversity stops, and we all think the same, the easier it becomes to control, and the easier it becomes to stop thinking, to stop spreading ideas, and beliefs and regulations, and what’s humankind without acting like humans?