A Fire in Me that Will Never Burn Out

By Adriana Hinojosa (Age 17, Dallas, TX)

Being a Mexican-American female in the United States has never been something that has made me feel small and I can safely say that in all the years that I have been alive, I have never felt discriminated against. I now fear that things will change. I now feel small.

I hear my mother talk about her fear of speaking her native tongue in public and my skin crawls.  I see posts on social media of my little cousin asking if he is going to be deported and my stomach turns. 

Fear was the first thing I felt when I saw the results of the election. I was overcome with emotions, both sad and angry, and tears just continuously streamed out of my eyes. The next day, I entered my school which had lost its color, its spirit, and after hours of shedding tears with my peers, I realized crying wasn’t going to fix anything. I suddenly became enraged and knew that passive was the last thing I could be. The results that were televised the night of November 8th only fueled a fire in me that will never burn out. I am now propelled by immense passion and as long as I am alive, I intend to be active and fight for the rights of everyone who is under or misrepresented: Muslims, members of the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, women, etc. That might mean losing a couple of friends along the way or being looked down upon by many but in the wise words of Bernie Sanders, “we will be his worst nightmare,” we will be the worst nightmare of anyone who thinks it is okay to suppress certain peoples. 

Seeing the amount of protests that have happened nationwide gives me comfort in that I am not alone. It gives me comfort that people feel the immense weight of my grief and of the grief of others. It gives me comfort that we are not only aware but are resistant to the idea of one man dictating the future of this nation. Just like the people who are doing the suppressing are my neighbors, so are the people who are risking their lives in order to be heard. I am no longer scared. There are enough of us to conquer the hate that has contaminated our country. All we can do is look forward and actively fight for the future that we so desperately want to see.