A Message for My Brothers and Sisters
By Jeannie Regidor (Harvard College Undergraduate)
As the daughter of immigrants—the results of this election have become a wake-up call for me. I am a first-generation college student. I am Cuban. I am Costa Rican. I am Latina. I am a woman.
I have always known these things. But I have never known them. Reflecting upon this election, I realized how powerless I am. It has made me see that even within my own community, there are divisions that do not allow us to grow and unite to protect one another.
I am not going to pretend to be impartial. I can understand the appeal of Trump for some voters. He proposed to solve the economic inequality issues that many people in this country feel aren’t being addressed. However, what I can’t understand is how the very groups that are targeted by him—people of color, women, Muslims, etc.—could actually end up voting for him.
I know many Latinxs who voted for Trump – people like my parents who migrated to this country seeking better lives. Cubans, Venezuelans, and Latinxs who may falsely identify as part of America’s “white community.” What they don’t understand is that the hatred that has primarily been directed at our Mexican brothers and sisters can and will eventually affect them too.
Within the first day of Trump being elected, hateful actions were already being carried out against people of color. Twitter was filled with distressed, scared, and hopeless tweets—children in schools were calling their Latinx peers wetbacks. These actions aren’t new to America. Racial prejudice has been an ongoing issue even after the civil rights movement of the ‘60s.
But the fact that people of color and women in my hometown of Miami voted for him means that we were not looking out for each other. The Cuban woman who woke up to vote for Donald Trump was not thinking of her fellow Latinxs. She was not thinking of her fellow women. She voted for someone who has continually professed a lack of concern for the rights of people like her.
Our communities need to become more unified. We need to stop fighting against each other. No matter what country we are from, Latinxs need to stick together. People of color need to stick together. Women need to stick together. We are already the powerless in America. We are already the ones being oppressed and disadvantaged in this society we live in. It makes no sense to further divide ourselves so that the white men can continue to win.
People can have their own opinions, but we should still support the communities we are a part of. In the end, these communities will continue to be there—fighting for the rights so justly deserved—even after Trump has gone.