I'm Afraid Because Hate Won
By Nate Jones (High School Student in Princeton, NJ)
I’m white. I’m male. I’m Christian. Why should I be afraid? Well I am. I don’t think I’ve ever been more afraid in my life.
I realize I’m not the target. I realize it is “my kind” that is painting bull’s-eyes on people’s backs, but I am afraid. I am afraid because the world I surround myself with has changed. Everything I saw for the future was grabbed; it was viciously taken away from me. From us.
I’m afraid for my of friends that has only ever supported me, because right now, I can’t support them.
My friends from theatre camp: all you crazy talented kids that span the whole spectrum of identification. That highlight every color in the rainbow. I’m sorry. I’m sorry because I’ll never be able to provide the shelter you so generously gave to me. Because you will face more in your teen years than I will face in my entire life. Because we found this heaven that preaches acceptance, but all we learned as right is now wrong, and all we learned as wrong is now right. I’m sorry because you now live in a world that will constantly try to change you, to trivialize your existence. You’re lucky, because from a young age you found strength to do you. But the society that was your youth will be deconstructed, and it will muffle every kid that wants to shout as loud as you could.
My girl friends. My mom. My cousins. It’s your future that makes me stay awake at night, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. There is such great fear in uncertainty. I do know that the construction of your glass ceiling has begun, the one you worked centuries to shatter. I know that your lives will be littered with objectification and judgement. That a certain mold has been fabricated for your role in the world. Break it. Shatter it. The only thing that gives me hope is your tireless contestation to the wrong.
My friends of color.
My non-christian friends.
My undocumented friends.
To anyone who is not the majority. Anyone who will be personally victimized by the outcome of November 9th. I wish I could cut my heart out of my chest and personally hand it to you. I can’t imagine. I could never begin to imagine the feeling of waking up each morning with a fear for your life. Waking up and not feeling safe in your own home.
Not feeling safe in the country you call home.
But more than my life, more than my circle, my friends, my family, I’m afraid for you, America. I’m afraid because hate won. I’m afraid of the power of impressionism—the morals they’ll never learn. I’m afraid because I don’t want to go backwards; I want to keep moving forwards. I’m afraid because I know acceptance is right. I’m afraid because people are laughing. I’m afraid because the worst qualities I’ve ever seen in someone were put in a blender and poured into this mold of a man. I’m afraid because others are afraid. I’m afraid because love fought its hardest fight, but love didn’t win.
I’m afraid because hate won.