Fear in the Age of Trump

 I was given the tools to learn to erase myself, like bleach for my hair and skin, but I was not given the tools to learn how to love myself till much MUCH later.

U.S. President Trump looks on following swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington.

U.S. President Trump looks on following swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington. | Photo: Reuters

 I do not know when I became this afraid. I do not know when fear took a hold of me, but it did. I do not know when things started to feel unsafe. I do not know who taught exactly me this fear.

OPINION:
How
Does It Feel to Be Brown and Latina in Trump’s USA?

Maybe it was my country’s government, that allowed and did very little to help the hungry kids I saw in the streets and later saw in my classrooms. I was not just a spectator, I was their friend and I saw their reality very near to my own. I saw them as no different than me, except a paycheck or two away. I saw them and I saw myself, what could be and what was.

Maybe it was that policia who stopped me in Nashville, Tennessee. He spoke to me in broken English, as if mocking the fact that he knew that I knew that he was faking it, that he was mocking me, that he was exploiting the power he had due to his badge and he could. It was the way he paced slowly towards me, knowing I was growing more and more fearful because the color of my skin meant something to me which was antithetical to what it meant to him.

Maybe it was when my alma mater, Vanderbilt University, refused to become a sanctuary campus upon the election of Donald Trump. The letter sent out by the president of the university read something along the lines of: we are doing enough. As if things had not changed, because the terms of the new president mandated a response but it was looked at as if things were not at stake, as if students were not fearful.

I do not know when I became this afraid. I do not know when fear took a hold of me, but it did. I do not know when things started to feel unsafe. I do not know who taught exactly me this fear.

IN PICTURES:
Thousands Flock to US Airports to Protest Trump’s Muslim Ban


To learn more about Rise Up Times and support
Media for the People! with a donation 
click here.


Maybe it was when Mike Brown was gunned down by a police offer. Seeing his Black body on television, aired without any consideration of his family made me sick. When we know that statistically Black and Latinx folks are persecuted by law enforcement unjustly and at astronomically unequal rates compared to white folks, yet there goes another killer cop, free.

Maybe it was when a grown man looked at my young brown body and called me UGLY, with a snide look. I was given social cues my entire life about being rejected, not wanted, looked down on, perceived as inferior. I was given the tools to learn to erase myself, like bleach for my hair and skin, but I was not given the tools to learn how to love myself till much MUCH later.

Maybe it was when I saw the backpacks along the deserts in Arizona. I saw children backpacks everywhere throughout the desert, and clothes, rosaries. I saw remnants of people crossing deserts to survive. I saw the relics they left behind in hopes of access to health care, leaving abusive partners, job opportunities that could pay better than maquiladora jobs, or just starting over somewhere new where their sexual identity would not result in their deaths.

I do not know when I became this afraid. I do not know when fear took a hold of me, but it did. I do not know when things started to feel unsafe. I do not know who taught exactly me this fear.

Maybe it was the day that Donald Trump talked about Latinxs as Mexicans, and then preceded to call us rapists and murderers. Hearing the crowd cheer. Hearing the crowd holler in agreement, I was afraid. Maybe it was the day that Donald Trump talked about grabbing women by their pussies, without their consent. The way that many people came out to his defense saying it was harmless banter, the way that people defended him for his incriminating confession of sexual assault. Maybe it was the way he talks about migrants, refugees, and non-citizens as disposable.

The day that he passed his executive action concerning the Muslim Ban, I was afraid. And then we began to receive a flurry of tweets and news concerning people being detained at airports, getting their green cards revoked, and not being allowed into planes, and I started to panic. And I do not know when I became this afraid. And I do not know when fear took a hold of me, but it did. Furthermore, I do not know when things started to feel unsafe. And I do not know who taught exactly me this fear. But it’s been years, maybe since birth, but some people only know fear filled with moments of relief. I have been afraid, and it is not getting any better. Today I write from that place of fear, maybe tomorrow I will write of hope and resistance.

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is the founder of Latina Rebels.


No Peace! No Justice!  Please share this post.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: