Filipino in Trump's America
Today at my school a student came into my homeroom, slumped over the desk and, with a stunned voice, said, “Pence is going to send me to conversion therapy.”
Today I looked out into a classroom of faces either brimming with tears or trying not to cry. I’ve seen my fellow teachers cry. On the street, I have heard strangers make jokes about "deporting illegals." I have known grown men and women who are afraid of leaving their homes. I have walked into schools and colleges, places of learning, and been met with the silence that comes with the realization that our world is not what we thought it was.
The sad truth is that this America is just another symptom of what has been going on in the rest of the world. All around the world people are finding other people to blame, to target, to shut out with their borders, and now all the things we believed could never happen have happened. (READ: '#BalikBayan Voices: Not the America I thought I knew' )
As a writer, teacher, and feminist, the life I have chosen for myself is essentially political. The fact that I am an international student and woman of color living in the US only makes this even more true.
Often I wonder if what I do makes any difference; if this fight for equality is worth anything in the grand scheme of things. I myself am now trapped between the country I currently live in – one that marginalizes me, that has turned my body into a political body – and the country of my birth, where misogyny and disenfranchisement of poor people are just as prevalent. For many of us, it seems like there are no safe spaces left in the world. But rather than feel hopeless, this has only convinced me that we need to be doing much, much more.
Now, the children I educate have grown uncertain of their future. And I think that this is what scares me the most: that these wonderful champions of equality and peace, these fledgling people born from the ashes of what the older generations have wrought, will have to live through the dying thralls of an old regime built on hatred. We must remind them that this is only temporary, and show them that our time, our world, is yet to come. We cannot let them be snuffed out.
Be vigilant. Protect yourself, and protect those around you. Fight harder to call out and correct the injustices you see in your communities. Keep your loved ones close, especially those who have been marginalized by history. Reach out to them today, because you know they are going to need it. Do not let history repeat itself. Fight harder. Fight back. – Rappler.com
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