Opinion: Why I am uncomfortable in Trump's America

By Rachel Ramirez | January 29, 2017 6:30pm

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I am a Filipino-American woman. I come from a lower class family. I am a student at the University of Portland. I am an aspiring journalist.

I am terrified of, concerned about and uncomfortable with what the next four years has in store for me, my country and my fellow citizens.

Donald J. Trump has threatened my identity as a woman by challenging female reproductive rights, as a Filipino-American by calling us terrorists, my lower class status by trying to take away affordable healthcare and my aspirations of one day becoming a journalist by questioning our credibility.

As a woman and a minority pursuing a career in journalism, I find it difficult to stay objective about President Trump’s decisions that may greatly and negatively impact the lives of many, including my own.

My dad says, “Let it go. He’s president. You can’t do anything about it.”

But I can’t let it go. Not while there’s a chance that people will lose their health care and die. Not while there’s a possibility that racial and gender tensions may worsen. Not while news outlets, my future employers, are constantly being thrown under the bus.

Growing up, I watched my parents work overtime just to give my sister and me a better life. We know the feeling of struggling with debt and lack of food supply and resources.

My sister and I relied on Medicaid benefits growing up. Because I know that millions of other people in this country solely depend on affordable healthcare, it petrifies me whenever I see or hear the words “health care,” “Republican leaders” or “Trump” in any headline in the news.

It must be a great privilege to be able to look past people like me, who are struggling for their rights in this country, on account of not being directly affected by Trump’s decisions.

It hurts.

It pains me to see others struggling and worrying due to immediate changes and executive orders being made in our system. Trump does whatever he pleases and does not think before he speaks. He is not humble, nor does he seem to care about the citizens below his income line.

He does not listen to anyone’s voice besides his own.

Last Saturday, I covered the Women’s March as a reporter for The Beacon. But it felt like more than that.

I was there to cover it objectively, but I was not focused. The movement made me realize how many women and men are willing to fight for fundamental human rights. It was one of the most inspiring events I have witnessed in my life. The energy, love, spirit and motivation that every one possessed radiated throughout the march in many different colors.

Although their identities differed, they were marching, chanting and fighting for the same cause. It takes more than money, a business, a Twitter handle, a silent majority, a wealthy cabinet and spoken words to lead, positively change and improve a country.

I believe that making a change requires unity, knowledge, sympathy, compassion, experience, responsibility and empathy for fellow citizens.

And even though millions of people gathered in different places around the world together to march, even though the event made history, Trump is still the one who will be making the decisions that will affect our lives for the next four years.

I am terrified. I am concerned. I am uncomfortable.

And this is only the beginning.

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