“We were never prepared to expect a man who wished to bar all Muslims from entering the US. We were never prepared to expect that the Majority would agree.”
I did not wake up to the shocking, soul shattering news that millions did to this morning. I did not sleep last night. I was agonised by the possibility that Trump would be elected. I frantically checked my phone every twenty, then fifteen, then five minutes, feeling more and more as if I were trapped in a nightmare. By 5am, the New York Times told me that it was almost certain Trump would be the 45th President of America.
My parents, Muslim immigrants, did not raise me to be naive. They explained racism, prejudice, and Islamophobia to me at a young age. They equipped me with the skills to confront any comments or quips coming from the small minority we believed to exist. We experienced a few such incidents: my Mum heard some comments at work, a sheet of brown paper held next to my skin, my younger brother was called the P word one schoolyard incident. Always the minority however. We were never prepared to expect a man who wished to bar all Muslims from entering the US. We were never prepared to expect that the Majority would agree.
I had naively believed that racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia existed on a small scale. That every town had their resident racist slurring “Go Home.” “Go Home” is a slogan that the Majority of the American and British electorate has voted for. The Majority of the electorate voted for a man who ran a candidate based on racism and hate. This election result has exposed a nasty truth; that of the secret racist. They all voted. The majority of America has undeniably been proven to be racist or massively xenophobic thanks to this election.
A part of my innocence died last night. The part of me that believed that all humans are inherently good and rational beings has been quieted a little. A sexist, homophobic, bigoted, man who doesn’t believe in global warming is the figurehead of over 318 million people. I can’t argue with the numbers. Over half. For the second time this year, I am saddened, disgusted, sickened and afraid. White supremacists all over the world today have been legitimised in a terrifying way. They are the majority.