Your Voice 2016

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"I want to feel safe in my country"

This heartbreaking essay from a Latinx 7th grader shows how Trump’s victory is affecting children

AP

Donald Trump’s victory has been hard enough to process for adults. For children, however, the implications and ramifications of a Trump presidency can be that much more difficult to understand.

On Wednesday Jon Gold, a middle school history teacher in Rhode Island, posted a short essay from his student Karina, a Latinx 7th grader, on Twitter.

“I decided to have students do a reflective writing exercise, organized around two simple questions and a quote (‘we gonna be alright’ -Kendrick Lamar),” Gold told me over email. “The questions were ‘how are you feeling this morning?’ and ‘what do you want/need to know?'”

Karina’s highlights both the anxiety felt by some children as well as the depths of their desire to live in a world characterized by equality, rather than divisiveness.

1) I’m extremely scared especially being a woman of color that the president of the country that I was born and live in, is making me feel unsafe when I usually don’t feel unsafe. It even scarier because this man who is now the president of the united states of america has said such rude, ignorant and disrespectful things about women and all different types of people and is now in charge of our country I want to feel safe in my country but I no longer can feel safe with someone like Donald Trump leading this country.

2) I want to know what kind of rules he can and can’t pass. Also I wanted to know if he will be allowed to build a wall. Lastly, I would like to know if eventually this country will be a safe place for everyone no matter sexuality, race, gender, age etc.

Karina and I had checked in several times during our election conversations because I knew that Trump’s rhetoric was affecting her,” Gold wrote to me.

“She came to school in tears today, but her friends rallied to support her, including one other 7th grader who told me later, ‘as a white person, I knew I needed to be there for my friends of color today.’ Having already shared a tear or two with Karina, her reflection still walloped me.”