I’m a third generation immigrant and I’m not afraid for this country

We don’t all need you to protest on our behalf

When the sun rose Wednesday morning, many were appalled, confused, and afraid after learning that Donald Trump was the President-elect. I, however, was not one of them.

As a third generation immigrant, and the granddaughter of an escapee from Cuba, I am not afraid for America.

My grandmother fled to the United States in 1961, and after voting for Trump in the election, she is also not afraid for the next four years. There are many individuals who expect us to reject the results of the election. There are many protesters who claim that they are afraid for immigrants and their families.

We're not afraid

We’re not afraid

However, not all immigrants need people to be afraid for them. Some immigrants and their families voted for Trump, like mine did. Some of them are happy that he is in office, and confident that during the next four years, Trump will lead America in the right direction.

When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were named the candidate for the Democratic and Republican parties respectively, I knew I wouldn’t be a staunch supporter of either one. There is no denying that Trump has said unforgivable things about both immigrants and women. He was not the ideal candidate for the Presidency – but Hillary Clinton wasn’t either. I was acutely aware of the faults of both candidates, but on the morning of November 8, I made a choice to have faith in the American government.

Despite things that Trump has said, as a female, third generation immigrant, I was not full of hate after the election, but full of hope.

We're full of hope

We’re full of hope

I am aware that many Americans were shocked that Trump became the President elect. But in hindsight, I believe that Clinton supporters are responsible for Hillary’s premature sense of victory. Many millennials were aggressively vocal about supporting Hillary Clinton across all social media platforms, creating an imbalance of shared beliefs. Many individuals who did not support Clinton chose to keep silent, because they appeared to be the minority. However, the silent majority was at work during this election, and despite the fact that some are unhappy about the results – Donald Trump is the President-elect.

I cannot safely say that Donald Trump will be a good president. I don’t believe that anyone could say that about any presidential candidate. But I can say I trust the American government, and am reassured that if Donald Trump is not leading our nation in the right direction, steps will be taken to remove him from office.

“The problem with this election that people seem to be having is accepting defeat,” said Christopher LeClerc, a sophomore engineering student. “At the end of the day, Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States, and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. Everyone must now come together, for there is a lot of work to do to make our country the best it can be.”

In the past week, there have been protests, assaults, and actions that are shameful to our country and all that it stands for. I don’t believe it’s Donald Trump who is going to tear our nation apart. If anyone is going to tear the nation apart, it’s going to be the individuals who are turning on fellow Americans in the wake of the election.

There has been unacceptable behavior on behalf of both those who support Trump, and those who do not support him. At Villanova last week, there was an alleged assault of an African American student by three white males who were shouting “Trump”. Across the nation, there have been walk outs and flag burnings to protest the election results. These actions, instead of appropriately celebrating his victory or expressing unhappiness, are perpetuating divisiveness in our nation.

I am not angry that Trump is the President-elect, and I am not afraid for America’s future. I am angry that there are people who feel the need to burn the flag on behalf of immigrants and their families, who they assume are paralyzed in fear.

Not all of us are afraid. Some immigrants are unhappy with the outcome of the election, but some are rejoicing, fearless and full of hope. Despite some discontent with Donald Trump’s victory, abandoning trust in our government will not propel America in the right direction.

The American people will determine America’s future, and a future full of blatant cynicism is not what our country needs. Now, more than ever, we must look toward the future with unbridled optimism, trust in our government, and respect for one another.

Villanova University