I don't use this blog as a political platform. I don't use Facebook for that reason either, though I do sometimes post about causes I support, such as solidarity with Standing Rock. However, since November 8th, 2016, I have become aware, not only of the hateful acts of racism and xenophobia that are being talked about on the news and social media, but of attacks against people near and dear to me. As a result, I decided I have to use this platform to talk about it.
The first incident occurred just about a week after the election. An old friend of mine, a gentleman of about 70 years of age who used to be the priest at an Episcopal church I attended in NY, a gentleman originally from El Salvador who is small and dark-skinned, and who speaks with a heavy accent, but who has lived as a citizen of the US for about 30 years, has a PhD, and a better English vocabulary than I do, posted this on Facebook: "I was verbally assaulted by a white man who thought I was Mexican. He said, 'F****ing Mexican, trump is going to send you all back!' I said to him, "I am not Mexican, I am American,' and asked him, 'Are you American?' He stammered and went away."
Then today I saw on Facebook that another friend of mine, a lady who is American of Mexican descent, had racial slurs hurled at her at a bar that she regularly frequents with friends. Both incidents made me feel physically ill, and had me in tears. I thought, if this can happen to American citizens, both born and naturalized, how vulnerable are all people of color, and "foreign" origins in our country today?