A Letter to Marginalized Voices

An open letter to my marginalized peers:
I know we’re all afraid. As a person of color and a woman, I still haven’t processed that this country will soon be run by a man who has little to no respect for either. As the election results poured in on November ninth, I could feel my uneasiness slowly churn in my stomach, turning into dread. I’m scared, not just for me, but for those around me as well. I’m afraid for anyone who does not fit the quota of Donald Trump’s perfect American vision. As terrified as I am, however, I cannot let this fear push me into stagnation. Donald Trump is not my president. He is not my leader, and he does represent the American values that I was raised upon.
As we all take the time to process what this means for our future, I write to those directly affected by the election results:
Your fear is valid. Your anger, your confusion, and your rage especially is extremely important. Do not let anyone have you believing otherwise. Don’t apologize for the skin you were born in. Don’t apologize for who and how you love. Don’t apologize for your gender, born into it or not. Don’t apologize for your religion. Don’t apologize because you or your parents came to this country seeking opportunity. Don’t apologize because you exist. You have a right to be here, and you should never apologize for the right to your own survival.
As you seek closure and understanding in the midst of the chaos, try and remember that those around you are likely feeling similar things. Just as you want your voice to be heard, don’t quiet the voices of others who are seeking validation as well. The only way we can make it through this hectic time is by being united, and that cannot be done if we’re too busy fighting each other. Do not force each other to justify the pain and fear you feel. In Donald Trump’s eyes, we are all inadequate. As America recoils from what will go down in history as a monumental shift in this country’s future, it’s evident that we have rough times ahead. We are a country divided, and we have a lot of work to do to patch it up. The responsibility lies with us, the youth. Never stop raising your voice. It would be nothing short of a dream for those filled with hate to believe that they’ve won, and that they have power over you and your livelihood. Fear cannot win.
- Terra Walls