I lived through the 2016 elections in what is arguably one of the most progressive areas of the United States—a New England college town. It’s the kind of place where there are Black Lives Matter, Free Tibet, and Immigrants Welcome Here signs on every lawn, and where mostly white college students can protest on the streets in protest chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” escorted by police cars. When you’re brown, and you’re not from here, but you live here, you start to believe that your ideologies, your own progressiveness, your drinking the Kool-Aid will keep all the things you hate at a distance. But it won’t.
Last summer, I was walking to a local movie theatre to meet up with some friends, and as I was on the sidewalk, about to round the corner, a car on my side of the street slowed down to match my stride. A head of dark hair leaned into the passenger side and yelled, “DONALD TRUMP, BABY!”.
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I stopped in my tracks. “Donald TRUMP!!!” they shouted again, the last name clearly standing for something that my brown, female body felt but didn’t understand. Before I could get it together, muster up the voice to tell him to fuck off, or take note of a license plate or car make or even a color (red?), they were gone. I looked around, thinking other people on the sidewalk had surely seen or heard, but there was nobody else.