Being a minority student at a predominately white institution often leaves one feeling like they don’t belong, creating a sense of discomfort that is difficult to erase.
UK fits into the description of a predominately white institution, according to UK’s Office of Institutional Research & Advanced Analytics, 73.9 percent of the student body is white, 6.6 percent identify as African-American and 3.8 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.
According to UK spokesman Jay Blanton, nine reports of derogatory language or assaults of minority students have already been reported to the university’s Bias Incident Support Services since Donald Trump was announced as the 2016 president-elect.
During his campaign, Trump called for deporting 11 million undocumented citizens, overtly categorized Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “drug dealers,” proposed registering all Muslim-Americans into a database, and advocated for violence against protestors who were often minorities, all in the name of making America great again.
According to USA Today, Trump only won 37 percent of millennial voters, however he won 52 percent of voters who attended college for any amount of time, and 45 percent of college graduates.
Now, as the dust settles around the election and everyone comes to terms with who the country has chosen as its new commander in chief, minority students on many college campuses are left facing the same problems.
Walking around a campus where less than 7 percent of the student body resembles you is a very isolating experience. This feeling is multiplied exponentially when you must question whether the people you feel alienated from would take pleasure in making you feel unwanted.
Imagine walking into a classroom, looking around and seeing 25, 40, or even 200 faces, and having to question whether each one wants to harm you in some way, whether by completely ignoring your whole existence, calling you an expletive from their car as they speed past or by actually committing an act of violence.
This is what minority students faced everyday on this campus, even before Trump was elected and we watched America side with racism, sexism and misogyny.
Before we knew it was acceptable for the future president of our country to announce that he takes it upon himself to grab women “by the pussy.” Before we watched protestors be removed from rallies with bloody shirts. Before we saw the crowd’s reaction to the violence. Before we knew that Trump was speaking directly to the silent voters, who long for the days when minorities were not “ruining” our country.
And now here we are.
Walking into class will no longer be peaceful. Picking your seat on the first day of class will never be as easy as it once was.
Minority students have every right to question the motives of those around them. These are turbulent times, where true colors are being exposed.
We understand that not every person who supported Trump is a racist, sexist or misogynist, but you chose to vote for a man who embodies all three words. If you do not side with his actions, prove it to us. Otherwise, you leave us in a state of confusion and constant terror.
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