Submitted by eventshappening on Thu, 11/10/2016 - 11:27
Blacks, Hispanics and Muslims Bracing for a Long 4 Years

Throughout the long and contentious presidential campaign, they saw themselves on the front lines of the country’s power struggle — insulted and antagonized by Donald J. Trump and courted in near-desperation by Hillary Clinton.

Now that Mr. Trump has emerged victorious, Latino, black and Muslim voters, each with their own issues and agendas, are bracing for a long four years. Some Latinos already felt threatened on Wednesday and feared that Mr. Trump would pursue his mass deportation pledge, tearing apart their families and communities. Black voters anticipated an era under Mr. Trump in which intolerance would become acceptable. And Muslims worried that they would be branded as terrorists because of their beliefs.

“I don’t fear Trump as much as I fear the monster he’s awakened,” said Aysha Choudhary, a Muslim American who works with the aid group Doctors Without Borders in New York City. “It feels like he’s normalized discrimination, and I’m afraid it’s open season.”

On the morning after the vote, many said they felt more vulnerable, just because of what they looked like or what they wore. And none felt particularly reassured by Mr. Trump’s vow in his victory speech on Wednesday to “bind the wounds of division” and “come together as one united people.”

Hispanic Waves of Fear

In New York, Cesar Vargas, an immigrant rights leader, said he had received “a torrent” of death threats on Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday and Wednesday. “We are going to come and find you,” one message said.

In Washington, several dozen young immigrants gathered in front of the White House early Wednesday for a comforting vigil, where, they said, they were accosted by several men who had come to celebrate Mr. Trump’s victory. “Trump will build the wall!” the men shouted.

In Phoenix, Alejandra Gomez, a Latino activist, saw in her father’s eyes a terror she had not seen for years, since he had become a legal resident and was no longer at risk of deportation.

Latinos had embraced the opportunity on Tuesday to finally exercise their full electoral clout by turning out in record numbers in states like Colorado, Florida and Nevada to swing the election for Mrs. Clinton.

But after news of the victory by Mr. Trump — who had described Mexican immigrants as criminals, disparaged a Mexican-American judge and promised to cancel a program that gave nearly 800,000 of them protection from deportation — waves of shock spread among Latinos, then raw fear.

gomez hispanic family phoenix
Gonzalo Gomez, 59, and his daughter Alejandra on Wednesday in Phoenix. She is a Latino activist who worked to defeat Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.

“What upsets me is how in this whole election he has brought so many of these racists out,” said Maria Flores, a Cuban-American in Miami, who had once been a Republican but supported Mrs. Clinton this year. She said strangers had begun taunting her to speak English or leave.

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Claudia Martinez, who is Mexican-American, Catholic and a devoted Republican, said she had wept in anguish after voting for Mrs. Clinton. But choosing Mr. Trump was not an option.

“If he said those things as a candidate, what will he say as president?” she asked.

Democrats had seen Latinos as a path to victory in states like Nevada and Florida, where they grew this year to 19 percent of the electorate, from 17 percent in 2012. But while turnout swelled in Miami and in the central Florida counties where Puerto Ricans have settled, and Latinos supported Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump by 63 percent to 34 percent, the mainly white voters in Florida who flocked to Mr. Trump surpassed the Latino numbers for Mrs. Clinton.

Down ballot, there were some small victories for anti-Trump Latinos. In Arizona, activists like Ms. Gomez succeeded in ousting Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, the enduring face of the state’s unforgiving stance against illegal immigration.

And in Nevada, where Latino turnout also surged, months of intensive turnout efforts by labor unions helped elect Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, to fill the Senate seat of Harry Reid, who is retiring, making her the first Latina in the Senate. They also elected the first Latino congressman from Nevada, Ruben Kihuen, another Democrat. And Mrs. Clinton took that state.

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Some Hispanic voters were proud to say they had voted for Mr. Trump.

John Santamaria, a Cuban-American real estate agent from Miami, said he thought the Republican candidate’s tough immigration proposals were just talk. “I felt it was red meat for the vote,” Mr. Santamaria said. “The man is an egotistical maniac, but I hope he can bring the success he had in business to this country.”

But Claudia Ramos, a Nevada hotel worker from Mexico who has been an American citizen for 10 years, seemed dazed by the results. “We are scared, and we don’t know what he’ll do,” Ms. Ramos said.

Ban Worries Muslims

When election results on Tuesday night started pointing to a Trump victory, Ibrahim Rashid, a sophomore at Boston University, began getting nervous.

Given Mr. Trump’s vow to bar Muslims from entering the United States in an attempt to curb terrorism, Mr. Rashid, an American citizen who is Muslim, worried that his family — Pakistani nationals who live in Dubai — could never visit him here again. And he ached for a young cousin in Michigan whose classmates were mean to her after Mr. Trump won a mock election at school, prompting her to cry all day.

“All of us are just scared,” Mr. Rashid said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of talk on Facebook about getting ready for the next four years because people are going to question you, and your point of view won’t matter. The feeling is, we’re not accepted any more.”


Still, he did not want his fear to show. And so he boldly dressed in Pakistani clothes and clipped a sign to his shirt that declared, “I’m not Scared.”

Muslims across the country were suddenly grappling with the reality of a Trump presidency and trying to calibrate their responses to it — including worries that Mr. Trump would keep mosques under surveillance and establish a database for all Muslims living in the United States. A recent study puts the number of Muslim Americans at 3.3 million, just over 1 percent of the United States population.

In some ways, Mr. Rashid’s personal response reflects that of the nation’s organized Muslim groups.