Back in 2015 when I first heard Donald Trump’s speech on running for President, I was horrified about the way he painted Mexican people with the same negative brush. As a female Mexican-Canadian I felt hurt at the comments he would continually make throughout his campaign, including promises to build a wall on the U.S.A.-Mexico border, making lewd comments about women, his position on environmental issues and many other political stances that impact other communities and organizations.
Half of my family still lives in Mexico and after speaking with them about the current post-election situation, it is clear they are worried. The Mexican peso dropped on the first day Trump was named President-Elect and he also threatens the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the U.S.A. and Canada, which currently facilitates trade among the three countries. My one uncle said, “as if things in Mexico weren’t bad enough for us to begin with, now this.”
It is difficult for me to talk with them about this because I recognize that I cannot begin to imagine how they are feeling about the future of their country. I am proud to be Canadian and I am thankfully a part of a country whose Prime Minister shares the same values that I believe in. In this I hope our Prime Minister, from the top down, will continue to assure the people how we must be there for one another in times like these. Also, from the bottom up, we must take the chance to talk about our concerns publicly with one another and remember the similarities among us, not the things that differentiate us. Here in Peterborough, the November 9th solidarity gathering for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline was a prime example of this. More recently, the Make Trent Safe rally held on November 16th was also the right first step in speaking out about the real effects people have experienced since Trump was elected.
I have to remain optimistic in this situation and hope that the small actions I take will create an impact not only for myself but also for others in similar situations. Only time will tell if my worst fears and concerns will truly come to light.