Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.
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News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

I remember sitting with my Dad on Nov. 3, 2016, and silently watching the election results come in.

It was his first election, having just become a United States citizen after years of being a permanent resident. He was always on the outside looking in, encouraging everyone in the house to vote every primary and general election.

The happiness I saw earlier in the day when he cast his first ballot was drained away with each new state’s results.

After Michigan’s results were announced I decided to call it, having to go to bed with the knowledge that the country let my father down. He stayed up until the last states were called, going to bed with the belief that the country he loved so much did not love him back.

For the next four years, that haunting realization would rear its head on more and more frequent occasions. Red hats and flags striking fear, hate speech spray painted on the walls and yelled from passing trucks. Fourth of July celebrations were spent inside in fear of violence.

With those grim reminders came the terrifying conclusion that nothing was going to change. Every few months a new scandal would come and go, ones that would end ordinary presidencies, and I would become more scared of the responses from his followers locally and nationally.

No matter who wins the presidency in this current election, I, along with many other Latinx and BIPOC around the country, am still going to be scared. Scared of the possible violence that may come with whatever the results may be.

Since the announcement of his campaign, President Trump has had an uncanny way of bringing hate and vitriol to the surface. For some it was a wake up call to what America really was, but for the rest of us it was nothing new. The quiet parts were just being spoken out loud.

It may be an uncomfortable truth for some, but one that many in my place have faced. The United States will also be a land knee deep in the blood of a racist history that still stirs trouble into the modern day.

A history of scapegoating Latinx people with things like Operation Wetback, where over a million Latinx people were forcibly removed in the largest mass deportations in US history, and its everlasting effects on the immigration system that cages asylum seekers.

It is reflected in the of killing Indigenous tribes under the guise of Manifest Destiny and the unjust killing of Black people at the hands of police brutality.

That’s not something that can be put back under the floorboards of this nation.

Hate that strong never fades away. It won’t under a Biden presidency, it certainly won’t under a Trump presidency. It will continue to fester, divide and instill fear into the marginalized masses across the nation.

I remember one of the first nights after moving to Arcata and going to the store late at night to buy supplies for a bonfire. The cashier, who was so friendly to my friend turned to me, the warmth from his face fading and said, “what do you want, boy?”

A few months back a stranger driving by called me a wetback as I stood on the corner waiting to cross the street.

Both times I continued along as much I could without letting it show, much like I did when I heard those same words and comments at age 8, 15, 18 and every year since.

It’s the same words that I expect to hear after Nov. 3, as the country once again reveals its true colors. Every year of my life the United States has refused to face the consequences of the past to create a future where I, and others in my position, won’t be scared every four years.

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