In the wake of the election of a president who has openly expressed suspicion and disdain for entire portions of the populace, Cornell minority groups have said they are “horrified” and enraged by Trump’s victory.
Stephanie Hahm ’17, president of the Cornell Asian Pacific Islander Student Union, said the organization is “deeply worried” based on the rhetoric of this election cycle, which she believes will further the marginalization of minority communities.
Trump’s comments on Muslim Americans has also been particularly alarming for a group that already faces “immense difficulties” gaining acceptance in American society, according to Nabiha Qudsi ’18, president of the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association. The president elect has said he would consider using his position to prevent Muslims from immigrating to the United States.
“We are even more fearful than ever of the violence and discrimination that will inevitably be increased as a result of Trump’s rhetoric,” Qudsi said. “Many of us are afraid to continue day-to-day activities because of any discrimination that Trump will encourage.”
Akhilesh Issur ’17, Student Assembly international student liaison, added that Trump’s presidential policies will likely impact international students’ ability to work in the United States.
“The international student community stands in solidarity with the minorities that have utterly been disrespected in this election,” Issur said. “We also apprehend that it might be harder for international students to get job visas after graduation, as a result of a Trump presidency, but we respect the democratic choice of the American people.”
Erika Axe ’18, co-president of Mixed at Cornell, pointed out the irony of Trump taking the presidency immediately after Barack Obama, who is mixed race.
“This election is an insult to every mixed person and minority who has ever been told that our racial identity is not for ourselves to decide, or that we should go ‘back to where you came from,’” Axe said. “Where do we go? This ‘mixing pot’ country is our home. This is where we belong.”
Many student groups also shared their hope that Cornellians will be able to unite to counteract any that discrimination that Trump’s presidency may bring.
In a statement, Mixed at Cornell said they will continue to “extend open arms” to students seeking support, stressing that the mixed community “was born from the love between those of differing backgrounds and experiences.”
“It is incredibly disheartening to watch the safety and well-being of many of our friends, family and neighbors become threatened by an unwillingness to protect the diversity that exists in our nation,” the group said.
The Arab Student Association echoed Mixed’s intentions, saying they plan to strengthen their ties with other groups on campus that feel their culture or values are under attack.
Hahm added that she hopes the “immense grief” and anger currently pervading the Asian American community will translate into an impetus for social change.
“We’re seeing an immense sense of empathy and anger from others, which is something that we haven’t seen in a while,” Hahm said. “This is powerful for us as CAPSU, because it will add passion for coming together and mobilization to fight for a future that we believe everyone deserves.”