I am 20 years old. I am a white American Jew with pale white skin and dark brown curls. I weigh a measly 103 pounds and barely reach the five-foot-two notch on the wall at the doctor’s office. Without makeup, I look like I’m 12 and with it I can barely pass as 16. I have lived a very privileged life and am lucky to have a family that has brought me up so honestly and lovingly. Today, I feel like being American is the hardest thing I have to bear. Today, I was pushed down twice by the oppressions of my society.
I knew I was having a bad day before I even got to work, which is a lot for 8:00 a.m. I have spent my first summer home from sleepaway camp facing the nine-to-five work grind in the greatest city in the world. My summer ends tomorrow, so before I take my coveted seat on the 5:30 p.m. Greyhound Bus, I had to lug all of my crap to the nearest UPS store to ship it back home.
How am I, a young woman, supposed to know the proper pricing to ship large packages? Admittedly, my dad handles this dirty work for me. He told me to charge it to the card and to text him the total amount. So, I did. He immediately freaked out about the high price and he accused the man at the UPS counter of “taking advantage of me.” “I don’t know what to tell you,” I typed back to my father, annoyed that I had to deal with this to begin with.
Turns out, the UPS guy did take advantage of me. He overcharged me by adding extra expenses to the bill without notifying me.
I walked into work frustrated with the fact that this happened, and the fact that this wasn't the first time. Every time a man in a position of power does this to me, I feel dumb, powerless, and confused that women are still treated as such objects of disrespect. My spirit is crushed and I question my self-worth.
A few hours at work passed and after I calmed down about the first of many repulsive men I’d face today, I was told I was reassigned from covering a movie premiere to cover the protests at Trump Tower tonight, something I was excited about. I would be having a new journalistic experience and I would be in the heat of a rally against the man I hate most in the world.
After reading extensively on his horrible reaction to the disgusting events that transpired in Charlottesville, I, for the first time during his presidency, felt enraged. I literally felt my blood pressure rise as I came to terms with the reality that there were men marching throughout The United States bearing swastikas and that the president of this “free” nation could barely condemn such heinous acts. As a young journalist, I couldn’t wait to stand in a sea of men and women who work to rise above this dreadful term.
When I got to the scene, I stayed on the outskirts of the crowd. I asked friendly police officers questions regarding the security setup on Fifth Avenue. My size came to my advantage as I swerved through crowds, snapping photos and videos for my twitter feed, getting quotes from protestors for the story my editor was updating at the office. I somehow made it into the thick of things at 56th and 5th and stood quietly, taking in the world encompassing me at the moment. My stature made it hard for me to see, but I looked around and took in what I could, reading colorful homemade signs condemning the president that consistently fails to condemn the true criminal acts of this nation.
I began to get tired and pushed my way to the outer edge of this part of the crowd. Soon after, the security team made a single announcement asking everyone to please dissipate as the president would be arriving at the area soon. This, of course, drew a loud “BOO!” from the hundreds of unhappy Americans. Less than a minute later, though, policemen were forcing their way into the crowds to push back protestors. Less than a minute is all the time this enormous group had to flee the scene that was so packed you could barely take a step. In less than a minute, the policemen parted the sea of colorful faces who were begging for peace and love, and I was standing at the seam. I turned to walk away in the direction I was being told to, complying with the requests of the men shouting near me. Next thing I knew, a large man had his hands on me and was forcibly pushing and shoving me into the wall of people in front of me.
I screamed and begged him to get his hands off me. I yelled, trying to tell him he was hurting me and that I was trying to get out of the area like he had requested, yet his hands stayed on my back and he continued to try and force me away from Trump Tower.
All I could think was: “how will pushing a tiny human being like me really make the rest of this mob move anywhere?”
When I got to a freer area, I ran to an alley and began to cry, the emotions of this country falling over me at once, for the first time since the night this man “won” the presidency. I questioned why such horrible things were happening each day and I wondered how they could possibly get worse (because they always seem to).
Today, I feel sad to be an American. I feel hurt that I am living in a country full of such negativity, hatred, and bigotry. I feel powerless that in this society, I feel I will never be able to overcome the white man no matter what I say or do. I feel sympathetic to so many who have faced even worse than I have. And I feel completely confounded at how we got here.
I write this to share my experiences, to try and give someone else a real-time view of what is happening in this country. I write this to condemn the president I will never claim as “mine” and all of the people who stand by him. I write because I don’t know what else to do in a time like this and I am scared about where we go from here, because I want my voice to be heard and I want to make a difference in a world that constantly pushes me down. I write for me, for you, and for all the Americans who have been struggling with these same emotions since last November.
So, I leave this post with a message for you Mr. Trump: I hope, for this country’s sake, you don’t see your term through and I hope, for your own sake, you can learn, by some act of god, how to become a good person. But for now, a fuck you will do just fine.