On Election Day, I stayed up late, watching what I already suspected would manifest. Just like the “Saturday Night Live” skit where comics Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle are watching the election results with white friends and, unlike them, are not at all surprised to see Donald Trump win, neither was I.
As an American Muslim, my long journey in this country has not been without prejudice and bigotry.
When my family arrived nearly 40 years ago, we were fleeing a dictator. My mother and father fought hard for change in our country.
They only decided to move when I came home from pre-K singing communist songs. Education was their weapon of choice. When that system broke, they felt it was time.
So now on the heels of a calamitous change, I had to prepare my 11-year-old son for the road ahead.
I’m tired of articles portraying Muslims as fearful deer awaiting the slaughter. I and my family are not afraid. We were not broken when we left all that we loved to come here.
I told my son, we are American and Muslim, the two are not mutually exclusive. We are a people who have built civilizations when Europe was in darkness.
We preserved the knowledge of ancient Greek and Romans so that it could be reclaimed in the Renaissance.
Whatever Mr. Trump is, we will be fine. We will not be rounded up. We will not surrender the beauty and possibility of this nation.
We, too, sing “America” because as I told my child, there are many good people in this country.
As a physician, I have witnessed the best of humanity in the hardest of times.
My optimism was not broken by a tyrant who threatened my entire family’s existence as a child.
I’m most certainly not going to break now.
God bless America, and give wisdom where it is needed.
Sabriya B. Ishoof,