It isn't news that America has become less welcoming to immigrants with the election of Trump as its President, and this recent New York Times article looks at why.
Many of Trump's supporters hailed from six key states -- Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. These states flipped from blue to red this presidential election season, and their line of reasoning, in some sense, is understandable. Many of these people are experiencing a slide in the trajectory of their lives, and in the near future, their children's lives as well. For instance, working and middle-class whites without college education, or sometimes without even a high school diploma, saw a bleak future brought on by receding industries, job markets, and an entire way of life. The government for the past few years only seemed to support those, who in their eyes, were at the very bottom of the social ladder -- people like poor blacks believed to be lazy, uncouth, and getting by on their tax money.
Nancy Isenberg, author of “White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America” and a history professor at Louisiana State University, comments on how the 2016 election "tapped into anxieties of all who resented the government for handing over the country to supposedly less deserving classes: new immigrants, protesting African Americans, lazy welfare freeloaders, and Obamacare recipients asking for handouts. Angry Trump voters were convinced that these classes, the “takers,” were not playing by the rules (i.e., working their way up the ladder) and that government entitlement programs were allowing some to advance past the more deserving (white, native born) Americans. This is how many came to feel 'disinherited.'"
Perhaps working-class whites wanted to see the very foundations of this whole system collapse so that it could be rebuilt with Trump at the vanguard. After all, what did the system ever do for them? During his campaign, Trump's voice reached their ears, his promises of an improved way of life beckoning to them. It became easy to blame vast groups of people like immigrants, a part of which involved the "Model Minority," the seemingly rich, successful, assimilated Asian Americans carving away at a limited reservoir of jobs and riches.
But at this point in time, it's already quite clear that tossing blame around the table is the furthest we could be from a potential answer. The election of Trump, this hate sharpened towards immigrants and their families, and the hostilities separating the left and right wings of an evermore polarized nation all must serve as a wake-up call. In an era of globalization and dizzying change, of clashing and merging borders of ethnicity, culture, religion, and political leanings, we must continue to strive to escape our own echo chambers. We must remember that the 'other side' that we might despise is our side. America is our country, all of ours, and it's about time to make it truly great again.