Sophia Bunker

Mr. Shipman

AP English 11 Language/ Composition


Determined to be Great

I could not believe the results I woke up to on November 8th 2016. The votes were in, and Trump had won the presidential election. Based on what I’ve seen, Trump is a sexist and racist male (among other things). As a young, black female, I feel more powerless than ever.

On November the 8th, America as I knew it was turned upside down. I felt I had been slapped across the face. Supremely qualified, experienced, equal, democrat Hillary Clinton ran for the office of president against the politically less qualified republican Donald Trump. She lost.

Trump ran a bafflingly successful presidential campaign that was sustained by hate. And he won. Racism, sexism, sexual harassment, bullying, homophobia, and ignorance won, too. As a person of color I am terrified. As a female I am terrified. As a decent person, I am terrified. It is embarrassing, and alarming to live in a country where someone of such questionable character can hold such an important political office, elected by the people.

I identify as a female of color. It is difficult for me to acknowledge Trump as my president. During his term I may never. What does he have to offer me? He does not speak favorably about women or people of color. He has little understanding for people like me. He has shown that he does not believe in people like me. He does not credit people like me. During his term I don’t believe he ever will.

A president, to me, is someone who always leads by example, is a role model, is supportive and protective, and believes in all people they are sworn to preside over. That is why I say he is not my president.

Growing up as a rich, white male he has never experienced what it is like to live in a shadow. “I mean part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich” (Trump). His experience is considerably different then most Americans. Nearly every day I experience racism in some way. Sexism. Discrimination. Nearly every day I witness it. Listen, I do not want to narrow the recent election into a white versus black argument. That is not what this is by any means. However, race came as an inevitable consequence and weapon in Trump’s campaign. I just want to make it clear that racism is very real. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” ( It is especially prevalent against the Latino population which he is determined to build a wall to prevent from growing. He openly calls them as “criminals”, and ‘problematic people.’ If you did not believe it before, well here is some evidence. Not enough? Watch any of his speeches ever given I’m sure you will find something. I want to make it clear that I, and many minorities of America are truly scared. And I want to make it clear that we are truly hurt. While this is not a race war, race is still a gigantic factor that must not be ignored, or reduced.

I’m sure there are some people reading this who believe I am overreacting. That I’m making too big of a deal out of it. That I’m just mad that Clinton lost. No. That America isn’t racist; “we elected a black president twice, didn’t we?” Listen, it’s so much more than that. For example, Van Jones coined the term ‘white- lash.’ “I have muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying should I leave the country, I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight… This was a rebellion against the elites, true… We haven’t talked about race… This was a white lash against a changing country… that’s the part where the pain comes” (Van Jones).

He best uses it in describing the events of the recent election, and how to some degree, the results were a protest among white people against a diverse America, and diverse values.

When Trump won, so did racism. So did sexism. So did bullying. It wasn’t just Clinton who lost. Whether or not people realize it, most people who aren’t rich or a white male lost to some degree too (just look who he is selecting to his team).

Here’s where you roll your eyes at my essay. You’re maybe even going to click out of it right now. Before you go, at least realize this. Not only is Trump in charge, everything he stands for comes to the forefront, too. He has the power with the republican Senate, and House of Representatives, and the power to nominate the next conservative Supreme Court Justice to implement laws that can change the framework of your life and mine.

I know very well that many people will never understand how dangerous this is. I wish there was some way I could help them understand what I see. Understand what I experience. What minorities experience. What people of color experience. What women experience. What it’s like to know that no matter what you achieve. No matter how far you excel, you have to do it twice as good as a white man for it to be seen as just half as good. No one can see the glass ceiling, but it’s a lot more obvious when you’re living below it.

Van Jones CNN Election Night 2016 “It’s Hard to be a Parent Tonight”

All I have known growing up is having a black president. Until a couple days ago I

believed we were going to have a female president. When I was eight, America elected Barack Obama. He was elected to a second term when I was twelve. Maybe that is part of why this tremendous loss has hit me so hard. I didn’t fully understand how incredible his win was. I didn’t realize how tremendous it was to elect a black president to office. For two terms no less. I grew up believing an unlikely reality was entirely normal.

As far as I knew, America was making leaps and bounds towards being a

country where people like me could feel comfortable and proud to live in. A country where people like me could achieve greatness and rise up just as high as anyone else. Until a couple days ago I believed America was that place. The land of the free. The home of the brave.

“Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside” (Van Jones) I didn’t even realize my equality was still in jeopardy. Reassurance that minorities will be represented and defended by Trump is crucial, yet we still do not have it. It is shameful that he can not at the very least even do that. The America I thought I knew deceived me.

I have learned from this that there will always be adversity and people who want to stop

you. Who want to get in your way, and challenge your life. Even challenges you have to live with forever. It doesn’t have to be the end though. It doesn’t have to change who you are or what you believe in. It can empower you. It can teach you. It can fuel you to become stronger. To be the best you can be. Never lower yourself to the standards that your detractors want to see. As a person of color I am determined. As a female I am determined. As a decent person, I am determined for us to rise up and leave light in our wake where we feel suffocated by shadows.

Bunker 1

Works Cited

Burns, Alexander, and Amy Chozick. “Hillary Clinton Presses Her Advantage Over a Struggling Donald Trump.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Oct. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

“Emotional Van Jones: How Do I Explain This to My Children? — CNN Video.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

“Emotional Van Jones: How Do I Explain This to My Children? — CNN Video.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

Fisher, Max. “Donald Trump’s Threat to Reject Election Results Alarms Scholars.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Oct. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

Http:// “The Most Powerful Words Ever Spoken (Van Jones on CNN Election Day 2016).” YouTube. YouTube, 08 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

Osnos, Evan. “The Gathering Storm of Protest Against Trump.” The New Yorker. N.p., 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

“Racist Incidents Are Up Since Trump’s Election. These Are Just a Few of Them.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

Russonello, Giovanni. “Voters Fear Their Ballot Won’t Count, Poll Shows.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 Oct. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

Stack, Liam. “The Biggest Turning Points in a Polarizing Campaign.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Nov. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

“The Most Controversial Quotes from Trump’s Campaign.” Newsday. 09 Nov. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.