Pop quiz:

How do you tell if someone is Muslim?

  1. Tap them on the shoulder and ask. It is absolutely your business to know.
  2. They are wearing a headscarf.
  3. They have brown skin.
  4. They are wearing a headscarf and they have brown skin.
  5. You see them walking in or out of a mosque.
  6. They wear ethnic clothing.
  7. They speak a foreign language.
  8. Why does it matter? How stupid are you for asking?

I’ve never known NYC to be as silent as it was the morning of November 9, 2016.  Walking my dog before work, there was no movement.  No cars on the road, No people on the streets.  It seemed that no one wanted to get out of bed or face the day.  Everything was gray.  There was no wind.  I’m convinced that this is what the aftermath of an atomic bomb would feel like.

No one spoke on the train platforms or in the cars.  We were all in such a state of shock and mourning that NYC collectively could not bring ourselves to talk about it.  We were zombies, going through the motion of a work day when we all wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed with a tub of ice cream and a box of Kleenex.

I don’t want to state what should be self-evident.  John Oliver does a good job of explaining that here.  I also don’t want to waste time right now blaming anyone or anything.

We are all grieving.  Some of us are drowning in it and have completely shut down.  We don’t know what to do.  We can’t even say, “Move to Canada” because we know it’s not a real solution as much as we wish it was.

Others, though, already have our dukes up.  To keep from throwing literal punches but still give a powerful blow, I want to share meaningful alternatives to channel the somersault of emotions we’re going through.

Trump has already put people of color at risk with his hateful talk during the campaign trail.  It is 2016, and he has made it okay to overtly judge people by the color of their skin.

That, my friends, makes everyone who reads my blog at a heightened risk of racial discrimination.  I refuse to go belly-up if that’s the America Trump wants to create and I hope that by sharing information with you, we don’t miss an opportunity to stop his anti-American ideas and we protect each other.

Nicholas Kristof wrote a helpful guide for those of us who need help coping and would like to do more.

Key takeaways from his piece:

  • Communicate with your members of Congress about your opposition to many of Trump’s campaign points that violate human and civil rights
  • Volunteer to fight Islamophobia in your community
  • Do not be complacent. We may be able to see progress at the local and state level so get active
  • Try to bring what little good you can to the world
  • Zero tolerance for domestic violence and sexual assault against women

For my part, I want to use my blog to keep readers informed of what’s going on as it relates to South-Asian Americans and all minorities.  More importantly, I want to give you opportunities to make a difference.

Trump has given us a wealth of material:

  • Creating a Muslim Registry
  • Building a wall on the US-Mexican border
  • Bullying the media
  • Grabbing women’s genitals
  • His uneducated and ill-informed positions on NATO, international trade agreements, climate change…anything to do with International Relations
  • His appointment of multiple racists to Cabinet positions

…and so much more!

I am looking forward to doing my best to cry foul on his nonsense for however long he putters around the oval office.  Indeed, after his off-the-record blasting of the media, I have a moral obligation to voice my vexations with his unlawful policy choices and the content of his character.

So call me nasty. I have no duty to keep the peace or wear a smile because of my gender.

You’re not going to want to miss these.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @adesinewyorker for real time updates between posts.

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