Hundreds of colored post-it notes were attached to the 14th Street subway underpass’ wall which connects 1, 2, 3 trains with L and M, F trains. “Subway Therapy” was the name of this initiative taken by some “passengers” who decided to call the attention of tons of New Yorkers, asking them to write down thoughts, hope, wishes, anger and any kind of feelings caused by the unexpected victory of Trump on this 2016 Presidential elections.
Post-its were of all colors, with multilingual messages on them. Someone wrote in French, some in Italian, other in Indian o Arabic as to represent all New York’s ethnicities, communities, and visitors.
New York was the bluest state on the 2016 Election Map with 87.2 % of votes gone to Hillary. That’s why for everybody here Mr. Trump’s victory was like a bolt from the blue. The day after the election I went down on the street early in the morning, after a night of nightmares and bad sleep. I needed to see the people of my barrio, share with them a new and inconsolable mourning.
“It is worse than the 9/11”, said a woman at the Monkey Cup, my favorite coffee shop one block from my place. The Mexican of the Majestic Deli wasn’t smiling as usual. Instead, he looked at me with a worried face, and told me with a serious tone of voice while preparing me a bagel with cheese: “Da miedo! It’s scary”.
For us who live in Manhattan among a myriad of ethnicities, it’s hard to only imagine to be represented for the next four years by a man who expresses racist assertions against immigrants. Latinos, Black, White, Immigrants, students, Afro-Americans, Asians…. We are all people from all around the world who love New York, some of us dreaming about a better future.
The post-election morning was raining a little, but the color of the sky, of a thick gray, reflected the mood of the most of us. We woke up with the impression of being part of an apocalyptic movie. We tried to start the day, anyway, as normal as possible, even though most were aware America would have soon changed drastically. “How” it would change, it was our most dramatic preoccupation.
“We have to be ready for a plan B,” a friend of mine told me, referring to the possibility of leaving the country if Trump – in the worst scenario -, as he said during his campaign, would proceed with the deportation of all the “undocumented.” In 2012, under Obama’s legislation, he received DACA, a permit to work and studies for kids who arrived in the States as minors. He fears that Trump would deport him, and his plane B consists in leaving with all his family, parents and two sisters, the only ones in the family who own the citizenship. Arrived here as a baby, he would leave a country which he considers as “home,” for a “native” country which is unknown, almost foreign for him. The worst think, he believes, it would be that he won’t have the freedom of choice where to be. It would be the second time, the first was when his parents brought him here a long time ago.