NYC255 cover image See all stories from issue #255, January/February 2017

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Speak Out: Teens write about President-elect Donald Trump
YCteen staff
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Please Don’t Deport Us
Wendy Herrera, 17, Brooklyn Democracy Academy
I’ve never been into government class or good at remembering presidents’ names. It wasn’t important to me. Then one day my 9-year-old sister Ashley and I were watching the news and we saw that some guy named Trump was saying that Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers, they stole people’s jobs, and were overall bad people. Then he said he was going to run for president.

When he said that I saw my sister’s face; she was confused and I was too. Over time Trump expressed his bigotry toward anyone who isn’t a white male like him—gays, lesbians, transgender people, women, black and Hispanic people, and immigrants. Ashley was concerned because our parents are immigrants and she didn’t want them to be thrown out of this country like Trump suggested. I didn’t know what to tell her so I said there was nothing to worry about because there are many important people who make decisions about immigrants, not just him. I felt bad. She was too young to be worrying about big people problems like deportation. I thought about how much power certain people have.

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Now that he’s been elected president, I don’t know what to tell my sister. I feel like throughout history we’ve worked hard to end a lot of bigotry, but now it’s worse than ever.




Americans Don’t All Look Alike
Melvin Pichardo, 20
Now that Donald Trump has won the
election, I feel like white people see me as a threat. When I walk down the streets of New York, I feel uncomfortable and rejected for my thick black eyebrows, light brown skin, and overall Dominican looks. This only motivates me as an actor and writer to continue to keep sharing my personal truth. This is a moment when our country needs to come together and understand and respect each other.

Growing up in a Hispanic-American home, my parents never made me feel I was less than anyone, and I’m not going to allow our new president to make me start feeling like that now.



Fight to Keep Abortions Legal
Alesha Mohamed, 17, Canarsie HS—Additional reporting by Jaelyn Feliciano, 16, Chelsea HS
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled to legalize abortion in the case of Roe v. Wade. However President-elect Donald Trump says he wants to overturn this case, leaving it to individual states to determine whether abortion is or isn’t legal. This means if a woman wants an abortion and her state doesn’t allow it she will have to travel to the nearest state that does—if she can afford it.

I don’t believe in abortion; I think taking away a life instead of stepping up and dealing with the consequence of having unprotected sex is wrong. Still, I think strongly that any woman should have the right to choose, especially if she’s not financially ready or was raped.

Trump also wants to defund Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions. And Vice-President elect Mike Pence leads the national fight to defund Planned Parenthood.

Besides performing abortions, the organization provides a lot of other necessary reproductive health services for women and men, such as birth control, morning-after pills (emergency contraception), and STD education and treatment.

So cutting funds is a bad idea that would hurt a lot of women—especially poorer women who rely on its clinics. Go to this link to find seven things you can do to keep Planned Parenthood running: bit.ly/ppaction2017



Make Presidential Experience Required
Jaelyn Feliciano, 16, Chelsea HS
I think the job qualifications for being president should be more rigorous. According to the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, the only requirements for being president of the United States are being a natural born U.S. citizen who is at least 35 years old and has lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Nowhere in the Constitution does it state, “Experience required.” When Donald Trump ran for office I didn’t take his candidacy seriously, because he has no background working in government. I believe a requirement should be that the person has held a federal or state government job, like a governor or congress person, or served in the military. McDonald’s doesn’t even hire a cashier without relevant experience!



I Do Not Feel Safe
Aishamanne Williams, 15, Medgar Evers College Preparatory HS
I still feel shocked that Donald Trump is going to be our next president; the reality of his victory hasn’t fully settled in for me. It’s hard to accept that this is reality and not an imagined worst-case scenario.

Donald Trump is a man who has not only been openly racist, but has sparked racist movements throughout the country and has been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. He makes sexist remarks and has bragged about grabbing women’s genitals. As a young black woman, I do not feel safe with him as the president.

I’m confused about what direction this country is taking: We’ve recently seen progress in areas like feminism, confronting racism, and LGBTQ rights, and all of that may be erased now. I’m afraid for myself and for others who look like me. I’m afraid for my Muslim friends, my LGBTQ friends, and my undocumented friends. Donald Trump’s victory makes me feel insecure and unsafe.

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(NYC-2017-01-09)