A Day as a Donald Trump Supporter

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A Day as a Donald Trump Supporter

By Zubair Muhammad

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Have you ever wondered how it would feel to walk through the halls of Niles West, facing your teachers, peers, and friends while openly supporting Donald Trump? Well, that’s exactly what I did.

Before I tell you the horrors of my day, I want to make clear: No, I don’t actually support Donald Trump.

I looked at this experiment in a very unbiased way because I do not support a stuck-up, racist bigot like Donald Trump or a lying, corrupt politician like Hillary Clinton.  I stand as a moderate; I like some ideas from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, but let’s be honest, this year’s nominees aren’t that stellar.

What really made this experiment even more interesting for me than it already was is the irony of it, seeing as I am a Muslim appearing to support the same man who swears to ban the entrance of Muslims into the United States.

Naturally, I assumed some people might not take me seriously, knowing my religious identity and considering Trump’s hate of Muslims. I at least expected people to arrive at the question, “Why would a Muslim support Trump?”

Keeping that in mind, I showed up to Niles West last Tuesday wearing a Trump t-shirt bearing his infamous slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’ My goal was to see people’s reactions. Would people who saw me with this shirt look at me in a different or negative way?

Throughout the day, not only was I given dirty looks by most people I passed in the hallway, but I was stared at by nearly everyone in my classes. I felt the eyes follow me and heard people snickering at me.

I decided to go into the library and ask people for their opinions on what kind of person they would assume I was, based solely on my attire.

Some people were quick to assume I was probably a jerk because of my shirt.

“I think you’re more racist, more stupid in a way for wearing a shirt like that,” senior Alissa Santana said.

One girl, who wished to remain anonymous, had even more to say about me.

“I automatically thought you were a horrible person, and I would never, ever, ever talk to you,” she said.

As you could probably tell, my day was going great so far.

Although I was being judged by most students, what really caught my attention was how my teachers reacted.

“I didn’t think you would wear something like that,” one of my teachers commented.

And that’s what bothered me the most. How do my political views, even if they are as outrageous as supporting Trump, automatically categorize me as a completely different person, or make people assume I’m probably not that smart anymore?

I’m still the same person at the end of the day, and I don’t think someone’s political views should be used to determine what kind of person they are or how intelligent they might be.

Around the middle of the day, I did pass by a guy who on first sight of me, began to scream “So you want to build a wall?” repeatedly at me, while walking away in disbelief.

And I did hear a couple of ‘Oh, wows’ here and there.

But eighth period is when things mostly began to heat up. Just to give a little background, I generally get along with my eighth period class really well — most people in there are really nice once you get to know them, and I typically get along with everyone in class, talking to them at a friendly level day to day.

I remember that at the start of class, after talking to my teacher, I went back to my seat. A friend of mine began laughing and talking to me like we usually do, but within a minute, when she caught sign of my shirt, she stopped talking and smiling, looked at me in the eye and said, “I can’t talk to you anymore.”

Soon after, two other girls who sat in front of me took a closer look at what I was wearing. Their jaws dropped, and one of them commented, “We thought you were smarter.”

Going back to what I mentioned before, how do my political views make people think they can assume I’m unintelligent or a bad person? I’m still the same old me.

To wrap up my already interesting day, on the way to a club after school, two girls snickered at me, with one of of them saying, “You’re a disgrace to Niles West,” and the other, “You should burn that shirt.”

That pretty much sums up my day.

However, not everyone immediately disagreed with me.

On my way to class, one guy saw me and gave me a peace sign, and someone else gave me a heads up in approval.

Others, at the very least, respected my supposed support for Trump.

“I don’t agree with your choice, but I still respect it,” sophomore Alyssa Concepcion admitted. 

But the ratio of teens and adults who disagreed and judged me was much much higher than individuals who agreed or respected my choice.

In summary:

I learned two things from my experiment.

  1. Niles West really hates Trump. And I mean really.
  2. Most people at our school are undecided or moderates (not liberal or conservative)

Some agree they don’t stand with either candidate.

“Personally, I think they both are bad candidates,” Santana said.

But most said they would prefer Hillary over Trump.

“Hillary is not as dumb as Trump, to be honest,” Santana added.

Although I dislike Donald Trump as much as the next person here at West, I still think it’s important not to be quick to assume someone’s characteristics just because they support him.

It really is sad that some people can’t express their political opinions in school without getting snickers or being judged. What I went through might not have offended me, but it could possibly be to someone else if they really were a Trump supporter.

Just think, how often do you see someone wearing a Trump shirt or cap compared to wearing a Clinton shirt, or Tammy Duckworth shirt, or any other politician?

Chances are you’ll be more likely to see someone wearing any other politicians shirt besides Trump’s, and that could be because they know they will be judged and treated badly just for who they support.

English Teacher Michele Lewis agrees that people shouldn’t be judged for their political views.

“I think it just represents the serious schism in our society that needs to be amended. People should not be so incensed by others political views,” Lewis said.

But the reactions I received don’t just represent what Niles West thinks; it’s how much of our country also feels.

“It’s a sad statement so many people in our country feel this way,” Lewis adds.

And I couldn’t agree more. I mean, imagine going to your local park or any grocery store in the Chicago area. Would you feel more secure wearing a Clinton shirt or Trump shirt? I’ll let you decide.

In short, even if you vote for someone as racist or obnoxious as Donald J. Trump, it shouldn’t make others change how they view you, no matter how liberal or conservative you might be.