We asked people what they'll do if Trump becomes president. Here's what they told us.

In August 2015, four months before Donald Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States, Ibrahim Perry's mom had a baby.

"When they were trying to figure out a name, I was telling them, 'You should choose a name that’s not too obviously of Arabic origin, just because of the state of things at the moment,'" Perry said.

Since then, the "state of things" has gotten worse. Recently, Perry's cousin says she was confronted by a woman in a supermarket for wearing a hijab. A few months ago, the family received a threatening flyer in their mailbox.


The Perry family. Photo by Ibrahim Perry/Facebook.

Perry's family came to the United States as refugees in the 1980s. His parents fled Vietnam for Thailand on foot through Pol Pot's Cambodia, where, as observant Muslims, they were persecuted by the militantly atheist regime. Some of his relatives were killed on the journey.

The prospect of a Trump presidency has the family on edge — but Perry has a plan. Should Trump be elected, he wants his family to lay low — speak only English in public, wear their head scarves in a more modern style, and anglicize their names.

His mother agrees. His father's side of the family isn't convinced.

"They feel like all those sacrifices our relatives made, they feel like they’re throwing it away if they reject our religion," Perry said.

For many Muslims, undocumented immigrants, people of color, and their loved ones, the possibility of a Trump victory means making "what if" plans.

Montserrat Ariza recently settled in Virginia Beach after securing a job as a secretary in her uncle's construction company. She was a beneficiary of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, which allows the children of undocumented immigrants who arrived earlier than 2007 and before their 16th birthday to remain in the country and obtain work permits.

"If he has to go somewhere else, I cannot follow him, because I have to think about my children first and their needs." — Maritza Tobar

Under a Trump presidency, Ariza worries about those protections being revoked.

"I am in the age where I’m trying to get my life settled, and I’m trying to settle somewhere here, but I have to think of plan B, plan C, plan D, in case Trump does become president," she said.

One option is moving back to Mexico, where she fears she won't fit in. Another is moving abroad.

Others are putting their long-term plans on hold, just in case.

Kariane Lemay, a student from Quebec City, had planned to move in with her boyfriend, who is African-American, in Texas. A Trump presidency would likely mean reversing that arrangement.

"We’ve been talking a lot about him moving to Canada in that situation," Lemay said. "Probably moving his family, too, because he has a little sister who he’s very protective of."

Lannie Rollins, a graduate studying in Toulouse, France, had hoped to move back to the U.S. to start a family with her fiancé.

"I’ve always told him that it would be hard for me to have a baby in France," Rollins said, citing a desire to be closer to her family. A Trump presidency would likely mean staying put to protect her fiancé, who is Franco-Algerian Muslim.  

Lannie Rollins and her fiancé. Photo by Lannie Rollins.

Most said they are less afraid of the policy that could be enacted by a potential Trump administration than they are of drawing the ire of his most fervent backers, who would be newly empowered by a Trump victory.

"The stuff that Trump is saying, it’s outrageous. It’s surprising that he’s willing to say such things things so openly, but it’s also very popular, and that’s what’s very scary about it," Perry explained. He said that he and his relatives have experienced more anti-Muslim harassment since Trump launched his campaign and worries it would get worse after November 9, were Trump to win.

A Trump presidency would "basically mean the separation of our family," Maritza Tobar, a stay-at-home mom, told Upworthy.

Tobar's husband is undocumented. Early on, the couple discussed moving together to her native Colombia or his native Mexico in the event of a Trump presidency, but decided neither country could offer them adequate care for their sons — one with autism and one with ADHD.

"If he has to go somewhere else, I cannot follow him because I have to think about my children first and their needs," Tobar said.

She feels that many of her neighbors don't understand the day-to-day frustrations that her family experiences due to her husband's status, and Trump has exacerbated those frustrations.

If Trump loses at the ballot box, many will go back to plan A — albeit tentatively, with an eye toward the vitriol Trump's campaign has already unleashed.

Illustration by Karl Orozco.

Some worry that the genie won't go back in the bottle so easily. Rollins said she fears a backlash against non-white Americans in the event of a Trump loss, and she may stay in France regardless. Recent attacks on his family means Perry is already keeping his religion quiet in conversations with strangers.

Others still plan to stick it out, abuse and dirty looks be damned. This election, Tobar said, has shown some of her neighbors' true colors, but the benefits of living in America for her children are too great to let them bully her out.

“America, it is a great country already," she says.

More

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular

Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Wikipedia

Women in country music are fighting to be heard. Literally. A study found that between 2000 and 2018, the amount of country songs on the radio by women had fallen by 66%. In 2018, just 11.3% of country songs on the radio were by women. The statistics don't exist in a vacuum. There are misogynistic attitudes behind them. Anyone remember the time radio consultant Keith Hill compared country radio stations to a salad, saying male artists are the lettuce and women are "the tomatoes of our salad"...? Air play of female country artists fell from 19% of songs on the radio to 10.4% of songs on the radio in the three years after he said that.

Not everyone thinks that women are tomatoes. This year's CMA Awards celebrated women, and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles saw the opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and "inspire conversation about country music's need to play more women artists on radio and play listings," as Nettles put it on her Instagram. She did it in a uniquely feminine way – by making a fashion statement that also made a statement-statement.

Keep Reading Show less
popular