College campuses all over the United States portray conservatives as close-minded, bigoted, racist white people. From getting approved College Republican flyers torn off the wall, to hostility toward anyone center-right, UMass Boston is an extremely hostile environment for those who identify as conservative or center-right. And yet the reality is that plenty of minorities and children of immigrants identify as conservative.
David is a Latino-American whose parents immigrated from Brazil. David is frustrated with the negative perception of America by the progressive political movement. David writes, “There is no other country that gives opportunities to grow and prosper. The United States was made by and for immigrants, and it's whether or not you take the opportunities that are out there, or watch them walk right past you, that truly determines your success.” Any nation that encourages immigrants, and is so enticing that it forces people to leave their homes, families and livelihoods, is one that must be respected and understood to be a welcoming place for them. Whether immigrating from Europe, the Caribbean, South America, or Africa, the United States is a welcoming place to immigrants who respect our great nation, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution.
Sahmeer is the son of Haitian immigrants, and has a very positive outlook on the opportunities afforded to minorities and immigrants by the United States. “The freedoms this country allows, despite social class, religious beliefs, or outward expression, is phenomenal.” As a Haitian person of color, Sahmeer often expresses positive sentiments towards the United States. Regardless of skin color, the United States offers the same opportunities to anyone and everyone.
Conservatives such as myself often face harsh criticism from white, elitist liberals, who call us derogatory names. Personally, I have been called a “race-traitor,” an “Uncle Tom” and a “house n*gro” for having right-wing political leanings, while also maintaining many socially-liberal political leanings. Oftentimes, I use my identity as a person of color and a child of immigrants to counter-argue against those who call me “xenophobic” and “racist,” and with some effectiveness. Yes, some Republicans are racist, some are uneducated, but let me state plainly that President Donald Trump does not represent the majority of Republicans—more specifically the new wave of young, progressive Republicans. While I do not devote myself to one specific party, I do ground my political activities to certain principles. These principles include conservative Christian tendencies, coupled with a strong, fiscally conservative economic policy—they lead me to view the Republican Party more favorably than the Democratic Party.
I would like to call upon my fellow liberal classmates, peers, and professors to engage with conservatives on a personal level rather than brandishing us all as racists, MAGA-wearing, xenophobic individuals. As is the case with any political camp, there are stark differences between people within any given political party. Given that the United States has only two prevalent political parties, tasked with representing over three hundred million people, there will inevitably be differences between individuals.
Just as the progressive wing of the Democratic Party distances itself from the establishment, so does the libertarian, socially-liberal, and fiscally-conservative wing of the Republican Party distance itself from the traditional establishment of the Republican Party. United States Representative, and proud progressive, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) once said, “We don’t have a left party in the United States. The Democratic Party is not a left party. The Democratic Party is a center or center-conservative party” (1). Similarly so, in my personal opinion, the Democratic and Republican establishments reek of the same toxins; they are filled with individuals who are warmongering, power-hungry, and morally corrupt.
To be quite candid, while some conservatives are racist, that is not indicative of those who would call themselves Republicans or Conservative. Furthermore, for purposes of clarity, the views that I have expressed do not represent those who I have interviewed regarding this matter. I would encourage any conservative students who have faced abuse, discrimination, or general harassment due to the inaccurate stereotypes of all conservatives, to reach out to me and have your story heard at firstname.lastname@example.org.