Many people in America were upset when Donald Trump won the US presidential election in November for a variety of reasons, but his victory must have been especially hard to take for Muslim families living in America. After all, Trump had campaigned on a virulently anti-immigration platform that included a promise to ban all Muslims from traveling to the United States (a promise he later changed to something he called “extreme vetting”).
In a Facebook post, Eva Mazrieva, an Indonesian journalist living in America and working for Voice of America in Washington DC, describes how down she felt after Trump’s victory. She said that her anxiety over Trump’s campaign and what his presidency could do to America was so great that it transferred to her 9-year-old daughter Adinda Rania.
After Trump’s win, Adinda decided to write a letter to President Barack Obama to ask him about her fears for the future. The 4 page letter, which also included drawings of her school and siblings, included a heartbreaking questions about her family for Obama: ” “Is it still safe for us to be here?”
Adinda sent the letter soon after the results of election were finalized, and last Friday she actually received a reply from President Barack Obama himself.
In the letter, Obama writes: “Our country is home to people of every background and belief. But while we might look different or come from different families, as Americans, we are united in our belief that all of us deserve the same rights and the same opportunities. We share a lasting responsibility to show each other kindness and respect, and to treat each other the way we want to be treated.”
Hopefully, Obama’s kind and wise words comforted Adinda and gave her hope for the future. And while he may have been talking about Americans, we like to think that his words could apply to Obama’s one-time home of Indonesia as well, or at least an idealized version of Indonesia that some people are working hard to bring closer to reality a little bit each day.