CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

What Is It Like To Be An Immigrant In L.A.
In the Trump Era?

In A City That Welcomes Newcomers, Opportunities
Still Abound—But Fear and Uncertainty Are Rising

What Is It Like To Be An Immigrant In L.A.
In the Trump Era?

In A City That Welcomes Newcomers, Opportunities
Still Abound—But Fear and Uncertainty Are Rising

Immigrants come to Los Angeles from nearly every part of the planet, remaking and re-imagining the city as they, in turn, are altered by living and working here. Some are drawn by economic opportunity. Others are refugees, fleeing for their lives from chaotic lands. While many have prospered in their new home and regard it as a safe haven, others have felt the sting of bigotry, or faced threats of violence or expulsion. Zócalo spoke with immigrants to Los Angeles from many places—Armenia and France, Mexico and Germany, the Philippines and Afghanistan—and asked if, and how, their lives have changed since Donald Trump became president.

Interviews and photography by Paola Briseño.
  • I’VE ONLY FELT LIKE AN IMMIGRANT TWICE—AFTER 9/11, AND NOW

    Ali Tarzi, 39, Kuwait, of Afghani ethnicity

    We fled Afghanistan in 1981, during the Soviet invasion and came to the United States as refugees in 1983. My family had ties to the old Afghanistan monarchy (the former queen was my dad’s aunt) so we were very vulnerable after the revolutionary coups of the late 1970s, and we had to …

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    We fled Afghanistan in 1981, during the Soviet invasion and came to the United States as refugees in 1983. My family had ties to the old Afghanistan monarchy (the former queen was my dad’s aunt) so we were very vulnerable after the revolutionary coups of the late 1970s, and we had to leave.

    My earliest memories date from when he arrived in the City Heights community of San Diego, an immigrant hub where over 200 languages are spoken. The biggest challenge for me was acquiring English (at home we spoke Farsi). I remember sitting in a class full of kids and the teacher asked, “What letter does lion start with?” Everyone was saying “L” but I was so convinced that it was another letter and I blurted out “Q!” The kids started laughing and snickering and I got corrected.

    Today I’m a community development officer for a major financial institution. I’ve always felt like I belong here and that I am an American, because I was so young when I came here. I’ve only felt like an immigrant two times in my life: After September 11, 2001, for several years; and in this era, with this new federal administration.

    I feel like L.A. is my safe haven. My neighborhood is very brown and Latino. I feel a sense of safety and belonging in the diversity of my community. Where I begin to feel uncomfortable is when I travel, which I do a lot for work. For the first time in my life, I feel very uncomfortable at airports. I do get pulled over occasionally for screening. Now, in the back of my mind, I think: “Maybe it’s not random and maybe I am being singled out.”

    I’VE ONLY FELT LIKE AN IMMIGRANT TWICE—AFTER 9/11, AND NOW

    Ali Tarzi, 39, Kuwait, of Afghani ethnicity

    We fled Afghanistan in 1981, during the Soviet invasion and came to the United States as refugees in 1983. My family had ties to the old Afghanistan monarchy (the former queen was my dad’s aunt) so we were very vulnerable after the revolutionary coups of the late 1970s, and we had to …

  • I Grew Up On the Border, Where Life Is Kind Of Fluid

    Dalina Castellanos Sasayama, 30, Mexico

    I came to the U.S. when I was two weeks old. My parents were already living here, but I was born accidentally in Mexico. One of my tías threw a baby shower for my mom in Hermosillo. On the drive down, my mom was in a lot of pain and drove straight to the hospital instead of …

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    I came to the U.S. when I was two weeks old. My parents were already living here, but I was born accidentally in Mexico. One of my tías threw a baby shower for my mom in Hermosillo. On the drive down, my mom was in a lot of pain and drove straight to the hospital instead of the shower.

    I grew up on the border. Life there is kind of fluid. People had to cross every day to go to school. A lot of parents were in the produce business and their livelihood depended on the border being open. In high school, we joked that your parent was either a border patrol agent or a produce broker.

    In L.A., it is different. There are different levels of being an immigrant—your parents were immigrants, or your grandparents or you yourself. Because of this, there is a little more pride in being an immigrant here.

    Trump’s talk about a wall—it just shows that he’s never been there. There is already a wall. Families stand on each side and talk, and touch fingers through the cracks.

    People who live or come from the border are very aware of messed-up stuff happening. I understand that there are drug tunnels that go underneath my town. A wall isn’t going to do anything. We need a bigger conversation on why these things are happening and talk about ways we can deal with it.

    I live now in the fashion district, on the edge of Skid Row. I work in health and homeless services. We help a lot of undocumented people. Everyone deserves a chance to have a good, healthy life. You shouldn’t be scared of getting a sore on your foot checked or getting a prescription for your insulin.

    I’ve heard stories of kids not going to school because they are afraid their parents won’t be home when they get back. That is heartbreaking. I’m a pretty empathetic person so all of this is very draining on a daily basis. Even if it doesn’t affect me personally, it affects my community, and now I feel like I really want to fight for them.

    I Grew Up On the Border, Where Life Is Kind Of Fluid

    Dalina Castellanos Sasayama, 30, Mexico

    I came to the U.S. when I was two weeks old. My parents were already living here, but I was born accidentally in Mexico. One of my tías threw a baby shower for my mom in Hermosillo. On the drive down, my mom was in a lot of pain and drove straight to the hospital instead of …

  • BEING A REFUGEE IN 1979 WAS A BLESSING COMPARED TO NOW

    Diep Tran, 44, Vietnam

    By definition, being a refugee means that you are “stateless.” You don’t belong to any country and you can’t claim any country. I am an American citizen now, but I came here in the late 1970s, with stateless status. When I left Vietnam, I didn’t know whether it was legal or not. I just left and hoped something good would …

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    By definition, being a refugee means that you are “stateless.” You don’t belong to any country and you can’t claim any country. I am an American citizen now, but I came here in the late 1970s, with stateless status. When I left Vietnam, I didn’t know whether it was legal or not. I just left and hoped something good would happen.

    When people speak about the Vietnamese-American experience, they don’t paint us as criminals. They pity us, because we were fleeing the Vietnam War and its aftermath. But if you think about other immigrants today—those from Mexico, or the Middle East—the narrative is one of criminalization and suspicion.

    Really, the only thing that separates me from an immigrant from Mexico is that the U.S. felt guilty about bombing the [hell] out of us. That’s the only reason why we weren’t detained, and questioned if we were commies or not. (Which we totally could have been.) Now, if you are fleeing even the most atrocious violence, like an undocumented person from El Salvador, you are questioned to see if you are a criminal.

    This sounds really perverse, but being a refugee in 1979 was almost a blessing compared to being a refugee now. People like me would not be allowed in now. When the U.S. accepted refugees from Vietnam, there were programs in place to help with resettlement, with government financing to help you rebuild in a new country. Americans felt guilty. We received lots of outpouring of support. Now, there is none of that.

    It used to be that we had a civic responsibility to everybody, citizen or not. I just think civic life is a little strained right now. Everyone is so angry!

    BEING A REFUGEE IN 1979 WAS A BLESSING COMPARED TO NOW

    Diep Tran, 44, Vietnam

    By definition, being a refugee means that you are “stateless.” You don’t belong to any country and you can’t claim any country. I am an American citizen now, but I came here in the late 1970s, with stateless status. When I left Vietnam, I didn’t know whether it was legal or not. I just left and hoped something good would …

  • I’M SURPRISED THAT MORE ARMENIANS HAVEN’T STOOD UP FOR MEXICANS AND MUSLIMS

    Arno Yeretzian, 41, Armenia

    I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but I’m Armenian. I was five months old when I moved to the U.S. We flew straight to L.A.—to Glendale, where the Armenians …

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    I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but I’m Armenian. I was five months old when I moved to the U.S. We flew straight to L.A.—to Glendale, where the Armenians were. I run the Abril bookstore in Glendale. It’s such an important place. When you are not in your home country, you lose your language and your culture. This is one of the last places where people can come and read in Armenian.

    It’s all immigrants here in Los Angeles, and that’s the beauty of it. I remember when I first travelled around the United States, I took a train, and I missed L.A. for the first time ever. I missed its diversity. The diversity felt like home. Since Trump became president, I feel uneasy. When he was running for president, it really affected me when he started talking about Mexicans and calling them rapists, and when he banned Muslims.

    Armenians have gone through genocide. My grandparents were in Adana, where the first massacres happened. If you look at the newspapers from before those massacres, there were these tensions, where Turkish leaders started speaking and targeting Armenians with hate speech. Eventually it became normal to target Armenians, and violence against them became OK. No one stood up for them.

    I’m surprised that more Armenians haven’t stood up for Mexicans and Muslims. I feel it’s our duty. I organized a protest against hate speech, and it was the only one in Glendale. I got a lot of resistance. There are a lot of conservative Armenians, and they got scared.

    I think the Armenian community is split on Trump, and it’s unfortunate. The big thing that everyone was waiting on is if Trump was going to recognize the genocide as what it is: a genocide. But he hasn’t. I’m hoping that something will happen that will oust Trump, with all of this stuff going on right now. I still can’t believe he’s the president.

    I’M SURPRISED THAT MORE ARMENIANS HAVEN’T STOOD UP FOR MEXICANS AND MUSLIMS

    Arno Yeretzian, 41, Armenia

    I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but I’m Armenian. I was five months old when I moved to the U.S. We flew straight to L.A.—to Glendale, where the Armenians …

  • IN L.A., I’VE NEVER FELT LIKE AN IMMIGRANT

    Rebekka T., 33, Olpe, Germany

    I’ve been in the U.S. six years. I was in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend, then he applied for a fiancée visa. We had 90 days to make it official. The process was really draining. Overall, it took about a year. It is quite pricey …

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    I’ve been in the U.S. six years. I was in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend, then he applied for a fiancée visa. We had 90 days to make it official. The process was really draining. Overall, it took about a year. It is quite pricey and a lot of bureaucracy. Some people come and get married while on vacation, but I wanted to make sure I did it the official way.

    I moved to L.A. with my husband three years ago. In L.A., I’ve never felt like an immigrant, to be honest, especially after living in a suburban neighborhood before. I mingle, talk to my neighbor, and have a community feeling. So far, it’s all been a very positive experience.

    My dad’s family is from Afghanistan and left during the Soviet invasion. My dad moved to Germany, where he met my German mother. I was born and raised in Germany; I have a German passport. Nonetheless, when the travel ban was instated, I was scared. I remember worrying even leaving the country for vacation. What if they didn’t let me back in?

    At the same time, I questioned why certain people weren’t allowed back into the country, even though they and their families had been here for decades.

    So many people have recommended that I apply for American citizenship. I’ve been allowed to apply for the last three years. But at this point, I’ve been having a really hard time accepting what is happening here politically.

    This was all very different when I arrived here, when Obama was president. I remember feeling so protected! This was a country you can be proud to live in! Now, I could not wholeheartedly stand behind what America is and apply for citizenship.

    This is my home and I have accepted that. I feel at home here. I just don’t like being dictated by fear.

    IN L.A., I’VE NEVER FELT LIKE AN IMMIGRANT

    Rebekka T., 33, Olpe, Germany

    I’ve been in the U.S. six years. I was in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend, then he applied for a fiancée visa. We had 90 days to make it official. The process was really draining. Overall, it took about a year. It is quite pricey …

  • BEING TREATED AS A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN HAS MADE ME WANT TO FIGHT

    Sheila Gorre, 27, Philippines

    I was born in L.A., but I moved to the Philippines when I was one, and came back when I was 17. I consider myself from the Philippines. I’m a nurse. You know? Like the joke of all Filipinos …

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    I was born in L.A., but I moved to the Philippines when I was one, and came back when I was 17. I consider myself from the Philippines. I’m a nurse. You know? Like the joke of all Filipinos being nurses?

    I stopped believing in Catholicism when I moved back here as a teenager. The U.S. opened my eyes, which is a big thing since the Philippines are so religious.. I didn’t get politically conscious until I heard about Walmart not paying their employees overtime. I really got into Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

    I bet you’ve heard about Rodrigo Duterte? The president of the Philippines? The guy who wants to kill everyone? Well, I’m more concerned with what’s going on here than what’s going on in my home in the Philippines. Trump is worse. It is very sad for me to have to compare our American government with a third-world country like the Philippines. Nepotism is the norm in the Philippines, but in the U.S. it shouldn’t be this way.

    Trump changed my views on being an immigrant for the better. I’m more proud of my heritage than before Trump was president. Getting constantly treated as a second-class citizen because I am an immigrant and hearing people say, “You don’t deserve to be here!” has made me want to fight. It has made me more proactive, and made me want to find ways to prove these people with those ideas wrong. Everyone deserves a chance to better their lives.

    Trump is propagating race wars and you would think that America had smart people, but I guess not.

    BEING TREATED AS A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN HAS MADE ME WANT TO FIGHT

    Sheila Gorre, 27, Philippines

    I was born in L.A., but I moved to the Philippines when I was one, and came back when I was 17. I consider myself from the Philippines. I’m a nurse. You know? Like the joke of all Filipinos …

  • I PRAY TO GOD TO HELP TRUMP HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART

    Maria Rosa Rojas, 73, Mexico

    I’m from a small rancho in between Fresnillo and Valparaiso, Zacatecas, Mexico, called La Yerbabuena. I’ve been in the U.S. since 1971. I was 17 years old and I moved straight to Boyle Heights. I didn’t have a mom or dad in Mexico, but I had an aunt here and she adopted me as her daughter. I am an American citizen. I became naturalized a year after …

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    I’m from a small rancho in between Fresnillo and Valparaiso, Zacatecas, Mexico, called La Yerbabuena. I’ve been in the U.S. since 1971. I was 17 years old and I moved straight to Boyle Heights. I didn’t have a mom or dad in Mexico, but I had an aunt here and she adopted me as her daughter. I am an American citizen. I became naturalized a year after moving here, because I was underage. It was a lot easier. My aunt helped me.

    Now, I live in East L.A. right off of the Whittier Boulevard Arch. I do clothes alteration jobs. As an immigrant, you struggle a lot to find work, especially when you don’t know how to read or write in English. I didn’t even know how to read or write in Spanish since I stopped going to school when I was a kid in grade school.

    Since Trump became president, I feel a lot of concern and sadness for others who aren’t so lucky to have their papers. Thank God, I am OK. But I have a lot of family and friends who aren’t so lucky. These people are really hard-working people. I just pray to God to help Trump have a change of heart about his stance on immigrants and universal healthcare and realize that both these things really do benefit the country. I get really worried sometimes for immigrants, since I am one too and know what it is like.

    I PRAY TO GOD TO HELP TRUMP HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART

    Maria Rosa Rojas, 73, Mexico

    I’m from a small rancho in between Fresnillo and Valparaiso, Zacatecas, Mexico, called La Yerbabuena. I’ve been in the U.S. since 1971. I was 17 years old and I moved straight to Boyle Heights. I didn’t have a mom or dad in Mexico, but I had an aunt here and she adopted me as her daughter. I am an American citizen. I became naturalized a year after …

  • FASCISM IS CREEPING UP ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    Junor Francis, 65, Jamaica

    I live in Pomona. I was born in the hills of Manchester, Jamaica. I moved to New York in 1971, I got my citizenship in the 1980s. I came to Los Angeles in 1986. My best friend was a member of the Black Panther party and he told …

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    I live in Pomona. I was born in the hills of Manchester, Jamaica. I moved to New York in 1971, I got my citizenship in the 1980s. I came to Los Angeles in 1986. My best friend was a member of the Black Panther party and he told me to move to Pomona because I had interest in radio broadcasting, and in L.A. the competition is rough. So I came here, got a college degree, and got into broadcasting. Though I was homeless for a little bit.

    Being an immigrant has not been a problem until now. Fascism is creeping up on the American people, step by step. I’ll give one case in point. My dentist is in Mexico because I don’t trust American dentists or doctors. And while crossing the border in Tijuana two weeks ago, the hostility and the animosity of the questions they were asking me, even when I had my U.S. passport, made me go “Damn. This is frightening.”

    Musicians are having a tough time. There is a group I know from Africa who have been coming to the U.S. for seven years with absolutely no problem. Recently, immigration told the one guy in the band with dreadlocks that he could not enter. A lot of African musicians aren’t even trying anymore.

    Generally, I haven’t had many bad experiences around L.A., but it is getting progressively worse because a lot of people are suddenly starting to become empowered. I think it is going to be best if Jamaicans learn Spanish so that they can move to Mexico, Spain, or South America because the U.S. has no interest. They just want to make America white again.

    FASCISM IS CREEPING UP ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    Junor Francis, 65, Jamaica

    I live in Pomona. I was born in the hills of Manchester, Jamaica. I moved to New York in 1971, I got my citizenship in the 1980s. I came to Los Angeles in 1986. My best friend was a member of the Black Panther party and he told …

  • YOU CAN LEARN FROM OTHER CULTURES JUST BY STAYING IN L.A.

    Laurent Quenioux, early 50s, France

    I’m a pop-up chef. I love to cook food and make people happy through food and wine. I was born in Blois, in the Loire Valley. I came to L.A. in 1982, as a teenager. I was working at a three-star restaurant, …

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    I’m a pop-up chef. I love to cook food and make people happy through food and wine. I was born in Blois, in the Loire Valley. I came to L.A. in 1982, as a teenager. I was working at a three-star restaurant, and the chef-owner had a contract to run a private club in L.A., and my chef shipped me here. I never went back. I loved it here.

    I think Los Angeles is a beautiful city for immigrants. People here really do embrace immigrant culture. And I think it has been getting better. Millennials want to know more. They don’t stay in their little bubble. In the ’80s, everything was more segregated. A white person wouldn’t go south of Wilshire or east of Fairfax. I always drove into these communities for one reason or another. My first and second friends I made in the U.S. were black. My third friend was Mexican. I used to go to underground clubs around L.A. I was the only white person. People would tell me: “You’re not white! You’re French!” I learned a lot. You can learn a lot from other cultures by just staying in Los Angeles.

    I am a U.S. citizen. But I still don’t want to vote in this country because the system here sucks. When I go back to France, people tell me, “What are you doing voting for Trump?” I tell them, “I didn’t vote for him!”

    Immigrants don’t think they can realize their dreams anymore in America. They feel like second-class citizens. I think people may think twice about moving to America. I know of a really talented French chef who is 24 years old. He wanted to move here or to New York but now is thinking about Australia or Asia because he “wouldn’t feel comfortable” living here. We are going to lose a lot of good people like him.

    YOU CAN LEARN FROM OTHER CULTURES JUST BY STAYING IN L.A.

    Laurent Quenioux, early 50s, France

    I’m a pop-up chef. I love to cook food and make people happy through food and wine. I was born in Blois, in the Loire Valley. I came to L.A. in 1982, as a teenager. I was working at a three-star restaurant, …

  • WHEN I FEEL HOMESICK I GO TO A RUSSIAN GROCERY STORE

    Tatiana Tomicki, 41, Azerbaijan

    It’s comfortable being an immigrant in Los Angeles. I’ve been in the U.S. for 18 years, and here since 2005. There is a giant Russian community here. When I feel homesick, I go to a Russian grocery store or Little Odessa in …

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    It’s comfortable being an immigrant in Los Angeles. I’ve been in the U.S. for 18 years, and here since 2005. There is a giant Russian community here. When I feel homesick, I go to a Russian grocery store or Little Odessa in Santa Monica Boulevard. It feels good here. I love being around different people and love having friends from all different backgrounds.

    Things haven’t changed for me personally, necessarily, since Trump got elected. But I do sympathize with all of the people who are affected. I filed a petition to bring my brother to this country, as a relative, back in 2004. He just got approved a few months ago for his interview to get his visa. Now I’m concerned about what kind of work he is going to be able to get as an immigrant, under Trump. I’m also worried about what kind of life he is going to have here.

    It’s depressing and sad. I’ve always been a big supporter of Planned Parenthood because when I first came to this country, without my permanent residency status, that was the place where I would get treatment for free. After I became a citizen, I started making donations to them. What’s happening now makes me sad for the women who are going to be deprived of the same help that I got.

    I had my baby on November 2nd, so she was a few days old when Trump became president. We were initially excited to have a daughter born into a world with a woman president. At the end of the night, we turned the TV off. We didn’t want to hear another thing of him winning.

    The Russian meddling is embarrassing, for both sides. Putin is such a terrible person and we suddenly have Trump. I was recently in Europe and people made fun of us, asking us “Did you vote for Trump?” It’s just an uncomfortable conversation, always. The future is going to be scary, not just for us but for the whole world.

    WHEN I FEEL HOMESICK I GO TO A RUSSIAN GROCERY STORE

    Tatiana Tomicki, 41, Azerbaijan

    It’s comfortable being an immigrant in Los Angeles. I’ve been in the U.S. for 18 years, and here since 2005. There is a giant Russian community here. When I feel homesick, I go to a Russian grocery store or Little Odessa in …

  • SINCE TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT, WHAT’S CHANGED FOR ME IS RESILIENCE

    Karla T. Vasquez, 29, El Salvador

    I was born in Apopa, San Salvador, El Salvador. I came to the U.S. when I was about three months old. My dad had been in the military and when he met my mom, she said, “You can’t be in …

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    I was born in Apopa, San Salvador, El Salvador. I came to the U.S. when I was about three months old. My dad had been in the military and when he met my mom, she said, “You can’t be in the military anymore! It’s us or them.” My dad said, “That’s easy, you!” Then my dad started to get death threats from his former colleagues.

    We arrived in 1988. It took a month to get to L.A. We came by way of Arizona. Out of the group of 30 people who started the journey, only half made it. At one point, our coyote told my mom, “You should wait until your daughter is older. You’re putting us all at risk.” My mom told me that she hoped I didn’t cry along the way. There was this one time, it was really dark, they were hiding from some guards, and she had the blanket over my face.

    I was naturalized when I turned 18. I remember what I was wearing. There was this long line. It hit me: I’ve been afraid my whole life.

    Since Trump became President, what’s changed for me is resilience. Folks out there who don’t get it, just let them be. It’s not worth your energy. I’m not afraid to look racism in the face and still do what I’m going to do. I’m going to persevere and champion my community. I live in West Adams, close to El Salvador Corridor. I am the Director of Community Programs for With Love Market and Cafe in South L.A. I’m also writing a Salvadoran cookbook.

    I feel good about the future because I’m in L.A. It’s as much a safe haven as it was when my parents arrived.

    SINCE TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT, WHAT’S CHANGED FOR ME IS RESILIENCE

    Karla T. Vasquez, 29, El Salvador

    I was born in Apopa, San Salvador, El Salvador. I came to the U.S. when I was about three months old. My dad had been in the military and when he met my mom, she said, “You can’t be in …

  • THE COUNTRY IS ONLY GOING TO GET BROWNER

    Eric Wat, 46, Hong Kong

    I was born in Hong Kong when it was still a British colony, in 1970. I lived there until I was 12, and then I moved to the U.S. I’ve never really experienced racism here in L.A. Maybe I’ve blocked it out. Sure, you may be walking down the street …

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    I was born in Hong Kong when it was still a British colony, in 1970. I lived there until I was 12, and then I moved to the U.S. I’ve never really experienced racism here in L.A. Maybe I’ve blocked it out. Sure, you may be walking down the street and someone shouts something at you—but for me, that’s not racism, that’s just an idiot walking down the street. Racism, for me, is a lot more structural.

    We have a history of exclusion, racism, gentrification, and capitalism in the U.S. Trump did not bring them to the table. What’s changed for me is that before the election, I had this idea that most people felt the way that I did. This did not turn out to be the case. For a few months after the election, when I saw a white person walking the street, I wondered, “What does he feel?” Knowing this felt emotionally different. It almost felt like our country died.

    When I’m in a good mood, I think this is white supremacy’s last gasp, a reaction to gains that we have made. In politics, you never really win outright. You win some and then your opposition pushes back harder, and you have to push back even harder. I sit on the board of a Cambodian youth organization. I told them, “This is really your fight!”

    I had my chance. Remember the ‘90s in California? We had Pete Wilson and Prop 187. A lot of this racism stuff started here. I may not have been at risk of being brutalized by the L.A. police, but seeing Rodney King and how clear it was that cops overstepped their boundaries made our city’s problems a matter of right or wrong for me, not a matter of “Oh, that can’t happen to me.”

    I like to think that the demographics are on our side. The country is only going to get browner. I think the conversation is going to have to change. I’m actually really hopeful for the long-term future.

    THE COUNTRY IS ONLY GOING TO GET BROWNER

    Eric Wat, 46, Hong Kong

    I was born in Hong Kong when it was still a British colony, in 1970. I lived there until I was 12, and then I moved to the U.S. I’ve never really experienced racism here in L.A. Maybe I’ve blocked it out. Sure, you may be walking down the street …