“Trump”-ing around Gettysburg

This past Saturday I had an interesting experience here in Gettysburg. I decided to explore the town with a friend and we walked down into the part of town full of the touristy Civil War shops. We went into various shops and at the last one I encountered three boys who looked to be twelve or thirteen years old. They wore red t-shirts and khakis, almost like Boy Scouts would, and a red cap which had the words, “Make America Great Again” in white block letters. I walked past them and attempted to ignore them, until I realized what they were doing. They had been following me around the store, cracking their knuckles and almost chanting quietly, “Build a wall”. I had never felt so uncomfortable. I immediately left the store and walked home.

On my way home, I walked past various different people, but the large majority of them looked to be of Hispanic or African descent. They lived just past the street where all you saw were red Trump hats and Trump shirts. The people of color in this town live in a place where they are really not comfortable because just down the street there are tourists who say hurtful things and look to intimidate. I was lucky enough that the people who harassed me were basically children, but those children had to learn from somewhere. They learned from hateful adults who, like these children, are not afraid to intimidate or to place fear in the hearts of those who are different than them. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I have grown to fear where my country is headed.

I get to interact with many of the people of color of this town and all I have met are people with beautiful souls and harsh realities, but they attempt making their realities a bit better with the support of their community. While I know this is the truth, I also think about their realities with having to most likely interact with these types of people every day and not being able to do what I did, and simply leave.

Ivy Helena Torres ’18