I used to consider myself white. It didn't occur to me to think of myself differently. In spite of my Arab name, no one stopped me at airports or told me to go back to my country. I looked like this was "my country."
In college, I met more Muslims, and somewhere along the way I stopped feeling just white. There was more nuance to my identity, but still I had privilege. A few years after graduating, I started wearing hijab. I walked around those first few weeks with my shoulders tensed, ready for confrontation, but nothing came. Maybe I confused people? Maybe they thought I was a confused white girl?
Even as a hijab-wearing Muslim of North African immigrant descent, it didn't feel right to consider myself a person of color. But that changed with this election. Perhaps I can still pass, but it doesn't feel that way. I feel fear which my white family members and friends will likely never know or understand. And hasn't this election taught us the power of fear?