80ºF

Muslims, blacks react to Trump's victory with worry, hope

Some seeking way forward after Trump's win


SUNRISE, Fla. – There are large Muslim and African-American communities in South Florida, and on Tuesday, each reacted to the news of Donald Trump winning the presidency.

Some were hopeful. Others are using caution.

"I'm very disappointed, but I just leave it in the hands of the Lord," Theresa Williams, a black churchgoer, said.

It was early in Donald Trump's campaign that he threatened to ban Muslims from entering the United States if he was elected. He also got into a fight with a gold-star family who lost their son in the war on terror.

"I was really, really disappointed," a woman said outside a South Florida mosque.

South Florida has about 160,000 Muslims, and they are worried about a Trump presidency.

"I think it’s going to be an uncomfortable adjustment, because people are not sure, but I think we'll prevail, and hopefully when he takes the oath, he'll realize he has a Constitutional responsibility to all Americans," a man said.

After Trump made his victory speech, Nezar Hamze felt a bit hopeful.

"It was a different message than his campaign," Hamze said. "His campaign was a little derogatory and targeted a lot of minorities, but his speech last night was not like that. I did see a little light in the tunnel."

At a mosque in Kendall, which has been the target of hate in the past, the hope is that Muslims in South Florida can begin the healing process.

"This country has protected us, and we are here to protect this country. This is our country," Shabbir Motorwala, a member of the Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations said. "We're not going anywhere. Mr. Trump can target anything he wants."

Some said that what they call anti-Muslim speech from Trump was just campaign talk.

Between the spiritual Hymns and prayers in Miami Gardens, members of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church were poignant about a message of peace in a post-Election Day service.

"We know you run the house and the land the White House sits on, so no matter who's in office, we will pray no matter what," a preacher said.

Some African-Americans feel bewildered and betrayed by a Trump presidency, considering his past disparaging comments, which generalized the black community.

"We're gonna work on our ghettos. So many problems, so many horrible, horrible problems, the violence, the death the lack of education-- no jobs," Trump said while campaigning.

Margaret Polk said Trump’s words hurt her.

"I went to school segregated, and I know," Polk said. "I'm 80 years old, so I knew what it was about, so yeah, it hurt."

Andre Cross believes it's time to forgive.

"As a person of Christ, we have to forgive," Cross said. "We don't forget, but we have to forgive, and I think the black community is one of the most forgiving groups of people you can ever come in contact with."

The debate over allegations of bigotry has created division.

"I know there's a lot of fear and a lot of disappointment in our country," a protester said Wednesday while standing outside with a group of minority women. "We are here to say that hate won last night and this morning, but I just know that we're going to come together and fight. It doesn't matter who our president is because it's still going to be black lives matter, it's still immigrant lives matters, it’s still women's lives matter." 


About the Authors: