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Kids of Color ‘Should Be Talking About Toys,’ Not Politics

Last weekend, after President Trump announced an executive order banning foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Senait Admassu’s seven-year-old nephew made a startling announcement. “I’m not American. I will never be American,” he said. “I wasn’t born here.”

Admassu won’t reveal her nephew’s name. His family, who moved to Southern California from Ethiopia five years ago as legal immigrants, is too afraid for their safety.

That fear, said Admassu, comes from the psychological trauma many black, brown, refugee and Muslim children have felt since the election in November.

“They’ve been bullied, they’ve been called names, they’ve been told ‘you’re Muslim, go back to your country, you don’t speak English,’” said Admassu, who is president of the African Communities Public Health Coalition in Los Angeles, an organization that provides mental health services. She tried to tell her nephew that he belonged in the U.S. to little avail. “He’s afraid that one day he might go back.”

Trump’s campaign rhetoric about ”extreme vetting” of Muslims and building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border has painted those seeking entry into the United States as a menace of sorts: men and women who could be terrorists, rapists, criminals or people who are stealing American jobs.