What are we?

“What are you?”

That’s the question asked of my wife, an occupational therapist who works for a home health agency, by a patient who had just shared, unprompted, how pleased she was with Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday.


Paula Begay-Hague voted on Tuesday

My wife, who is Native American, has been asked this question or variations on it (Are you an Indian? Why are you off the reservation? Do you still live in teepees?) her entire life.

Sometimes, it’s a questioned that’s followed by a call to the office, requesting a different therapist.

Before we both headed off to work on Wednesday morning, I mentioned how calmly she seemed to be taking the news, compared to the shocked reaction of Hillary supporters who suddenly couldn’t recognize their own country. Her response? “That’s how minority people feel all the time.”

Even so, she’s hoping for the best from our president-elect.

Maybe the question that many of the rest of us ought to be asking, now that we’ve acquiesced to the most overtly racist, sexist and xenophobic presidential campaign in modern American history, is “what are we?”

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