Even before the sun rose following Donald Trump’s improbable White House win, Madison Haskins felt a wave of fear.
“As a woman, I feel unsafe,” the 20-year-old Tufts University student said after watching the results roll in on the West Side.
“I feel unsafe for my LGBTQ friends, my Muslim friends, undocumented immigrants, for national security, for nuclear safety.”
Haskins was among several New Yorkers who reported feeling a profound sense of unease in the wake of Trump’s romp over Hillary Clinton.
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The divisive GOP presidential nominee mocked, ridiculed and insulted his way to the White House — targeting immigrants, women, the disabled and Muslims, among others.
Some city dwellers opted for public displays of dejection.
Rob Aquino, 25, stood in Union Square Wednesday morning holding a sign that read, “I am gay. I am in love. I am terrified.”
Trump has voiced opposition to same-sex marriage and vowed to install ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices.
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“Me and my boyfriend were crying this morning,” said Aquino, of Williamsburg. “I've never been scared of my own country.”
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Aquino said he struggled to sleep last night, beset by a flood of new worries. “I may not have a future in this country with my boyfriend, a comfortable future, in the sense of our rights not being discriminated against, or our rights to marry or adopt or have children,” he said.
Lauren Deleo, 30, was standing nearby with her own sign — “I’m a woman. I’m scared and sad.”
Deleo insisted it was mere coincidence that she and another Williamsburg resident ended up at the park holding anti-Trump signs.
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“I needed to get out of bed,” she said. “I just felt hopeless.”
Dozens assembled in Times Square late Tuesday to watch an election night broadcast under the bright lights.
By 4 a.m., a small group of mostly shocked Clinton supporters remained there, looking lost and grasping for words to describe how they felt.
“It's truly heartbreaking,” said Jennifer Quinn, 22, a student living in Brooklyn. “I’m scared. I’m really scared. Not just for myself, but for all Americans that Trump has threatened.”
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Jeffrey Romulus, his voice growing heavy with emotion, sounded wistful as he lamented Trump’s Election Night victory.
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“It's like all the progress we've made is just completely washed away,” said Romulus, 26, of Manhattan.
Clinton supporter Aaron Shaw, 28, said he worries about the prospect of Trump packing the Supreme Court with justices likely to roll back rulings on prominent social issues.
“We are scared about losing all of the progress we have made in the last few years — progress in healthcare, progress in marriage rights, progress in women's rights, in income equality,” Shaw said.
A raft of advocacy groups also sounded the alarm over Trump’s Election Night victory.
“This is the darkest of days for our community,” said Javier Valdés, co-executive director of the immigrant group Make the Road New York. “A demagogue who has consistently vilified our families has won the nation's highest office.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations struck a more measured tone in a statement that acknowledged fear among Muslims. “To those in the American Muslim community who are fearful of the future, know that America is your home and you have the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans,” said national executive director Nihad Awad.
The NAACP urged Trump to lead the effort to heal the wounds inflicted during the campaign.
“We are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear,” NAACP President and CEO William Brooks.
Nate Terani, of Veterans Challenging Islamophobia, said he fielded a panicked call from his mother who was concerned about Trump following through on his early promise to bar Muslims from entering the U.S.
“The fact that we’re forced to have this conversation in America is shocking,” said Terani, 39, a Navy veteran. “It violates everything that I took an oath to protect.”
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