By instinct, it’s tempting to dismiss these fears as paranoia — as assuming the worst of a Trump presidency. You might see them as sour grapes from people unwilling to turn the page from a bitter and divisive campaign.
But the terrible thing is that the evidence is on their side, not yours.
For perhaps millions of immigrants, Muslims, and people of color in this country, their fear is rooted in the way Donald Trump has run his campaign for the last 18 months — and 200 years of American history. To these people, optimism is nothing more than denial.
The people who woke up afraid today have been the ones warning, unheeded, that Donald Trump’s campaign was not a thought experiment. Now, they are under direct threat from his presidency. And very little that Trump has said or done as a candidate renders those fears anything less than deeply rational.