Port Elizabeth people in US worried and pleased
South Africans in the US are still coming to terms with news that Republican Donald Trump will be the next president. Trump, 70, made radical remarks about immigration during his 18-month campaign for the White House.
The Herald spoke to South Africans about how this could affect them.
Former Port Elizabeth resident Pamela Debiase, 38, a pilates instructor now living in Los Angeles, “feels sick to her stomach”.
“This is a terrible mistake. I worry about my future. I worry for my friends of colour and the LGBT community.
“I worry he will take us back 50 years. I think the whole world should be worried about a hot-head president who just wants to be a king who may use nuclear bombs.
“I am also hopeful that by so many people being upset over the result, we may start to see people fighting harder for the political revolution Democrat Bernie Sanders talked about.”
Debiase said people in California, a progressive and Democratic state, were walking around in disbelief.
“Today has been a real eyeopener for me. I knew there were a lot of Trump supporters but I had no idea there were enough for him to win. “We are trying to make sense of why people voted for him.”
“I hear people say the American way is to congratulate him but I cannot call this man my president.” Debiase, who has dual citizenship and has been in the US for 15 years, has been a citizen for four.
She voted for Clinton. Pastor Greg Timms, 53, and his wife Irma, 54, left Port Elizabeth 7½ years ago to work in Staten Island.
Since then, the couple have started a church in Oak Park in Chicago, Illinois.
The couple will get citizenship in April. Timms said there were protests after Trump’s win was announced.
“I remember the night it was announced Trump would be running for presidency,” Timms said.
“I thought: ‘How many people would take this clown seriously’? It shocked everyone.” Timms, a former pastor at Harvest Christian Church in Port Elizabeth, could not vote but is relieved the elections are over.
“The media here created a monster out of Trump and portrayed Hillary Clinton as clean, and she is not,” he said.
“What you see is what you get with Trump.” Timms is not worried about Trump’s stance on immigration. “It has taken us seven years [eight in April to become citizens] to get where we are and cost us about $15 000 (R210 000) to $20 000 (R280 000),” he said.
“I think Trump is gunning for illegal immigrants.” Timms said many people were hopeful.”
“A lot of people went out and voted for Trump but were not vocal about it. I think that is why the outcome is shocking to some. “Trump shouts his mouth off and I can’t agree with all his morals but I would be in fear if Hillary was president.”
“Her policy on abortion is just one I do not agree with.” A married couple, both 31, from Port Elizabeth who moved to Houston, Texas, three years ago are relieved Trump will be in power.”
“Trump has the opportunity to turn things around and root out corruption,” they said.
The couple, who wanted to remain anonymous because “anyone who is opposed to Clinton is labelled a bigot and racist, which is completely unfounded”, say Trump’s policies “are more aligned with ours as Christians in terms of being against abortion and corruption”.
South African Kurt Hold, 41, lives in West Orange, New Jersey.
He was transferred to the US 2½ years ago.
“Everyone is in disbelief at the result,” he said.
“There is concern and a lot of anger.”
Hold could not vote but if he could, would have voted for Clinton.
Hold thinks Trump will be as bad as predicted .
“In the first 100 days he will reverse Obamacare, build a wall and deport migrants. “He will reverse the global warming momentum and stop all refugees – he will be bad.”