As the world watches on to the events unfolding in the United States, it has become clear that this state of race relations was always going to boil over.
We've had an exacerbation of black deaths which were the result of quick triggered American cops who have had nothing but praise from their President, executive orders to remove women’s rights in relation to reproductive health, we've had the #MuslimBan and threatening escalating language used pointedly at North Korea.
President Trump does not represent the people of the United States – he represents a faction that has united against what was before. All common sense suggests that the kind of Presidential candidate that would refer to women’s genitalia and talk about grabbing it like he has the right to do, belittle disabled people, refer to African Americans as “the Blacks,” call Mexican people “rapists” and be dubiously linked to Vladimir Putin would never be elected right?
Wrong. The push from the extreme right was so strong that it used America’s complacency as the tool to elect an extremist President.
The presidency of Barack Obama was – for the most part – a popular one among the world at large and, particularly, the economically disadvantaged within the United States that had suffered hardship throughout the Global Financial Crisis. He was a passionate advocate for gun control, an emotional and passionate speaker with every black death at the hands of the American police and was a self-declared feminist. This did not sit well with the right – to them – this represented socialism.
Festering underneath the presidential acts of equitable policies of universal healthcare and Planned Parenthood funding was a ticking time bomb of entitled Americans that did not believe that those less fortunate should be given a hand – after all – that is not the “American Dream.” They believe that it is their right to set the tone of the country and the laws of the land despite being ignorant to the brutal colonial history.
Where Barack Obama represented hope to minorities within America, Donald Trump represents homogeny, white privilege and right wing extremism.
Where Barack Obama represented hope to minorities within America, Donald Trump represents homogeny, white privilege and right wing extremism. The campaign trail for Donald Trump’s ascent into the top job was riddled with racist remarks, homophobia, bigotry and misogyny. He was the “great white hope” particularly given he was given public support by the Ku Klux Klan which he fell under criticism for failing to denounce in much the same way that the Charlottesville protests by right wing extremists has been another example of his refusal to make any strong statements against the right wing.
He knows he was elected by these people – hand that feeds you, and all that.
One of the most galling observations coming from Australia is the shock at what is happening. But really, is it shocking? Not to those who experienced the same cyclical aversion of the status quo with the election of right wing Tony Abbott in a post-Kevin Rudd Australia. We went from the Kevin Rudd Stolen Generations Apology to Tony Abbott stating that Australia was “… nothing but bush … the Marines, and the convicts and the sailors … must have thought they’d come almost to the Moon…. Everything would have seemed so extraordinarily basic and raw…” and referring to the continuation of Indigenous communities and connection to country as a “lifestyle choice.” The shock of such a conservative Government lead to mass protests across Australia, likening our newly elected leader to a Nazi and condemning his political stance.
This constant tug of war between right and left and the political spectrum is damaging and the average voter tires of the constant game of politics so when politicians – particularly those on the extreme right of the spectrum – play on people’s fears and lambast minorities in the media either overtly or covertly – it becomes very damaging on a society and leads to the vitriolic state in which we find ourselves.
Charlottesville is a symptom of a much larger problem of white privilege and the colonial mindset that often accompanies it. We have a group of – largely – youth chanting and waving around signs and flags that are emblematic of white supremacy and arguing that they are losing their place in ‘their’ country.
I am not sure what world they are living in, but white males are proven as the most privileged members of society, so the fact that they are somehow identifying with the concept of being oppressed is equal parts confusing and amusing. Moreover, this concept of ownership of a country that was stolen appears to be completely lost on them.
White males are proven as the most privileged members of society, so the fact that they are somehow identifying with the concept of being oppressed is equal parts confusing and amusing.
While the world continues to sway between left and right – the message and humanity gets lost in politics. The world needs a change of consciousness from the current status quo of white privilege and continuation of colonisation to a more measured return to morals and value systems based on decency and protecting the vulnerable.
Inclusion rather than exclusion - of course, there is not likely to be any revolutionary change in thinking the power remains with the ruling white males who continue to dominate legal and policy decisions. The most powerful white male being a man with psychotic thirst for power and notoriety but with absolutely no regard to the magnitude of the responsibility. As he thrusts us into an increasingly unpredictable future, we must ask ourselves how slippery is this slope – particularly given our current ‘leader’ appears nonplussed at following him down the rabbit hole to almost certain military conflict.
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