I’ve been immersed in foreigners for 10 years now; mostly Iraqis, mostly progressives. It took me a long time to understand even a little of where they’re coming from. They kept telling me “There’s no Freedom here.” It was hard to unravel. They weren’t talking about the right to vote, free speech, or equality. They were talking about the culture of suppression, prejudice, sexism, and powerlessness that we are born into. "You vote one day, make a choice, and then they ignore you for four more years." It’s hard to see what you grow up inside of.
Trump has allowed us a fresh and often harsh look, and for this I thank him. His foul-mouthed criticisms are sometimes correct. It affords us a time to reevaluate the America we all live in. And it ain't lookin' as good as the myth.
Much of Trump’s support comes from Americans who have the same view as many who judge our country from a distance. They see the corruption, moneyed power brokers, behind the scenes manipulation of public opinion, and the deep fear and systemic racism that pervades.
What they see is real, and denial has allowed us to look the other way. We live in a sexist boys-will-be-boys rape culture. We hold certain truths to be self-evident but they apply mainly to the white privileged men that call the shots by defining laws that protect the rich and politically powerful.
Freedom is just another word if you are black and live in fear when your children leave the house. Or if you pray that your daughter will not be accosted on the street for wearing a hijab. Or cringe when your Christian, Muslim, or Jewish house of worship is defaced with racist symbols (or burned to the ground). How strange it must be to be a Sikh and fear that you will be mistaken for a Muslim.
Unfortunately, Trump is not a solution. Trump may decry the injustice, but he is not equipped to do anything about it. His popular support will be no match for the machine that will force his hand should he be elected. His power as President will not be effective in stemming the tide of discrimination and violence he has unleashed. His privileged-rich-boy-viewpoint will not allow him to see, much less remedy, the ills deeply entrenched in our America.
What America needs is a well-educated populace that can mobilize a non-violent, justice-oriented movement that grows from the bottom, drives two-faced politicians from local office, and supports the rights of the people, not the rights of big-dollar donors. A Clinton administration, as corrupt as it will be, will offer domestic policies that make the justice revolution possible.
There. I’ve exhausted my hyphens-for-a-stronger-America. Up the revolution.
"Our most fruitful course is to stand firm…accept disappointments and cling to hope…
While there is much grounding in past experience for all these feelings [of anger and despair], a revolution cannot succumb to any of them. Today’s despair is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow’s justice." [MLKing]
Start with your next opportunity to vote!
October 13, 2016 by 121Contact