Trump’s America. A Bubble of Hate.
Being overseas for the better part of each year has resulted in me looking at current events back at home almost as if I were an outsider. I feel this way because I don’t have access to American news outlets, don’t eat American food, rarely have American friends, and am just generally out of the loop. I used to see America as a flawed country with a history of oppression, but also one that inspired hope and new beginnings. A melting pot they called it.
Now I envision a future of closed borders, conversion camps, forced deportations and broken families. Where racists and bigots are free to wreak havoc, and marginalized folks have no voice or recourse when confronted with hate. Like one great big bubble of hate.
It’s been two weeks since the election. Two weeks since I woke up, looked at my phone, and felt my heart drop. In that time I’ve had countless arguments and heated discussions on Facebook and beyond. I’ve seen my friends engaged in the same, and I’ve read so much analysis about what went wrong that I can barely stand to read anymore.
The hate that has exploded throughout the country is sickening. Racists are no longer in the closet. Xenophobes no longer fear being judged for their hateful words and actions. Send them back to where they came from, they say. Make America great again, they say.
This election has brought out the worst in America, and Trump’s victory has legitimized that hate.
Life in this country was already hard enough for people of color and other marginalized groups, but now that Trump has empowered them, the aftermath is shocking and sad. Children are being harassed at school, given fake deportation papers by classmates, and even being told by their own teachers that they will soon be deported.
This is why people are protesting, why they’re arguing all over your feed, and why there’s a constant stream of angry articles all over the internet. We’re scared for our future, for our children’s future, for our now.
My gay friends shouldn’t fear being rounded up and sent to conversion camps. My muslim friends shouldn’t have to register for a national database. Little black boys that already fear the police, shouldn’t now have to fear their teachers, classmates, and neighbors. Undocumented immigrants, especially those brought to this country as children, should not fear being sent back to a country they don’t know, have never visited, and may not even know the language. I came to America as an immigrant, and while not illegal due to my father’s US citizenship, I can not imagine being sent back to Finland at this age, after I’ve lived most of my life in the US. Though let’s be real, I would have no worries even if I were illegal because we all know that Finland, and Europe in general, are not high on the deportation hit list.
I felt such a sense of despair on November 9th, but I hoped that it would begin to subside once the initial shock wore off. Instead, in light of Trumps cabinet picks thus far, I’m shocked and saddened once again.
But then again, I’m not.
This is the same person who refused to denounce the endorsement by David Duke, the former head of the KKK, saying that he couldn’t do that because he didn’t know who he was and didn’t actually “know anything about white supremacy or white supremacists.” He even went on to say that “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group I know nothing about.”
Even Marco Rubio spoke on the matter, saying “If you need to do research on the KKK before you can repudiate them, you are not ready or fit to be president.” Say it again Mr. Rubio. My 10 year old has known about the KKK from books she read when she was 7. Seven.
Yet Trump refused to denounce the support and tried to play stupid ( I do think he has some screws loose, but even he is not that dumb). He also refused to quell the violence committed on his behalf during the campaign, and waited until days after the election before urging his supporters to stop with the steady stream of attacks.
But since he has said that he will unite the country, we are urged to be hopeful that he will somehow bring us all together for that big kumbaya moment, even after all his hate-filled rhetoric.
Well I’ll go out on a limb ans say that probably won’t happen, especially when we take a look at who he’s gathered at the big table. Between his transition team and his cabinet picks, it’s chock full of openly racist and xenophobic outsiders, passively-aggressive racist outsiders, the lobbyists he promised to get rid of, his children, and career politicians who were loyal to him during his campaign. So much for being anti-establishment and inclusive.
When we contrast that with President Obama’s legacy, it seems even more pronounced. Obama is smart, thoughtful, educated, and expwrienced. He also just has a way about him that will be missed. The way he genuinely laughs, interacts with young children and world leaders alike, handles sticky situation with such poise, never loses his temper publicly, but will still be quick to let you know you have over stepped your bounds or are incorrect. All qualities that Mr. Trump lacks. I worry that China will piss him off and he’ll start a war with a tweet, that he’ll sell his soul and half of our country for some nuclear bombs from Russia, or that he’ll merely self destruct and take us all down with him.
I rant because I’m scared and haven’t quite figured how we can rise above this. It’s like it’s groundhog day in hell.
But alas, I’m sure we all need some comic relief right about now. So here are the memes that have been giving me much needed life right now. Have a good hearty laugh and then continue to reflect, argue, protest, and resist. I don’t want to live in a bubble so we’ve got to figure this out.