BY WENDY HUENUL-VALDES
For four years now, ever since the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of the man who shot him, racial tensions in the United States have been high. With the help of social media, the Black Lives Matter movement hit everyone’s phone screens and, like all movements, there was opposition. People who thought they were helping and trying to unify the country (I’m assuming they had the best intentions), scream “all lives matter” and completely disregard how that brushes over the issue. The result of the U.S. election confirms what many people already knew – that racism is still rampant.
Globe and Mail columnist Doug Sanders, in a Nov. 11 article, wrote, “More than 90 per cent of Americans who voted for Mr. Trump were white, and most white U.S. voters, both men and women, cast a ballot for him (even though his opponent got more votes overall). And at least 90 per cent of non-white Americans did not vote for him. This was a white riot – an angry, rejectionist turn by a deeply pessimistic majority within the white population against the far more hopeful and inclusive politics of the rest of the country.”
The day after the election, the rest of the world replied. According to an article on angusreid.org, almost two-thirds of Canadians are upset with Donald Trump’s victory. As well we should be. And The Green Party of New Zealand said they would not congratulate Trump on his presidency, despite their values on being an all-inclusive party.
Protests are taking place all over the world because the United States just elected a glorified racist, rapist and misogynist. He has just been awarded the right to make decisions in a country filled with people of colour, women and people with different sexual orientations – three large groups Trump so effortlessly marginalized in the course of a campaign.
I’ve heard many people claim Americans deserve their fate. They voted him in, so a corrupt president is what they get. This is a toxic mindset that pushes aside all those who strongly opposed Trump’s values. It pushes aside all the immigrants in the country whose livelihoods are threatened. Do they deserve it too? What about the fact that Hillary Clinton had 150,000 more votes than Trump? The Americans who share the same values as Canadians don’t deserve what they got. Trayvon Martin’s family doesn’t deserve this either. The youth who now will have to grow up in a country where their president spews out bigotry also do not “deserve” this.
Thousands of protesters are hitting the streets in the U.S. claiming that Trump is not their president and I stand with them. The only place Trump belongs is on reality television.