14 Nov 2016

# civil rights # election


It's been a turbulent week, let alone year, for global politics and it's taken me a while to gather my thoughts after the presidential election result on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I don't think I felt the shock that many people had felt, as after the Brexit vote won in June, it seemed anything was possible. So on Tuesday evening, to me it didn't seem inconceivable that Trump might win. However, I think for this reason, I didn't fully digest the impact of what many people in America voted for.

I sat on the train on Sunday afternoon on the way to York, and stumbled upon this picture on twitter.
It hit me then that, yes, Donald Trump, this cartoon caricature-esque man will be president of one of the most powerful nations in the world. This picture really sums up politics in 2016 and for me, what is the culmination of an anti-establishment movement and hopefully it won't go much further... I felt angry, but also desperately sad that the president-elect, whose campaign was essentially centred around negativity, would be succeeding our beloved Obama. He and his family represented equality and determination; it's an extraordinarily complex and confusing reality to accept, not least because he didn't even win the popular vote. 

The vote for Trump was a vote to regress and it makes me worry for what lies ahead, but we who believe in liberty, equality and justice must now stand together and defend our basic human rights.* In the past century, mankind have done so much to raise the standard of equality. By no means is it perfect, but let's not forget that not even 100 years ago, did women have the right to vote. 
  • 1920 - Women in the USA obtain the right to vote
  • 1964 - Civil Rights Act
  • 1967 - Sexual Offences Act - decriminalised homosexual acts in private 
  • 1990 - Americans Disabilities Act - prohibits unjustified discrimination based on disability
These are just some of the notable advances made in the past century, and more notably that same-sex marriage in the UK and USA was only made legal in this decade. Trump has openly made comments that contradict the purpose of these acts. But, we are not about to forget all the progress that has been made and this is why we must show solidarity with anyone at risk in America. 

The pledges that Trump has made are worrying, repealing Obamacare, because why make healthcare affordable for more people anyway??? Equality - Trump has no respect for women. 'Locker room talk' is not excusable, As a president, you set the precedent for the people of your country and this does not bode well. Allegations of sexual harassment and rape are unquestionably serious. He is also viewing the world with this archaic belief that homosexuals do not have the same rights as heterosexuals.

We may be far from the USA geographically but, they are our neighbours across the pond. We now have to show strength as humans. We are so much stronger together, than we are divided and it is so important that we don't allow prejudice to overcome compassion and freedom.

After what became a rather enraged Sunday, luckily, it finished off with some light relief whilst watching Planet Earth 2. So, I will leave you with one of my favourite moments from tonight's episode, to welcome in the new week. 


* http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ - Articles 13-15

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow Me @kittybaz