Saturday, January 21, 2017

Now more than ever

Now more than ever

Yesterday, Donald Trump was sworn in as the American president. As he began his swearing in, rain fell as if in solidarity with so many that now live in fear. Trump swore on a bible that he doesn’t read and on a constitution that he doesn’t believe in (and probably haven’t read either). For years, the conservative movement have used anger, fear and lies to manipulate the American public. With the help of Russia to weaponize the fear and ignorance that they have spent the last 8 years breeding, they won the ultimate prize in putting a con man/puppet in the most prestigious and powerful position in the world, and in turn, giving rise to a new era of fear and uncertainty for the world.

For decades, the US and most of the world have been slowing evolving in the progressive values of equality and caring for not only ourselves, but our fellow human beings. We started to care more about the state of the planet, about those without a voice and those under such horrible situations that we can’t ignore. While most of world was working towards these goals, we ignored a dangerous minority growing all over the world. A minority who fears losing power, a minority that has no interest in equality and a minority that seeks to force their hateful views on everyone around them. This minority was cultivating a local and global fear culture, and succeeding.

Hate/fear groups are generally well known by organisations that keeps track of this type of thing (e.g., Southern Poverty law Center). We’ve had too many run ins with these hate groups in the US (and worldwide) to not keep track of these groups, but where we failed was to take action when the canaries were sounding the alarm.  For too long, the general public ignored that these hate groups were growing in numbers and influence (esp in the last 8 years of the Obama administration). Meanwhile there were others who naively tolerated their hate in the hopes that they would somehow change on their own. 

By ignoring or trying to somehow get along with these hate groups and not taking the steps to root them out (or at least a stronger plan to contain their numbers and influence) is how we’ve ended up with a Trump presidency. During the last 9 months (or so) of the presidential election, progressives were not prepared to battle with this level of hate culture. They were well funded, well organised and had the help from a major foreign power. It would’ve taken a major effort to combat them even if we were prepared which we were far from. Even towards the end, too many progressives still believed in the good of people and believe that people will do the right thing.

Never again.

We need to realize and examine the mistakes that we’ve made, but it’s time to move on. Spending too much time looking backwards is not productive. We’ve had a few months now to feel shocked, sad, and drink our misery away. Trump is now the president and he’s bringing in a host of hatred and ignorance to his cabinet to further spread the hate culture in the US and around the world. 

Now, it’s time to get off our asses. It’s time to work. Make no mistake, we are all under attack. Even if you're not being attacked today, you will be tomorrow. If we don't rise up for each other, they will divide and conqure.

This time, we need to be better prepared. We cannot underestimate the strength of hate and fear again. We must be prepared to fight (we can’t bring a drum circle to a gun fight). It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be pretty, it’ll take a lot of time and effort, but it’s something we must do. We must think about the long and short game (the hate groups are extraordinary at the long game). 

Hate groups all around the world have been embolden by a Trump presidency. We must show them that they will never be the norm, we will not accept the hate and fear that they represent and we will drive them back into the dark corners where they came from. They may have caught us unprepared and won this battle, but we will win the war.

Today, as in the times before, we fight not only for ourselves, but those who are powerless, those that will be a target by this hate administration, and for future generations.  Now, more than ever, organise, take action and join the resistance!

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