My father and his family fled Romania around the time of WWII. There is much talk right now about the world as it is today under the influence of Trump and Bannon as compared to that when it was under the influence of Hitler. Interestingly, articles appeared online today in response to calls for the UK to rescind it's invitation to Trump, or at least to prevent a meeting with the Queen, saying that if she could handle Nicolae Ceausescu, she can handle Trump.
It hurts my brain to even start to muse on what I think. We laughed when he threw his name into the ring for US President, we laughed when he got the Republican ticket. Many aren't laughing now, but where were they when the US voted? How many voted for him but won't admit it? Does Gary Johnson now understand that his ridiculous insistence on running threw votes either way? Do we get it now that the anti-Vote doesn't work? 52% of eligible American voters did not vote. THAT! boggles the mind. I've always said to my Canadian friends: "Don't talk (complain) to me about Politics if you didn't vote".
I am no stranger to racism nor hate. I grew up in a predominantly racist country. I grew up sheltered from Apartheid and (thankfully) more liberal than most due in part to a European parent who didn't give a fuck and allowed Black people to eat at the table with us and sleep in our house when it was illegal. I was called bloody Jew and had the swastika painted on my school bag. Funnily enough I was never called Fag. I am both. I learned not to be affected by words.
For a long time I struggled with the ways things were in South Africa. This post is not about that so I won't go into details but when I turned to a trusted mentor she told me to take notice of the things that were upsetting me, to pay attention to how they made me feel, not to be so arrogant as to pity anyone or anything that I knew only from my single perspective, and to realize that things are perfect the way they are. She told me to learn compassion, to learn to understand. She taught me to take a step back, detach and observe.
I watch the News (I have no choice, Keith won't allow anything else), I read articles online, I scroll through Facebook and day by day Trump consumes every corner of these pieces that make up that part of my life. We had friends over for dinner on Saturday night and it was the first thing we discussed. It is rare that I ever make a political comment (I leave those to Keith) but it is becoming more and more difficult not to. It's starting to feel that I must speak up!
I have tried to live a non-judgemental life. This doesn't mean I don't judge; I'm human. It means I try to be as accepting as I can be without ever compromising my own sense of integrity. I am less politically correct than many of my Canadian friends; I think we can be too PC. Yet I am struggling as I realize that some of my Facebook friends are not who I thought they were as I see posts and shares in support of behaviour/actions/beliefs that I am unable to not-judge. Granted not one is a close friend and so I think to myself that I should just un-friend them yet don't because inherently I try to accept that not all beliefs are the same. I am generally confrontational and yet I can't bring myself to ask them why they agree/disagree because I am tired just reading, and engaging would require a lot more energy.
We are all being affected by this significant change in US Politics. But what strikes me the most is how it is dividing us and how it is uniting us. Trump's actions are extending far beyond his borders. It is forcing those of us that usually post pics of our meal to take notice of what is going on in the world and to pay attention. It is showing up prejudice and is it bringing out tolerance.
I'll keep watching, unless of course I un-friend you.