About the Other Day…

Yes, many Trump voters are racist. But now that he’s the president-elect, we need to change the way we’re talking about this – this illness that has gripped such a huge chunk of the Western population. It started a while ago in many European nations, with the rise of extreme right parties. And now that America has legitimized xenophobia, more European nations may follow. I’m not overlooking the racism when I say that many of these people truly are anti-establishment. At least that is what they believe themselves to be. Many of them claim to not be racist – sure, many of them also don’t know what racism actually is – but maybe… just maybe… not all of them hates our guts?

I need to give myself the benefit of the doubt, because otherwise the world doesn’t make sense. Also, it’s easier to reason with someone who’s merely anti-establishment than with someone who hates me for the way I look or the religion I follow. We should, to the extent we can, always think good of others. We cannot give in to hatred, that is not the way to overcome this divide.

We need to talk to these people, we need to understand them as well as present ourselves to them. They need to know us individually, and not as a hateful mob. Also, many of these people are under-educated. So let us educate them. Let us be better than them. We can’t depend on third-parties, especially not the media, to do this. We need to roll up our sleeves and take control of our own representation.

It’s difficult for me to truly feel the fear that so many Americans belonging to minority groups are feeling today, because I’m not an American. I’ve been privileged enough to live in a tolerant country. Sure, we also feel the strong winds of right-wing populism, we also have a xenophobic party in parliament, but as an individual I have yet to be subjected to any direct racial attack. Alhamdulillah. It might only be a matter of time though. Which is why even I have to engage in the American dialogue. This is the struggle of millions of people belonging to minorities, who have made their home in the West. We need to cure it where it is, so that it doesn’t spread to other places. The cancer is not the Trump voters, the cancer is the hatred. The hatred is fluid, and has been let loose. It’s not contained in any single vessel, not even in a body of vessels. I don’t believe it.

Yes, it’s all gone wrong. I can’t say “it’s going to be okay”, because it probably won’t be. But I can say what I believe, which is that we all have the strength to fight this. Let this be the day we start making history.

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2 thoughts on “About the Other Day…

  1. Well said. We need understanding.

    Except, I am not quite sure about the few points you made.

    Why now people need to change the way they are talking about this racism issue! Just because Trump won the election! Why do we need to talk to them, understand them, know them NOW? We need to educate the under-educated!? Come on, I think this is a sad patronizing view of the ‘other’. Liberal politicians of USA and Europe are trying to describe the ‘other’ without the real understanding of people’s psyche, their real concerns. Politicians simply associate them with racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia etc with a highly educated superior attitude. (Some are, most not). And the outcome? Trump. Brexit. 48% Italian, 41% French want to leave EU if a referendum is held today. In Sweden, that number is 39%. Wny? Are they all under-educated!? extreme right?

    I am not sure what but the whole world is missing something very deep. Media did not get it, politicians did not get it, intellectuals did not get it, experts did not get it and people do not know how to express this without hatred, anger, threat, division, bigotry, intolerant….

    You see the common conception about Trump supporters were that they are white, poor, redneck, ignorant, arrogant with no-college degree. Really? I am sure you saw the data. Look at the result. Plus, more black and latinos voted for Trump than they did for Romney in 2012!

    I did not vote for Trump. Do not support his ideas. His statements about minority, religion, women, race, etc are disgusting.

    I can see your whole hearted effort to heal the wound, mend it and make history but we need to ‘educate’ ‘them’ is perhaps not a good plan. If we are ‘wrong’ (in understanding the real problem) who will educate us?

    We don’t need lopsided understanding, we need equal mutual understanding.

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    1. You got stuck on that one “educated” sentence. This isn’t my best work… I just wrote the peace to comfort myself and others, and have since changed my mind about a lot of stuff. The more I read, the more I learn. Anyway… with “education” I didn’t mean take a bunch of Trump-voters and put them in a classroom. I meant education as in show the real truth about how minorities are actually treated. Many of these people don’t know minorities personally… like they see the stuff written about refugees but they don’t know any individual refugee. I still don’t believe that such a high percentage of the people on this planet are unable to feel empathy, but I also don’t think it is always possible to change their minds.

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