It feels very strange right now to be 4200 miles away from the place I called home for 42 years. Granted, I've spent most of my adult life travelling all over the place playing music and whatnot, but I can't recall an event this major happening when I haven't been there with the people I've known and loved most of my life. I've felt a lot of things since the results of the election came in early last Wednesday morning. A lot of it has been anger. I'm pissed that a sexually predatory bigot is going to be the next figurehead of the country I come from and am still legally a citizen of. I'm pissed at the media for giving him limitless air time because he's "good for ratings" and treating him like a buffoon rather than the real threat that he is and that he represents. I'm pissed that the DNC chose to run someone who nobody was very psyched about despite the huge groundswell of support for someone else. But I've also been sad a lot. I'm sad that friends of mine have had to explain to their young children that the American dream is actually a lie and that the threat against them for being female and/or being black and/or being Jewish is very real. I feel sick to my stomach that blacks, Muslims, LGBT people - basically anyone who isn't a heterosexual white Christian male - have been sent a message by a large number of people that they are less than. I've also felt a huge sense of relief that I live in Cardiff, Wales and not Lawrence, Kansas. But I also feel like I'm letting all of my brothers and sisters of different races, genders and creeds down by not being there to defend them. I've talked to a number of my friends and have read their Facebook posts over the last several days and have been brought to tears a number of times. Many of my friends are freaked out. They're freaked out because they feel like they could be groped or raped at any time without anyone coming to their defense because "grabbing pussies" is now perceived by some as being okay. They're freaked out because they know they are now targets for people to threaten them (or worse) and that the police won't come to their defense because, let's face it, 90% of American police officers are racist. (My father was a cop and I grew up around them and the things they would say would make my skin crawl. Somehow those people are going to treat people fairly when they put on their uniforms? I don't think so.) They're freaked out because they might get beat up or worse for going into the "wrong" bathroom. And my heart is broken for all of them who now have to be extra careful because some orange fascist has made hate speech and violence against those you disagree with or who disagree with you perfectly acceptable.
But what's done is done. I've seen photos and videos of mass protests that have happened in the wake of Trump being elected. Much as I wish it was a different story, the protests aren't going to make there be a different President come January. And I think things are only going to get worse. Now, I don't know if Trump is truly prepared (or if he'll be allowed) to be the fascist he boasted about being on the campaign trail and if he'll completely ban abortions, do away with the Affordable Care Act, jail journalists who critique him, have mass deportations, etc., but his early cabinet picks don't do anything to suggest that anyone other than white males will have an easy go of things any time soon.
One thing I hope these protests do accomplish is to band people together. If they're all against Trump and everything he stands for, then it seems like a safe bet that they have approximately the same vision of the country they wish to live in and the government they wish to represent them. I hope they're exchanging phone numbers and e-mails with these people they're meeting. And I hope they start getting more involved in local government. Other than Trump, who entered the game at the highest level, everyone who's ever served a role in the national government started out locally. You and I are never going to get an audience with the President, but we can get an audience with the city commissioner, who's one of the people who will eventually be in the running to be mayor or governor or higher. Politicians like being popular more than anything and if they're doing things that you don't like, let them know. If they think they're losing popularity points or are in danger of not being re-elected, they'll change positions quicker and more often than you and I change our underwear. And it's easy to influence them when they are operating on a local level. Once they get higher up, they have more layers insulating them from us and they're much harder to reach.
And I hope people band together to defend those who are now open targets for not being born heterosexual white males. Even if you're on your own and you see someone getting harassed for no reason, step in. Ignorance breeds fear which breeds hatred. It's a fact. The vast majority of people that now feel emboldened to paint swastikas on buildings or yell at someone for wearing a hijab on a bus come from rural towns with no diversity and no institutions of higher education. And they always travel in groups. Because they're scared. They feel empowered when suddenly it's three on one. So make it three on four and see how much they want to keep talking shit. They will retreat like the cockroaches they are back to their dark little hidey-hole. Calling out people can be unpleasant. I get it. But if we just sit idly by and watch someone be harassed and threatened because of something they have no control over, it makes us no better than the person or people doing the harassing. You say you love your fellow woman and think she should be treated fairly? Prove it. I hope I don't come off as preachy, but in times like these, words don't matter. Actions do. And sometimes actions have consequences. For example, I was fired from the band I used to be in for calling someone out who was throwing around their white privilege and disrespecting Native Americans. And I bounced back. And am honestly now happier than I've ever been and go to sleep every night with a clear conscience knowing that I stepped up when I saw something I thought was wrong. So we all can (and should) do this. Don't be afraid that you might take a punch. Physical wounds heal. But the psychic wounds that build up in people who are constantly demoralized and degraded don't.
And I hope people quit pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Shit's really fucked up right now and the why and how isn't important. The simple fact is that there's a big hole in the roof and it needs to be fixed before it rains. I don't care who did it, but heavy storms are coming soon, so we have to work together to patch it up. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I believe that man walked on the moon, I don't think Sandy Hook was a false flag event, I don't think that Dick Cheney actually has a soul, etc. But what I do know for a fact is that the government and the media have colluded for years to keep us divided and bickering over little shit. Divide and conquer is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the U.S. government has it perfected. I really believe (and have read many studies that back me up) that there are more people in the U.S. that feel that all people are equal and deserve to be treated with some basic amount of respect and decency than those who don't. So, I think we need to set aside our petty differences at this point and focus our attentions and our rage and our willingness to fight on those who are trying to keep women, people of color, etc. down. There are so many parallels between the Brexit vote and this election. One of the big ones is that it's been boiled down to "anyone who voted for Brexit or for Trump is a racist". That's just simply not true. Yes, a lot of them are and they should be a focus of our derision. But there were a lot of people who were simply mislead and didn't truly understand what/who they were voting for. There were a lot of people who cast what they considered a protest vote, not believing for a second that Trump would actually win or that the Brexit referendum would pass, because they're sick and tired of living under the thumb of a government who has shown them their whole life that they're not important. There are people who voted Republican all the way down the ticket as a fuck you to the DNC for not running their candidate. And I don't agree with any of those, but I also don't think it matters. A number of my friends voted for Trump for whatever reason and a lot of them feel a deep sense of regret right now because, like everybody, they thought there was no fucking way an orange reality t.v. star would be elected. So, I think that now's not the time to yell at them and tell them that they fucked up. They know they fucked up. Yelling at them is just going to make them more defensive and cause more of a divide (which lets us continue to be conquered.) All the good people need to rise up together to fight the actual problems which face us. United we stand, divided we fall, right? We have become divided while the radical far-right have stood united and look where we are. They've completely seized power of all three branches of the American government and there's seemingly nothing that can stand in their way. But they're wrong. We can stand in their way. And we should. But we won't be able to defeat them until we can unite in the same way they have.
-Kliph 12 November 2016