What to say, what to write. Emotional platitudes are swamping the internet and end up being one amorphous slug of pointlessness. We have to reflect and respond with more than fearful tears, that won’t cut it in this new world where a man who wants to grab pussy is now sitting in a room deemed to be the most powerful on the planet. Where a man rich beyond all comprehension (often riches made from the corrupt abuses of tax systems and business loopholes) is seen as somehow different, as anti-establishment. It makes no logical sense so I understand the emotional outpouring but we have to scrutinise and understand this properly to combat it in some strategic way that builds structure. We also have to openly own the racism that inhabits so many silent places.
Where a man rich beyond all comprehension (often riches made from the corrupt abuses of tax systems and business loopholes) is seen as somehow different, as anti-establishment.
I think those people (mainly on the left)who are currently laying this at the feet of Hillary are missing the point. This is a movement away from the left and the right. Bernie Sanders, like Corbyn here represents a well trodden path that isn’t likely to engage widely anymore than Hillary did or in fact the centre right did. This is a reactive, tele-visual age where increasingly bizarre statements – build walls, leave behind free trade, ship them out, ship them in, gain momentum with a people who haven’t effectively changed their view for the past fifty years.
For as long as I can remember Britain has been a racist country built upon lies and fears torn from a diminishing empire in which most people had an utterly shit time at the expense of a few.
Hearing celebrating Americans talk of going back to the good ol’days must fill so many with horror. Anyone not white for example for whom the good ol’days meant openly segregated systems and now mean prisons full of young black men. The good ol’days where LGBT people were beaten and locked up, where women had no bodily autonomy and where we were all expected to know our place and not fucking move. The good ol’days – Trump, Farage, Johnson, I despise your good ol’days.
Farage has talked about taking back control of our borders after our empire decimated whole swaths of this planet by violently desecrating and destroying borders. We invented migration.
Trump talks about building a wall to keep them Mexicans out whilst American contractors seek to drill on land sacred to the first peoples there, people treated with scorn by the people of America, the people gloating inside their virtual wall.
The good ol’days – Trump, Farage, Johnson, I despise your good ol’days.
Trump and Brexit succeeded because if you scratch the surface many people blame the problems of our countries on people who are not white. When people talk about the NHS or the schools or the state of the street just listen for longer than a couple of sentences when the polite talk falls away and the issue of colour, of otherness will rise up. They are having to print leaflets in 20 different languages, they say, it’s changed around here, they say, you never hear an English voice in the waiting room, they say. I remember signs up in pubs banning whole groups of people – NO IRISH, NO BLACKS, NO GYPSIES. But I also know that if we kid ourselves that attitudes changed when the signs came down we are not facing up to reality. People were forced into taking down signs and changing attitudes they didn’t give those up willingly.
Hillary didn’t lose because she was corrupt, Trump won because his racism spoke to a great big chunk of white America – educated and non educated, working and middle class, rich and poor who were far happier when their neighbourhood was white and segregated.
Hillary didn’t lose because she represented the 1%, not when Trump is a billionaire several times over, no Hillary lost because she isn’t a racist.
It’s too easy for left commentators to blame her and try to corrupt-shame her when this is a victory for racism and nationalism which always has its roots in racism and xenophobia.
The left stand to utterly lose out in this new world order if they don’t realise that the old ways are over for them as well as the traditional right. We need to come together as the groups that are marginalised rather than as a political faction of the well meaning left, it won’t work now. Somehow there are many people feeling dispossessed by the events of this year and we need to build alliances that span beyond politics, we are often presented as ‘single issue’ groups but if you examine even briefly our single issues they all add up to wanting equality. This is a fight for that equality, it isn’t about right or left anymore.
Let’s just be clear the first black president who set an utter watermark for decent politics is to leave the office for a man who flaunts his power and who talks about building walls, who talks about grabbing pussy. How devastating.