I write it’s what I do, it’s how I feel better – some will see this as self indulgent, others will agree with it and probably will, or have, done the same. I don’t really care.
But the reason I am compelled to write is because Twitter, as you would expect, has become 140 characters of “I told you so”. That has as much nuance in it as, well, the new President. It’s too soon for you. if your first response is “I saw this coming, we should have done x” Just, go away. Do what the rest of us are doing and be angry, be upset, look for hope. Revel in your echo chamber for a few minutes and pretend it didn’t happen whilst you consider what positive role you could have to make it better. My first tweet was about misogyny and white men endorsing it. That’s where I was at, followed by this is absolutely a race and poverty issue (along with some evidence). All of those things are related by the way. That’s it, that’s as far as I have thought right now.
There is no single answer to Trump (no matter how hard you try) and if you think there is you are woefully naive about both the institutionalized political culture, the intersections of prejudice within our society and the psychology that goes with it. Trumps presidency rests on a number of things that I cannot put into a tweet, if I try my head might explode with rage. In fact, I did try and it cause me to cry even more than I was.
Anti-establishment and poverty:
Yes. This is neo-liberalism coming back to bite us all on the arse. You are right, bravo (insert comment about how it should have been Bernie). BUT here’s the deal, if this was only based on disfranchised poorer communities voting for the “anti-establishment candidate” then we would see poorer communities, regardless of race, come out and vote Trump. We did not see that. There is absolutely a link between poverty, lack of opportunity and voting for whatever represents a change from the status quo – because well, why the hell not? All political systems across the world have let down poor communities time and time again. This is the result.
As above, BECAUSE IT’S ALL RELATED, if we breakdown the election results by race there is no combination in which African American communities vote Trump. Not looking between education, state, age or gender – they voted Clinton. White men and women (particularly men) propped up and got Trump to the Oval Office. This is a serious issue that cannot under any circumstances be brushed under the carpet while you cry “neo-liberalism bad”. You cannot untangle one from the other. The man who said he would get tough on minorities and bring back America from political correctness and non-Americans won. This is about race. Big time.
Yes, people of colour voting republican did increased in a small percentage, but that small percentage is compared to 2012 and still if we only counted the votes of people of colour NOT ONE state would return a republican result. It would be a fully blue map.
Clinton not winning is not down to only misogyny (not completely). The way Clinton was treated throughout the campaign absolutely is misogyny, the fact that men felt more able to vote for Obama than Clinton (including within minorities) is about misogyny. But I am interest not in who lost, but who won. Misogyny is one of the pillars on which Trump won because despite being accused of sexual assault, despite glorifying sexual assault, despite talking about women as numbers to rank, despite saying women are disgusting for being overweight, despite saying women should be punished for having abortions – he won. Swathes of people read that, heard that and thought “Nah, let’s vote for him anyway”. That is a result of a misogynistic culture and if you don’t see that, then you’re part of the problem.
Addition: according to pollsters the gender gap (men v women voting republican/democrat) had a 24 point gap- this is the largest gender gap in exit pole history. So yeah, misogyny.
Right now I care more about people than theory:
If we disassociate people from the theory we attempt to derive from the last 24 hours we will have spectacularly failed and quite frankly, I would be pretty ashamed of us. So before you send that tweet to tell people that you were right all along, I want you to think about the following;
The Indian Muslim woman who was born and bought up in New York, who is reflecting on her new President saying this: “I want a total and complete shutdown of Muslims”.
The disabled child watching their President mock a disabled reporter.
The Mexican man whose President accused him of being a rapist.
The woman who has experienced sexual assault and was thinking of reporting it, but now has a President who has a court case coming up after being accused of sexually assaulting a young girl and thinks its OK to grab her by the pussy.
The Syrian child refugee who finally found a safe place to call home but has a president who has stated he will get rid of him and compared him to a bowl of poisoned skittles.
The man who has been made redundant, is living in poverty and sees his enemy as an immigrant because the system told him to. For whom, nothing, nothing at all will improve.
All of these people inform your theory – poverty, racism, misogyny and bigotry allowed this to happen. None of them are helped because you “told them so”.
Rather than find a way to make yourself (or myself given the length of this) feel important, how about looking at the impact right here at home and let me give you the first example that I have found and I am just a bit gobsmacked at. Ruth Davidson’s statement on Trump’s win:
“Those of us who believe open, western values are the best way to provide economic security for people now have to redouble our efforts to show they deliver for people.”
It might have happened over the pond, but don’t forget we are in the middle of Brexit, in the middle of axing the human rights acts and listing foreign workers – this is a global green light for a whole lot more.
I’m broken and I’m raw and yes, it is because I am a BME Muslim woman who is the daughter of an immigrant. But if that’s how I feel, imagine if I was all those things and watching this unfold in my town or city in America.