‘All this shit is pree racist ain’t it?’
That’s literally what someone said to me, as they turned away from the nightly news – sprawled with Trump’s latest antics.
He was referencing the latest executive order – signed by President Trump (yeah, that’s a thing we say now) – that instated an immigration ban which impacts refugee and Muslim movement into the United States.
This was followed by global protests and border standstills – as individuals were denied visas and prohibited entry – sometimes even to their own homes:
Now, I’m not big on protests, but man, do the Brits know how to do it well:
But its funny how that after all that has gone before, some of us still require to see, in order to believe.
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
You’d think Trump’s track record would be the biggest warning sign of all.
But Humans are incredibly foolish at times. That’s just our nature.
We have a love hate relationship with signs.
We love signs – especially when the magazines tell us that Taurus’ are gonna be incredibly lucky in love come March.
But we hate stop signs – cos we are always in a rush.
We love discount signs – because we could always have more hazelnut scented candles.
But boy do we hate the ‘smoking is dangerous’ signs that are packaged on cigarette cartons.
Maybe we just don’t like being reminded of our mortality…
So when a position of leadership is filled by a man(-child), who says everything he thinks no matter how backward, and signs executive orders to match that – it does not surprise me that millions of American’s voted for him, and millions more around the world resonate with him.
His campaign towards this place of high office was met with three distinct responses:
(i) He’s a reality TV star (which should already raise doubts about his suitability for Office) and is just saying all these things for voter attention
(ii) We can’t judge him yet – he hasn’t had time to show what he would really be like as President (how long has it been? 575 days? NO. 10days at the time of writing this)
(iii) The shit he is saying doesn’t affect or impact me, so I’m fine with it.
Surah Al-Baqara, 55
And remember ye said: “O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see Allah manifestly,” but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on.
And here we find ourselves, the end result of what can be described as indifference en masse.
You don’t get to be shocked at Trump’s actions if you’ve mentioned one or more of the above three excuses.
There were plenty of signs that were pointing to this exact happening.
But on some level, we cannot entirely fault ‘privilege’ for our indifference.
Both sides (so stupid that we have to ‘take sides’ – being human should be intuitive fml) always seemingly fail to engage in proper dialogue because an adversarial framework of contestation rather than one of empathy and listening governs the discussion.
Whether its internet trolls or protests along the CBD streets: our actions reflect those of a child, desperate for that lollipop in the store, who resorts to wailing and rolling on the shop floor – while the embarrassed parent wishes they’d just shut up and understand that lollipops cannot be had everyday.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
ALL LIVES MATTER.
NOT IN MY CHURCH.
BAN ALL MUSLIMS.
oh shit, he actually did ban muslims, wtf, that’s pree racist aint it.
Yes everyone has something to say.
No, not everyone has something important to say.
The façade of self-confidence that our culture has created, allows people like Trump to think they can be President, and actually achieve it. Their ideas can be thrown into the abyss, precisely targeted so that those who resonate with it are the only ones mirrored back at him.
It’s like Trump saying ‘I’m in a room full of like minded people’ – only for that room to be filled with mirrors, and Trump is standing smack bang in the middle of it.
We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.
So here we are, scrambling to understand how we got here.
What went wrong.
Trying to collectively cleanse ourselves of blame.
Yet, it was us as a collective that let this happen.
Our indifference to the other.
A brainwashing of distrust.
A selfish belief that what we have to say, what we have to do, the struggles we endure – are worth more than others.
When did we decide to put a worth on human life (born or unborn)?
Because that absolutely boggles me.
1 in 400trillion.
And that’s how we spend our lottery winnings.
Know that these events serve as a wake up call.
We have been apathetic for too long.
Its time for us to understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re:
We are all human first.
And if that doesn’t unite us, God knows what will.
Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.
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