As this post title outlines, I try to keep politics out of my little space of the internets and for the most part have succeeded in doing so. However, the horrific Charlottesville rally and the days post rally have boggled the mind. I am deeply saddened for the family of 32 year-old Heather Heyer, as well as the residents of The United States of America. I am shocked, in disbelief and just heavy-hearted.
When Donald Trump won the election last fall, I along with many in my family and friend circle were left with our jaws on the ground. It was the hot topic at work, as people came in yawning and red-eyed the next morning after staying up well past their bed times to watch the election results. After all his spewing about the infamous wall to keep out Mexicans, his views on immigration, women’s rights, the LGBTQ community , health care and utter disdain for climate change and environmental issues who can blame us? Everyone had much to say.
I spoke with my friend in New York City on Inauguration Day, who was on the verge of tears as she proclaimed, ” this man is not my president!” I advised her to give Trump a chance. He promised to create jobs and her son was unemployed at the time and desperately seeking gainful employment. Trump is nothing if but straight-forward so there will be no surprises, I reassured her, and let’s face it, this wasn’t a bad dream. She would have to face it and try to see the positives in all this. “No,” she argued. “The polls were tampered with.” I felt her pain, but she had to move on. She was born and raised in The U.S of A. She was not about to uproot her family, sell her home, quit her good job in the I.T industry and seek refuge in Pakistan where many of her relatives reside.
In Canada life went on, and I decided to give Donald the Trump chance. I spoke with my step-daughter and friends in the U.S.A, asking them how life was going post Barack Obama. For the most part, life went on south of the border too. Their jobs still secure, and the cost of living seemed to be consistent with grocery and gas prices fluctuating as per usual. One friend of my husband mentioned that he was up in arms regarding health care. He relied on Obamacare and the program worked for him personally. So, Donald did his usual hand-gesturing, writing a plethora of tweets, complained of fake news, ruddy-faced and grinning and so on. Alec Baldwin provided much comic relief on SNL and we went on living.
Then Charlottesville happened and my Trump chances are gonzo after yesterday’s press conference. President Trump casually said that, “both sides are to blame.” I am sorry, but hate-groups, white supremacists, Neo Nazis and Antisemitism don’t deserve to be called a side! They spew out vitriol, hate, oppose equality for all races and someone on their “side” killed a young lady by ramming into her with his vehicle. Someone on their side ripped a young lady from loved ones as easy as buying a loaf of bread. No Trump, there is no side for these disturbing nut jobs. They sicken me. They repulse me. To me that is comparable to reason “let’s hear out the poor, little convicted rapist and serial killer.”
I am not saying that all countries don’t have their share of problems. I know in Canada we have a lot to answer for. Our Aboriginal brothers and sisters continue to struggle and live in deplorable conditions, where clean drinking water can seem like a luxury . Somewhere in downtown Toronto, a young black man is being pulled over by an officer because he is behind the wheel of a high-end vehicle and it can’t be possible that he earned this expensive car from hard, honest work. He fits the profile of a gangster they reason, although in actuality he is an anchor man at CBC news. Somewhere in Montreal, a mosque or Synagogue is being vandalized with hate. I know. We are far from perfect. I don’t exist in rose-coloured glasses. But I say affirmatively, if Charlottesville happened in my city, or another Canadian town or city, MY Prime Minister would NOT tolerate this. My world leader would condemn White supremacy with a firm and brave warning without a flinch or doubt. We could count on Justin Trudeau to comfort the nation in time of distress and utter confusion.
I watch the news and see the pain on the faces of the American people. I see fear in their eyes, and hear the anger in their voices. They love their country, but they want to feel secure. They want to be reassured that this disease will not spread and contaminate their country. They are feeling vulnerable like a baby just taking first steps. They want to be picked up and held before they fall. Their leader is not doing that for them. Their leader is letting them fall.
But take heart my American friends, you are a strong nation. Should you fall, you will get up again and walk with renewed confidence. Don’t let this man take that from you. My prayers go out to the Heyer family. Today I proudly wore purple and dried my tears.