commentary

Commentary | Letters to the editor

Responses to the election of Donald Drumpf as U.S. President

My emotions towards this recent election have been scattered: disbelief followed by cynicism, hopelessness followed by anger, exhaustion followed by drive. I could write endlessly on these feelings, but in truth they do not matter. In the face of tragedy, one promptly realizes that the world does not pause to let us grieve. The sun continues to rise and set and with it consequences take their shape. I have been moved to tears by stories of those who now feel unsafe to exist in what was meant to be their home. My pain, and whatever else I feel, is no excuse to be idle. This is not about me.

When questioned as to why I feel so strongly towards political issues, my answer has always been the same: Politics are not merely about rhetoric or opinion; instead, they are inexplicably tied to the concrete experiences of real people. In my case, as a woman, I cannot evade the forces that oppress me. A Drumpf presidency, however, I am already removed from. I am in Canada. I am safe. I will admit that for a moment, I was tempted to discuss other things, avoid social media at all costs and simply revel in the fact that this is not about me. Still, I cannot help but feel strongly with those who are affected – unlike myself, they have no choice but to be involved. “This is not about me” is not a statement of self-absorption but of solidarity. To hold a narcissistic attitude only validates the narcissism of Drumpf in the same way that he has validated the once subliminal racism of so many Americans. This is no time to settle into complacency or acceptance or apathy. We must move forward. There is work to be done.

— Gwyn Peters

 

I am scared. As an American I am scared. As an Arab I am scared. As a queer person I am scared. As a woman I am scared. I am scared of the American people. A Drumpf presidency is not what I wanted by a longshot, but what is even more upsetting is that masses of people believe in his ideologies. They believe that my father, an immigrant escaping a civil war, should not have been able to come to America because of the country he was fleeing. They believe that he should not have had a right to education, to work, most of all to live. They believe, or rather don’t believe, in my identity and the validity of my sexual orientation. They believe that my

reproductive rights are theirs to control. What scares me most is that 66% of white women voted for Drumpf while 93% of black women voted for Hillary. As a visibly white woman with many white female friends, none of who are Drumpf supporters, this appalled me. This screamed to me that solidarity is not enough. It is time that white women step up and demand justice and representation for the voices that cannot be heard. This does not just mean interjecting when someone says a racial slur. This means educating and informing other white women about the problems in our society, why it is on us to call for action and make things change.

I have taken the past few days to mourn, but I have accepted the results and am now
ready for action. Whatever racist, sexist, homophobic calls Drumpf makes, I am ready
to fight. I am ready to show him that he cannot and will not silence our voices and he
will give us the respect we demand and deserve.

— Hana E Geadah

 

Shame, anger, disappointment, embarrassment. These are feelings that many Americans have expressed in the wake of this shocking election. Despite being a Canadian who has never stepped foot across the border, I feel these emotions just as strongly as many Americans. I may not have had the opportunity to vote for what is right, but I do have an ongoing responsibility to counter the racist, sexist, homophobic, and generally appalling rhetoric that has spread throughout the world. All people have a role in setting the tone of this conversation, and yet as Canadians we treated ourselves as both immune from the consequences and exempt from the responsibility of this dangerous dialogue, which has reached a new low with this election.

Instead of using our voices to recognize and appreciate the value of women, we used it to tell jokes about pantsuits. Instead of demanding that our Prime Minister use his power to mobilize voters and critically examine our own shortcomings, we clapped like seals when our newly elected “hero” fed us lies of an already achieved standard of multiculturalism and acceptance. Rather than looking at how we can help marginalized peoples receive better access to opportunities, we looked at America and (mistakenly) said “at least we aren’t as bad as them”. Instead of using the unfathomable power of social media to spread messages of solidarity, we used it to share memes that devalued the lives of people who will be affected by the painfully tangible consequences of this setback for generations.

In the days following this historic election, there is much say about how Americans failed their country, or perhaps how the system failed Americans, but not nearly enough conversation surrounding how Canadians failed Americans. It’s time that Canadians stopped ridiculing our neighbours to the South and instead started supporting them during this difficult time.

— Catharina O’Donnell

 

I personally think that most of the blame for the US election result belongs to the strategic choices of the American elites. The elites took care of the education of their own cast, but did not care about the masses who could not afford to pay for their own education. Thus, 67% of whites without a higher education degree ended up voting for Donald Trump. Historically, a fair level of education and a small or reasonable income gap between the rich and the poor are considered as the pillars of any democratic system. These two pillars are being undercut in the States for quite some time.

I don’t know if the supposed migration from the US to Canada on political grounds will be for real, but I hope that the platform Donald Trump has succeeded on never makes its way north. Canada should prioritize education for all, diversity as an everyday practice, and a common vision for the country that provide rights to all. Canada still struggles with the persistence of institutional racism and discrimination; I hope that now, the majority of Canadians from all walks of life can acknowledge that immigration brings wealth and resources to this nation. On these grounds, Americans that may chose to immigrate to Canada for political reasons should be equally welcome.
— Constantinos Yanniris

Comments posted on The McGill Daily's website must abide by our comments policy.