While past presidential elections have focused on issues like economy, LGBT, community, national security, Health, lowering the deficit, or position on wars, this one has been about insults and ugly revelations. It has been one after another horrific revelation of racism, sexual assault, immigration, elitism, anti Semitism, authoritarianism and “promiscuous xenophobia” to use a Cornel West term. All of these backward notions we so willingly heap on “Third Worlds’ are found right here in USA in 2016, coming from a potential president. Trump is fast Otherizing, unhinging and unfiltering culture. He is talking about belonging quite a lot: who should be included in our nation, and who shouldn’t. The birther effect is now jumping on Muslims, Mexicans etc.
The more this ‘not belonging” comes up in Trump talks the more it becomes clear that it is a conversation overdue – he’s been campaigning and spewing such hate for almost a year now. Perhaps we should give it a platform, like we’ve had to do with black lives matter. We must take stock of divisive ideologies that exclude some more in the lines of like some of Trump’s supporters who are wisely jumping over the fence in the direction of progress to the Hillary camp. Yet some remain tone deaf and aren’t budging from Trump’s exclusionary ideology. Joel Stein quips that there’s got to be a reason for this and cites non-college-educated White men as the reason; they are losing power, have no faith in government, corporations or media and view others as dismantling white European culture [Time October 31, 3016]. This election has mobilized and empowered not only these white supremacists, but misogynists, too.
Trump’s Access Hollywood tapes were sat on for 11 years while he had thousands of employees for decades but none thought it needful to protect half his workforce. It was more important to ensure the success of Apprentice than to protect women. And voting Trump condones the way some men [even women] talk to and about women: the message is that it’s okay to touch women the way he does. But Trump isn’t the first to think of women demeaningly or see them only as sexual objects for his grabbing. This talk and behavior are as old as time, and women have been coming forward for years, but haven’t been believed. Despite Anita Hill’s watershed moment in 1991 for sexual harassment awareness which increased reports of sexual harassment from 3,349 to 5,607 one year after [Time October 31, 2016: 34]. Despite other noteworthy women including Paula Jones against Bill Clinton in 1994 which was dropped; Beth Ann Faragher in 1998 which went to the supreme court that held employers liable if they create a hostile environment for women in the workplace; Anucha Browne Sanders against Isaiah Thomas / NY Knicks in 2007; Gretchen Carlson against Roger Ailes / Fox News in 2016, and Nancy O’Dell against Trump in 2016.
And despite America’s amazing inroads into equality for women, America is not ready for a woman. The timely FBI ‘male’ leaks about Hillary and other poisonous rhetoric against a woman running for president proves it. In this era of intense profiling and racism, we’ve had a black president for two terms, and despite the ‘non-belonging’ birther controversy started by Trump, and Otherizing Obama that still didn’t stop him from winning favor with the Americans. But Hillary hasn’t even won the presidency yet, but the threat of disrespectful, women-fearing, women-hating men looms so large that she has already been threatened with being killed off, called vulgar names by Texan agric commissioner and all sorts of violence via Trump’s preferred means of communication: social media.
America is not okay with having a woman president in 2016! In an age where sexual harassment has gone from a whisper to a roar – campuses, military, social media platforms – America isn’t ready to seat a woman in the Whitehouse. An India our USA is not! A Pakistan our USA is not! A Liberia or Bangladesh or Brazil our USA is not! And it’s not just about groping! There’s no room for behavior that disrespects and tries to silence women, and we cannot let Trump continue to believe that he can price his way out of xenophobia, racism or sexism!