There has been quite an outpouring of protest and grief since the election of Donald Trump as US president. This has grown considerably in the first few days of his administration. There a range of hashtags out there in which you may denounce the new president. #notourpresident sums up much of these feelings. I’m certainly supportive of people democratically registering their individual protest, but I want to argue that by doing this in response to Trump betrays a wall building mindset of our own in the west.
It is not surprising that we are seeing howls of outrage at Trump’s machinations. Some of his proposals seem positively draconian and as we speak he is enacting laws that appear very divisive. To be fair he was elected on much of this platform, wall building and restricting visas etc. The interesting side of this outrage is that it has surfaced solely because it is occurring in the west and it’s capital, the USA, and impacts heavily on the western world we inhabit, which is very much governed by powerful influences in the States. The US of course dominates institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank. It pilots the course for much of the world through a whole range of measures, very few that aren’t in the best interests of the US.
Against this backdrop we have had appalling human rights atrocities occurring in the non-western world for many a long year. The epicenter of this in recent decades has been the Middle East. Stunning numbers of innocent civilians in a number of Middle Eastern countries have lost their lives, and much of it the direct result of western intervention. (With western MSM dutifully grinding out the propaganda to support these efforts and cover up the slaughter with misinformation and lies). When a terrorist attacks in a western city we get wall to wall coverage and outrage from western leaders. When terrorist attacks happen on almost a daily basis in the Middle East, whether it be western bombs raining down on Syria or Yemen or suicide bombers in Pakistan, we are largely unmoved. We build our own personal walls to insulate ourselves from those unfortunates in destitute lands. Doing so allows us the righteous indignation to protest against Trump’s ‘evils’.
By constructing our own fortresses so that we may ignore the plight of non-western ‘others’ we are increasingly feeling safe and comforted by our enclosures, in a world that MSM tells us is becoming more dangerous by the moment. We seal ourselves off from the notion of global justice and equity by protesting against visa bans, while dismissing the bombing of the very people these bans impact on. Western MSM conveniently tells us when to be outraged and by what and by how much. We throw a cloak of invisibility over the plight of the Middle East and Africa and march triumphantly and tweet and Facebook to demand ‘our’ rights. If you are suddenly outraged by Trump’s presidency, I applaud you. I do ask that we try take down some of our walls, or at least peak over them to attempt to understand and possibly empathize with the horrific plight of others caused by western governments, but that don’t directly or indirectly impact on ourselves. I’m as guilty as anyone of diverting my gaze so as to avoid discomfort.
I believe that perhaps the way forward for all on the planet is for those in the west to begin dismantling our personal comforts walls and strive harder to protest against injustices that aren’t of personal interest to us and aren’t dictated by western MSM. The construction of barriers we build around ourselves are far more restrictive than anything Trump can build. We are essentially constructing our own personal prisons and greatly restricting our intellectual and moral freedoms. We may pay heavily for this in the future.