If you asked Donald Trump directly whether the President of the United States is a racist he is likely to tell you that he is “the least racist person in the world.” However, a string of public attack on ethnic minority communities would suggest otherwise and with Trump coming under increased fire regarding the latest attacks in El Paso which has left 22 people dead the question has to be asked is Britain in danger of going down the same road with Boris Johnson and the theatre that is Brexit.
Trump’s history of racism
Since he was elected in 2016 and before, Donald Trump has always been labeled a racist. His campaign trail was littered with racist remarks, everything from referring to Mexicans as “rapists”, to wanting to try to ban Muslims from entering the country and even denying any knowledge of white supremacy, Trump has been the poster boy for most hate crimes in the US. However, his history of racism goes back much further, according to the website vox.com Trump has been involved in 12 high profile incidents directly related to racism from 1973 to 2011. Everything from asking all the black employees at one of his casinos to leave the floor when he came in, in 1980, to saying that he didn’t want the accountant at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino who was a black man “counting my money” in 1991. The fact is for a man who claims that he isn’t a racist, racism seems to follow him around like a bad smell. Even his unwillingness to condole white supremacy after these latest attacks in El Paso has again fanned the flames on what has been a difficult couple of months for the American president after he took to Twitter and told black congresswoman Ilhan Omar and three other congresswomen to “go back to your country” after their criticism of the Trump regime.
Are we following suit?
Almost two and a half years after we watched in horror while Trump was elected we had another shock to the system in this country, when Theresa May announced that she will be stepping down as Prime Minister and it emerged that Boris Johnson was the front runner to claim the Tory party leadership and therefore land the top job at Number 10. Johnson, who himself has had a controversial time as Foreign Secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet, was always going to win the Tory leadership race and in doing so has raised concerns about the immediate future of the country. This is because while Johnson was Foreign Secretary, and even before, he had been involved in comments that can be perceived as being racist. In 2006 while he was talking about the leadership election in Papua New Guinea there was one comment that stood out like a sore thumb. He said that “we in the Tory party have become used to Papua New Guinea’s style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.” In 2007 he told the then Malaysian Prime Minister that the reason why there was an increase in Malaysian women going to university was because they were “looking for husbands“. If that wasn’t bad enough last year while Johnson was still Foreign Secretary he wrote in his column in the Telegraph describing Muslim women who wear the burka as letterboxes and bank robbers. Yet one year on and those comments seem to have been forgotten among the majority of the Tory party at least as Johnson became Prime Minister.
How do we tackle racism?
The problem is, in this country the media and politicians have filled the public’s head with fear-mongering tactics about how “immigrants are stealing our jobs” and “taking over the country” that now everyone who looks different is a direct threat to society and must be dealt with accordingly, the rise of right-wing personalities such as Trump, Johnson and Nigel Farage who have the gift of the gab and are able to spin a story according to their own ideology means it is easy to mislead society by demonising a certain group of people and blaming all of the country’s problems on them. Unfortunately, these figures are able to whip people up into so much of a frenzy that they end up following them blindly. A great example of this was Brexit, financially it never made sense for Britain to leave the EU and while the remain campaign was primarily focused on financial stability the leave campaign was able to whip people up by blaming a lot of our problems on so-called “foreign immigrants” that were “draining the country’s resources” and “we needed to take back control of our borders”. The thing about those tactics is that it encourages hate within society and that in turn breathes hate crime and racism. One survey by Tell Mama even suggested that Muslims are 25 times more likely to be a victim of an Islamaphobic attack than any other religious group. The organisation “recorded a total of 685 reports. Of these reports, 608 were verified as being anti-Muslim or Islamophobic in nature and as having occurred in the UK between January and June 2018.”
Personally, what I would like to see is our children being educated more about politics from primary school. They don’t need to know the ins and outs of politics but even if they are taught the basics from a young age and as they get older they could be taught more and more. What this will do is give the younger generation, who are not interested in politics, a firm understanding of what they are voting for when they finally reach 18. In turn, politicians will be less able to pull the wool over people’s eyes when it comes to important issues like Brexit. Politics shouldn’t be a specialist subject that only a few people are interested in, everybody should take an interest in the way the country is being run and when there is a massive issue like Brexit that is important for everyone, everybody should be voting and not just over 70% of the population.
If we’re going to have a society that celebrates people’s differences then we need to make sure that we have the correct leaders in place running the country rather than a Prime Minister that seems to be encouraging this hate culture. If you agree with this blog please like it and feel free to leave a comment below.