Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women, claiming that he can do anything he wants. Unfortunately the attitudes that guide his self-centered approach to the world are prevalent in this society. We are right to fear that this new administration threatens a massive elimination of
the hard fought gains made by women and their allies to secure basic rights, health and safety. We cannot remain silent in the face of attacks that will not only deny women health care, but could also criminalize women for claiming the right to control their own bodies.
The values and functioning of the system Trump so crassly defends are not new. They are just more openly expressed by Trump and his supporters. Planned Parenthood has been under attack for years and Democrats have done little to prevent the assault on the basic and essential services provided.
The police assaults on the lives of tens of thousands of people across this country and the acceptance of the murder of hundreds of Black men and women every year, didn’t begin with Trump’s election. But his celebration of the police could lead to even more terror for people in the streets – unless we stand together against this. The fact that the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world didn’t begin with Trump. But his “law and order” stance will mean that even more people will find themselves incarcerated for being Black or poor. Today a young black man is as likely to go to prison as to graduate high school. These consequences of racism will continue until we make a real fight.
Trump has attacked recent immigrants for making the U.S. their home. Many people around the world are being forced from their homes by the poverty and wars being fought to control the world’s resources. Immigrants and refugees have little choice but to flee – often to the countries controlled by those responsible for their desperate situation. These attacks on immigrants are not new. The Obama administration created a Muslim registry, erected walls along the border, and deported more than two million people.
The merciless drive for profits by the banks, oil, and coal companies threatens to destroy life, as we know it on Earth. It has led to the recent heroic fight by the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota to block construction of the pipeline that threatens their lives and land. Thousands of other Native people and allies joined them, showing that we can and will stand together to protect our future. Trump’s election presents a challenge to all of us. It stands as a threat to the majority of the people of the world. He stands as a symbol of the extraordinary accumulation of wealth among the 1% or really the 0.1%. We can see who benefits from this system of capitalism at our expense. Their divide and conquer strategy of control tries to convince us that we have to fight each other over jobs, and the scarce resources of housing, education, healthcare, and other basic needs. In fact, there could be enough for all if control of society was in the hands of the majority – those who do the day-to-day work that makes society run.
The rhetoric of the past election has been an assault on us all – women, Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, immigrants, disabled people and gay and transgender people. The verbal attacks by Trump and other politicians have encouraged a more open expression of hatred and physical attacks. The result is a climate of fear, and concern that has also given all of us a reason to stand together. This is an important start.
We should be guided by the idea that “An injury to one is an injury to all”. We cannot stand by while others are abused or assaulted. We have to be ready to step up. But just reacting is not enough. We need to understand that our future is in our hands, not the hands of Trump or other politicians.
It is possible to create a society where women and all people have control over our lives; a society where we work collaboratively for the good of all, and diversity is cherished and respected. Then we will be able to see the liberation of women and all of humanity.