*Eleditor’s note: Elephant is a diverse community of 17 million readers and hundreds of writers (you can write too!). We are reader-created, and even as an editor, I’m writing from my personal perspective here. We welcome all points of view, especially when offered with more sources and less invective, more frankness and less PR. Dislike this Op-Ed or opinion? Share your own take here.
I’m technically far removed from this US presidential election.
I’m a South African living in Britain.
I’m no stranger to political villainy though—there’s enough to go around in Africa for sure. Don’t even get me started on the man at the top back home. One of the things I’ve come to love about Britain is the steadiness, the levelheadedness that prevails overall despite the heated debates that happen inside the House of Commons.
But across the Atlantic, things seem to have taken a worrying turn. At least from where we’re standing over here. And I feel more personally invested in this year’s US presidential election than ever before. I earn dollars now, I read the New York Times, watch the Daily Show, I speak to my colleagues living in Boulder, L.A., Miami…every day. My heart is becoming more and more entwined with this great nation and I find myself worrying deeply about it. Like a concerned mother watching her child stray into dangerous territory.
I’m not the only one. The look on the BBC presenters’ faces yesterday morning as they read the news of Trump’s victory in the Nevada caucuses said enough.
And today, this: “Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the Southern states during the Civil War.”
I’m sorry, what?
Come on America. Are you serious? Surely you can’t be. The New York Times article highlighting this sad statistic shows how gays, Muslims and pretty much anyone it’s possible to discriminate against are subject to these extreme attitudes amongst Trump’s supporters. Intolerance abounds.
The thing is, we can sit around and worry and tut and bury our heads in the sand, or we can do something about it.
I can’t vote of course. I wish I could. But I can continue to cover this political race in my capacity as an elephant editor—unapologetically.
I don’t know all the ins and outs and this election, or of American politics as a whole. But I know that hatred and intolerance and aggression are not the answer.
I’m really hoping that a fellow writer’s husband is proved right when he says, “not to worry, not to be scared and not to watch mainstream media. Everything will be fine.”
Wake up, America, You can do better.
It was funny at first, but now it’s just crazy.
Author: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Video Screenshot
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