SRtRC Honorary President Shaka Hislop talks about the US election
Shaka Hislop is the Honorary President of SRtRC, having been involved in the campaign since the very beginning 20 years ago. Shaka and his family currently live in Boston and he gave us his thoughts on the recent US election campaign and result.
"I’ll admit, the result of the recently concluded Presidential elections has been a hard and bitter pill to swallow. I guess I’m feeling how many in the UK felt on learning of the result of the ‘Brexit’ referendum. Which has me drawing comparisons between the two.
Time will tell if President-elect Trump truly does care and is truly willing to represent the common person, regardless of sex, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, or any other category which is supposed to be protected by the US Constitution, as he now suggests. In the past 12 months, he had continually shown that he was willing to say whatever it took to win this election. Which should sound familiar to those of you still picking up the post-Brexit pieces. We’ll soon see which version of him we get as President.
In campaigning, President-elect Trump tapped into the uncertainty of those who feel threatened by a shrinking world. Those who believe that globalisation is the enemy of the working class. A theme shared by the ‘Brexiters’. But in this information age, the globalisation game will be won by who embraces it fastest and best.
In campaigning, President-elect Trump, the ultimate elitist, won by convincing many in the US that they too are elites, and should; no - need to be looking down on those who aren’t exactly like them, or haven’t enjoyed the same breaks. Sound familiar?
In campaigning, President-elect Trump continually used language and rhetoric that seemed to embolden white supremacists. The spate of racist attacks that has followed the election is evidence of that. Again, notice any similarities here?
Does this signal the end of the world? No, it doesn't. The end of the world as we know it? Not that either. It does though give us further reason to keep doing as we have been doing, keep believing in the things that motivate us- humanity, compassion, sympathy, acceptance, empathy, love. It does serve as a painful lesson in democracy.
The immediate question for SRtRC to answer is what does this all mean for us and the campaign. The answer, absolutely nothing. As Honorary President of SRtRC the question I get asked most is “is racism still really that much of an issue?” My “yes” in response is just easier to explain now. Our work continues unchanged. For the work that we do there is no greater incentive than the proud smile of a child who has contributed to one of our programs, no greater reward than the appreciative hug of someone who feels vulnerable. We may never live in a perfect world but let us never stop chasing the horizon."