For many reasons I have my doubts that our current president considers the needs of people like me. This situation has been the source of significant degree of angst and discontent with the president’s leadership. I have a long list of actions and pronouncements by him that suggest to me that Mr. Trump either does not believe non-white Americans deserve the same protections and opportunities as whites. I have had concerns that I may not be very objective in my assessments on Mr. Trump but I keep getting validation on these assessments by various extreme right wing activist like Jason Kessler who organized the unite the right rally and recently the Mosque Shooter in New Zealand. These violent right-wing terrorist keep validating my belief that Mr. Trump does not bode well for minority’s Americans especially Moslems and people of color by taking ownership of Trump as one of their own.
The recent declaration by the New Zealand shooter describing Trump as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose must however draw the attention of all non-whites across the globe. The Trump administration however plays lip service by disavowing the words of this terrorist, but Trump’s own words, tweets and key policy focus are a better judgement of where his heart is when it comes to race relations and immigration in the US and beyond.
On account of all these happenings whilst I cannot determine the plans or intentions of Mr. Trump it is really clear that some of his followers and admirers across the globe have intentions that are antithetical to the health and well-being of Moslems and non-white individuals. When taken on their totality Trump’s policies on immigration appear to be aligned to the wishes of the extreme right wing movement such as the alt-right in the US and other racist white supremacist movements across the world.
Last week’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand was just another of the many right wing attacks that play into the Trumpian playbook. The words that the killer used in his online rant to describe Mr. Trump were however very concerning. “A symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”, on reading this I asked myself why these right wing nuts tend to feel Trump is aligned to their ideology and system of thought? To this question, I got a flood of answers in pronouncements and tweets by our president.
These thoughts fill my heart with despair and drive me towards listlessness. However I am energized and excited when I look at the response of the New Zealand community to this recent hateful act. My heart wells up with tears of joy as I watch images of New Zealand women of all races, colors, and religion stand in solidarity with their moslem sisters as they mourn the loss of their loved ones this Friday. I looked with pride and rejoiced in the resilience of our great human family.
These New Zealanders have taught me a great lesson that I hope never to forget. There would always be those who seek to divide us with their words and acts of hatred and violence, but acts of love and solidarity would continue to build bridges where walls were the intent.
We must all learn from our brothers and sisters in Christchurch, New Zealand and use the acts that seek to divide us to build bridges not walls. I know we shall overcome because the love that lives in us is greater than the hate that is in this world.
By Dr. Leonard Sowah, an internal medicine physician in Baltimore, Maryland