Time and time again our interviewees referred to the negative impact of Donald Trumps presidency on western politics. There was concern that his controversial and derogative opinions were causing a negative impact on smaller local communities in the UK, as well as in America and beyond. People discussed why they thought he was elected and how close ties between the USA and UK has lead to a knock-on effect in the UK.
So how did America go from having a Black President who was generally well-respected worldwide, to electing a fascist misogynist despised by citizens (and probably leaders) worldwide? Richard explained how he felt that the election of Trump was a rebellion by racists who resented have a Black President in power for two terms. “I think the election of Trump beggars belief. When Obama was elected, friends and I were exchanging texts about how Rosa Parks started off in the Liberation Movement of Black people in America. Resulted finally in the election of [a] Black American president in 2010…
And then you’ve got this incredible reverse situation, where you’ve got this – The Americans are effectively saying, Well, we let a Black guy in the White House all these years. It’s now [the] turn of Americans to elect our own White guy… Absolutely obnoxious thug, of a White guy, who has no regard whatsoever for all the sensitivities which have built up around ensuring that equality really does get recognised, and things like agreements over the environment are honoured.
And he’s going ‘round squaring up to [colloquialism] North Koreans and everything else that goes with it. In America… we’ve got the kneeling ceremonies – Stevie Wonder and the Basketball players, saying We don’t want part of this National Anthem of the USA. Its stars and stripes have no part of my consciousness at the moment. Sort of an echo with the Black Power Movement in the ’60s.” Richard Jackson (Interviewed 26 September 2017
Christopher explained that American politics has a knock-on effect in the UK due to the two States close relationship. “I think to a certain point, it has, because White people have felt more confident to be more discriminatory. Obviously, they say, when America sneezes, England catches the cold. So what happens in America, happens here. If people can see that they can get away with being discriminatory in America, it has a knock-on effect here in England. So I think the Trump thing has an effect.” Christopher Fray (Interviewed 11 April 2017)
Anjona is the Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council. She raised concerns about the way Trump dealt with Charlottesville. She explains that there are only 2 sides when it comes to tolerance. “Over the last few weeks, particularly around the issues over Charlottesville, and some of the Trump statements around that, it’s made it very clear to me, that there are only two sides: The right one and the wrong one. If you’re not on the right side, you’re on the wrong side, and part of that is about tolerance.” Anjona Roy (Interviewed 07 September 2017)