The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

What's next?

While we can't say for certain what Trump's policies will actually be, or what effects they'll actually have, London-based writer Feargus O'Sullivan has an idea what the atmosphere might be like:

As a British person, the experience of waking up to find that Donald Trump had been elected president of the United States seemed freakishly familiar. Being shaken awake before dawn with shock news, then finding that most people I knew were awake, punch drunk, and already posting on social media—it all feels eerily reminiscent of June 24, when I also woke in the dark to find that Britain had narrowly voted for Brexit.

If the post-election in the U.S. follows the template of the Brexit vote aftermath, you will need to steel yourself for some pretty ugly stuff. Both the Brexit and Trump campaigns were infected with racist rhetoric tinged with violence, both implied and real. In Britain, the Brexit vote aftermath saw an immediate, vicious uptick in racist attacks.

It’s not that racism suddenly appeared overnight. British minorities have frustratedly pointed out that the abuse many have received is just a more intense expression of an ongoing problem that’s been disregarded too long by the white and powerful. The problem is that, with a vote for Brexit being interpreted by many as a vote against immigration, racists felt emboldened that the majority was now on their side. Many non-white or non-British-born friends of mine reported being verbally insulted or even pushed out of subway trains.

The doubly frustrating thing about this turn of events is that the Brexit vote, like the Trump vote, was a protest against so many things: in particular growing inequality and, in Britain’s case, the effect of harsh austerity policies. In the aftermath, these concerns were paid initial lip service by the new government, but they’ve quite quickly been ignored in favor of a focus on immigration.

Oh, goody. This is basically what my side have been warning about for a year. The damage to our national character could take a generation to heal.

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