We’re only 14 days into 2018 and already we’re hearing that Trump has made some outrageous and seriously racist comments about Haiti, El Salvador and all African countries, stating: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”. He then questioned why America couldn’t bring people from Norway instead.
With over 41 million Americans living in poverty, Trevor Noah summed it up best: “What’s funny to me is, Norway is one of the richest countries per capita in the world. Those people have a great time, I bet Norwegians are like, why would we want to come to your shithole country?”
Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary general of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is also one of many who responded. Duarte said: “Ours is not a shithole country and neither is Haiti or any other country in distress.”
Imagine, that this overly privileged man (who the world acknowledges as ‘President’) made a comment you would expect in 1818, not 2018. He embarrassed himself and his country (although I doubt he feels any remorse).
‘President’ Trump’s shocking comments make it evident that not much has changed, as many of Martin Luther King’s dreams are yet to come to fruition. For a nation to vote for a racist, misogynistic, sexual predator after eight years of Barack Obama is equivalent to one step forward and ten steps backwards.
In these uncertain times, watching ‘leaders’ drunk on power, treating the notion of war as a game (such as Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump - to name a few) it’s hard to believe that there was ever a worse time in history.
I’m not saying that we’re living in a particularly harmonious time in our life right now, as I have previously said, the NHS is crumbling under an unforgiving Conservative government, racism is still rife and the world itself is succumbing to global warming. However, as a black person, I have never known a world where I have to be careful about where I sit on a bus out of fear of being arrested or going to a segregated school, can you?
70 years ago this was a reality. Female activists such as Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin and Josephine Baker were fighting every day in the 50s and 60s for a fairer society, and so were men, such as writer, James Baldwin, Fred Hampton and of course, Martin Luther King who we celebrate today.
I could go on forever about how the people I mentioned above, and more, have impacted millions of black, Hispanic and Asian lives directly or indirectly. However, the focus on Martin Luther King is important to so many, and his speech is as relevant today as it was then.
“One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.” - Martin Luther King
In light of this, this year’s Martin Luther King weekend is a brilliant opportunity for people to sit down and really think about the world we live in today. We cannot go backwards, we can only go forward.
The only hope is that more people denounce Trump’s comments, celebrity and activist Jesse Williams is one of many high-profile people who reprimanded Trump for his horrendous