Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump wins US elections: As you are you shall be governed

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
"As you are so you shall be governed". The origin of the sentence is debatable, and its weakly attributed to the Prophet's hadith. But the meaning is so spot on, our rulers are nothing but a mirror image of who we are and how we behave as individuals - which means that the more tribal, divided, fanatically religious, corrupt we are - the more our rulers will be the same. If we are to change our rulers, we much change ourselves. Change starts bottom up not top down! Trump supporters, the man now elected to the presidency of the United States, have been chanting "we hate Muslims, we hate blacks, we want our great country back" to the tune of Depeche Mode's "enjoy the silence".
A European friend of mine went to New York recently, when I asked him how his trip was, he said "I loved it how much people were kind and generous to me" - to which I replied "you are blonde and white, why shouldn't they be?" indeed the hatred - sorry no better term - seen in the United States these days, has been slowly building up. Take it from someone who experienced it passively during several trips to the US. I am not speaking of the border agents, some of them arrogant (one of them - only one - nice and respectful), but I am speaking to the level of people at large.
Take it from someone who has lived the July 2006 war there, who save for very few individuals (here I think of the incredible author, and incredibly generous human being Nick Flynn), no one cared about his plight of not being able to go back home as his country was at war.
Here I think of the lady who screamed "watch out!" as a car barely avoided me - turns out she was calling her dog. Here I think of the man who suggested "let's nuke them all" speaking of my country as an obvious solution to the war there, to which I retorted "can we get my family out first?".
The hints have been dropping for such a long time. The fear of anything that does not resemble the white ethno-centrist view of America, the one that still reigned supreme for the Mad Men era, where blacks (or African Americans if the term still applies) were relegated to menial works when they were not lynched that is. Where being a Hispanic was not the fastest growing ethnic community in the country.
Some sort of Norman Rockwell utopia, but even Rockwell painted "The Problem We All Live With" of Ruby Ridges on her way to School. So even then the cracks were showing in the immaculately "white" facade, even if not in the ceiling (the one Clinton - Hillary not Bill - spoke of and under which her supposed winning party was supposed to be held).
As you are, you shall be governed - graffiti in downtown Beirut
So there, Barrack Obama - now former president of the United States - said "the sun will rise in the morning" speaking of the aftermath of the election. But just as the late Ghassan Tueni exonerated the Lebanese from wrongdoing during the war entitling his famous book "A War of Others", someone will come up later and claim that the United States citizens are also innocent from any wrongdoing electing Donald Trump.
"So you got to hang on 'til tomorrow, come what may!as the song in the musical Annie says.

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