When I marched against Trump, I emphasised that I was protesting his “Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, nationalism, trade wars, militarism and environmental carelessness”.
Two people challenged me in last week’s Newton News.
ALASTAIR PG WELSH
Mr Welsh, astonishingly, gave it “his best shot” to DEFEND the evils I identified!
• He praised Trump’s nationalism, trade wars, militarism and environmental carelessness.
• He admitted to personal misgivings about gay pride.
• He claimed that the foul way Mr Trump treats and speaks about women is a matter for Mrs Trump only.
• He tried to justify Trump’s Islamophobia on the grounds of terrorism. Given that one manifestation of Islamophobia is lumping all Muslims together as potential terrorists, Mr Welsh’s justification of Trump was itself arguably Islamophobic.
• His worst comments were reserved for refugees who, I remind readers, are the few people admitted into Britain – absolutely legally – because they are fleeing circumstances of unimaginable horror. Mr Welsh gave half his letter to challenging my assertion that they should be made welcome, blurring their difference to asylum seekers and economic migrants … and twice throwing in the word “illegal” for maximum hostility.
To be honest, these were horrific responses.
By contrast, Mr Hardy asked whether I was consistent in opposing these evils. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to say that yes I am – though I would be the first to admit that parading the streets with a placard is much easier than opposing them in one’s place of work, or to family and friends.
I would however suggest to Mr Hardy that – if we want to keep our tolerant, welcoming and supportive community – opposing these evil views is not just about denouncing them in foreign countries. Nowadays, not only are we seeing such prejudices openly proclaimed in our own country, but I am headlined as a ‘rabble rouser’ in the local newspaper for saying that they are wrong!
NOT RABBLE ROUSING
Blaming civil rights advocates for ‘reaping up trouble’ is an old and discredited tactic. It is not extreme or unreasonable for me to make a stand for our traditional British values of compassion and tolerance, and the experience of history is that we need to oppose bigotry and hate. Indeed, on 26 July, no less a body than Amnesty International launched #Trumpwatch, noting (as I have done) his “worst human rights abuses to date”.
I am just one of very many people resisting the advance of prejudice.
John D Clare