FOR THE QC
In the wake of President-elect Trump’s nomination, people have begun to preach separation or emigration. These jokes are all well and good, but the problem begins to emerge when people start taking it a bit too seriously. If you will bear with me, I would like to deconstruct some misconceptions about these jokes and explain why this is not the time to leave the U.S. and how moving to another country won’t solve anything, seeing as all countries have their problems.
Every Election season, people joke about leaving the country if so-and-so is elected, and every election people take it further than before. This year, it got so out of hand that radio show announcer Rob Calabrese created a website called, “Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins.” The website urges Americans to move to Cape Breton, an island inNova Scotia, Canada.
Even though the thought of moving to Canada may seem appealing it won’t do anyone any good. First off, if we leaveleaving the country or separate from the Rust Belt we are ensuring that there is a Republican majority in power. While it may not affect those who choose to leave they would be abandoning those who do not have the privilege of leaving, forcing them to be subject to the prejudices of the Rust Belt. LGBTQ+ kids are still going to be born in these areas, and you will be making it easier for them to be persecuted.
Some people have this misconception that Canada is the easiest country to move to. Many people hail it as a land of tolerance and equality because of its universal health care yet they are not quite as tolerant as they would like us to believe. Their historical treatment of the native population mirrors our own right down to the blankets infected with smallpox, and forcefully removing the people off their land onto small reserves and the suppression of culture as a means of control. The mistreatment is far from over. Studies show that one in three indigenous women will be raped, 87 percentof these women will experience violence in her lifetime, and in 2014 it was revealed the 1,181 missing women’s cases from these communities had been suppressed since the 1980s. This is just one example of the racism that is still alive and well in Canada.
Perhaps you weren’t looking to relocate to Canada. After all if you are going to move then there is no better place than across the pond. The United Kingdom would be lovely if the majority of its parliament wasn’t Conservative party and was in the process of leaving the EU (already having negative effects on its economy), not to mention that there is still racism within the country.
Well, if not the UK, then perhaps another European country? France is a no go because it is experiencing mass amounts of paranoia and criticism for secular laws that prohibit people from wearing any signs of their faith in public. That means no crosses, no head scarves, or anything else unless it is in a place of worship or the privacy of your own home. These laws are a reaction to the recent extremist attacks that left the nation very shaken and in emotional turmoil.
Of course there are other countries, and of course I could find a reason not to go to every single one. And you could argue back. Afterall, why should you stay and fight for a country that has abandoned everything you stand for and believe in? Or maybe you are just tired of feeling cheated and don’t want to care and are okay with living passively in a country where you know nothing about the political system. I, however, cannot fathom abandoning those who came to our country seeking asylum. I will not abandon those whose only defense between legalized conversion therapy is my vote from my blue state. I know it can be disheartening, but seize the opportunity to make a difference and push back. Our country was founded because people decided to push back. I believe in us, and I hope you have the courage to fight for and believe in us, too.