It is safe to say that the world is in an extremely unhealthy state, and the affairs within it are causing relationships between its inhabitants to strain, break and disappear with an increasingly rapid regularity. The past year has seen a worrying trend in which acts of oppression and injustice have been performed, justified and even encouraged by the rulers of the day, and by those loud voices that seem to eat up a lot of the air-time provided by the media outlets.
The keen observer will point out that these atrocities have been occurring throughout history and have been dealt with in different ways to varying success. Although this is true to some degree, the narrative within the past two decades has always shaped itself around the United States being the planetary defender against all evil and corruption. It is to be noted that this narrative was not shared by many whilst it was thriving, but was given credence by the majority of the media and history-makers of the time.
However, it has been clear for a while now, that things have changed. When a country that has always proclaimed to be the voice of global justice blatantly performs flagrant acts of oppression, a special focus must be placed onto them and those that are running the country. This focus is further accentuated when the person running the country have all the qualities of a despot, and shows no intention of applying subtlety to his deplorable intentions.
On being appointed President, we have all seen the bulletins describing how he has ordered for the bombing of civilian areas to continue without remorse; we have seen the decrees that have resulted in innocent visitors to the country being banned purely for their belief; we have seen him approve the resuming of an oil pipeline that will ruin the water supply of several Native Americans, while ignoring the other already existing crisis in Flint, Michigan. We have reached a time where the allegiances that have been made and the ties that have been broken have been built on fear and propaganda.
However, the silver lining in this situation that the world finds itself in is that more people are waking up to the injustice, partly because it is now too obvious to deny. The aftermath following the results of the US Elections encapsulated the awakening of society at a microcosmic level quite well. The election result, and the calamitous series of events and executive orders that followed, served as a rude awakening to the world as a whole. The appointment of Donald Trump as the president of the United States could actually be a good thing, when considering long-term advantages.
After being the self-proclaimed defender of the world and enjoying its status as the superpower of the world, the world allowed itself to turn a blind eye to the means which this country went through to achieve the desired ends, because the disguises were subtle.
Now that the element of subtlety has been removed, it has be empowered more people to question and challenge the actions of this country, because judging whether the action is right or wrong has been made a whole lot easier, which has given a larger population the opportunity to critically analyse, and subsequently protest the orders that have been issued. Donald Trump’s presidency has swayed society on a global scale toward standing up for justice and the truth, as an increasing number of people dismiss his lies and castigate his actions that affect the rest of the world.
This has now allowed for something meaningful to be done as a follow up to the protesting, and in some instances has led to lawyers working for free in the quest to allow Muslims safe passage into the United States. The order was then reversed, as a whole nation fought to block it, and will fight to do so once more after its reissuing.
Social media and the effective use of the platforms available to us have also played a significant role in the aftermath of the new presidential appointment. It is ironic that the president mentioned how his Twitter account enabled him to portray his own media message to the world, because the same outlet has been used against him to pile on the opposition. An increasing amount of celebrities, journalists and other personalities with a large online presence have been openly defending those that have been oppressed as a result of this man, which could open the door to a more universal aim of fighting against tyranny by inspiring others to stand up for what is right.
This is supported further by the countless viral videos – released almost daily – that usually involve a person or a group of people defending a victim from a hateful attack by another individual. A year ago, the usual response was to just film on a smartphone and spectate. The increase in these videos, and the online movement that is ongoing is now, is encouraging more people to finally take the next step, and act toward stopping injustices from being committed, as they see others receive extremely positive feedback upon doing so.
Communities are also using their money to stand up and aid their follow humans, by means of boycotting and supporting alternative groups that provide a similar service without the tyranny. They are dedicating their time and money to help alleviate those that are in areas stricken by crisis, that the governments feel are not worthy of saving. For instance, a large number of groups have been constantly donating bottled water to the area of Flint, Michigan, which has not experienced clean water since 2014.
The frequency and effectiveness of protests have also been encouraging, with more people being encouraged to take to the streets because of the blatantly abhorrent ideologies that are being shared. A number of groups who are “different” to the “norm” have been targeted at the same time, but it is also a blessing that this has been done, as they can all stand for each other and establish a united front. The increase in numbers of the protesting parties, coupled with the strength in unity of a common goal to fight for, has therefore produced more impactful protests, which can be seen as an advantage.
People have stepped up to defend one another on the basis of humanity. They have seen others being mistreated and have intervened, without even considering whether or not they belong to the same groups. This is key. When those that spread tyranny cannot divide the people, they cannot attack the cracks between them that they want to create. We are in control for as long as we maintain our unity as a global community.
History has shown that the aftermath is more significant than the event itself. Although there is a lack of control over the occurrence of an event, the reaction that follows determines the impact of the event. There is a need to keep standing up for those that are being subjected to cruelty and torment, and to protest and show our resistance, because even if it does not have an immediate impact, it strengthens the conviction in pursuing justice. It is what ignites the flame and gives us the courage to keep going.
I have started noticing that when the voice gets louder, it empowers the victims of oppression to live knowing, that a growing number of people will protect them from injustice. It empowers those that have their homes seized from them to speak because they know that more people are now listening. The reaction that followed led to an increased awareness of their plight, with more media coverage.
It empowers me, because it shows me that there is always hope.