Trump's Rise to Power Has Imperialism Written All Over It and Now, More Than Ever, We Must Not Delay
Cover photo courtesy of the badass, Sammy Hignell-Stark
After we catch our breath and self-reflect on the current events we will see that this hairline split of the people, between those who will not tolerate misogyny and racism, and those who will turn the other cheek, is nothing new. We live in a society that lets Brock Turner off the hook. We live in a society where Big Oil tramples tribal rights. We live in a society where people, like Donald Trump, now our president-elect, deny climate change. The underlying reality we all knew – the one that was festering, bubbling, coming out in subtleties of microaggressions, as “locker room talk,” and smoothed over as self-defense (in the cases of unarmed black murders) – now rears its ugly head in broad daylight without flinching, without remorse, without shame, and without hesitation. Donald Trump’s bigotry has been excused, and it materializes unbridled with chauvinistic pride.
As Susan Faludi puts it, the monsters have been howling for a while about the slow disintegration of conservative ideals – women gaining freedoms (equal pay and pro-choice), minorities rallying and demanding rights, same-sex marriage. But now the monsters are validated in their prejudiced howling because you can call an esteemed Secretary of the State a “nasty woman” and get away with it, and you can call Latino immigrants “criminals” and “rapists” and still be a serious candidate for presidency. The stark reality is now undeniably stupefying: that we live in a world where people don’t mind a leader who promotes exclusion, profiling, and wall-building.
It is a complex web of origins that got us here. We are still feeling the repercussions of imperialism. It started with Europeans believing that everything they “discovered” was theirs for the conquering. It started with our myopic and irresponsible practices towards the earth. If something doesn’t work in our favor, we force it to do so (slaves, wars, domestic violence, rape, building dams, monocropping, drugging female cows to lactate). Our colonial legacies have led to reverberations of the worst kind. Have we healed from our historical scars? Has the earth healed from industrial and agricultural rape? Not at all, because how can healing take place if the violence hasn’t been stopped? As M. Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Talpade Mohanty point out in their book Feminist Geneologies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures, “psychic residues of different colonialisms make it necessary for us to grapple with the nuances of the interconnectedness of struggles for decolonization.” This means that because of the residual trauma from our past’s instances of varied colonialism, it is urgent that we address how our assorted struggles are intertwined in order to truly decolonize our country.
The masses are subjecting themselves to a permanent state of amnesia, where history no longer informs the present, but advertisements and cheap slogans do. But we cannot be disheartened. There still exists a great number of us who do actively read, seek out proper research, and actively train our critical thinking skills. All change starts from the margins. The fight is not over. It is taking on a new shape. We have been given more information throughout these disturbing political events in the last year. We are seeing clearer. We are more united than ever. We are fierce and resolute. It is time to protest yes, of course, and it is also time to take a step back and see. Don’t get stuck in the warp of social media. Go outward, as well as inward. Start whittling. Stoke your personal fire. Create something. Tackle the disasters you can. Get to work, yes, and do not lose hope. Change is glacial, so we will not delay.
At Terra Incognita, the personal is political. We support and aim to amplify intersectional truths. We are just getting started with providing the outdoor community with a feminist lens through which to view our humanity. Tell us what you need. We are here for you and thank you for joining our cause.
What can we do right now?
Here is a starting point for what we can do right now. A more detailed list of ways in which to get involved, help, and stay informed is in the works and will be published soon. If there is anything you want to know more about please send us a message via any of our social media outlets, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With you in fierce and resolute solidarity,
The Terra Incognita Crew