2017 has been a wild year, that’s for sure. Thanks to social media, the entire world has been able to watch all of the crazy stories unfold, most of them to be immortalized in the vastness of the internet for all of time.
Unfortunately for the American people, this has meant that many of the wild, crazy, or just downright bizarre stories that we would rather the world not see have been put out there for public scrutiny. Even more unfortunate has been some of their impact on international relations.
The most recent example of this has been Donald Trump retweeting several posts and videos from a British far-right movement whose aim was to convince people of the evils of Islam and Muslim immigrants. We at The Voice wish we didn’t have to take a closer look at this.
Britain First, a fringe, far-right ultranationalist movement in the UK, posted several videos which, according to them, showed Muslims assaulting British citizens in a variety of incidents, titling the videos with inflammatory, religiously charged headlines. However, all of the videos have been proven to be either not of an attack by Muslims or to be very outdated with no explanation attached to the originals. No searches of the original footage prove that anyone in them is of the Islamic faith in any capacity. However, Trump is not one to be deterred by inconvenient facts or basic internet searches, and retweeted the videos with no explanations as to why he retweeted them. He did, however, lash out at PM Theresa May, who chided Trump for retweeting such content, claiming that she wasn’t focusing on the issue of Islamic extremism in her own country.
The retweets by Trump, and the subsequent attack on Theresa May and the justifications given by Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have all gone towards creating a ripple effect in the tedious relations between America and Europe. Several politicians in the UK were rightfully furious that Trump would retweet videos from ultranationalists. Along with this issue, the Dutch were none too pleased that Trump would so willingly propagate video footage from an attack that was already dealt with. One of the videos was labeled by Britain First as a Muslim attacking a young Dutch boy. In reality, it was two Dutch teens, neither reportedly a Muslim, who were in the video, and the case is already under control in the Netherlands. Even some top Republicans in the US are calling on Trump to take the tweets down because, as we at The Voice agree, they are divisive and blatantly inaccurate while showing support for ultranationalism.
Unfortunately, Trump has not taken these tweets down yet despite the national and international call for him to do so. This is far from the first time that Trump’s publicity stunts have gotten him and America into hot water, and seeing as this is only his first of four years in office, it likely is far from the last. This is not something that can be considered acceptable behavior.
Trump is the president. He is the global representative for America, a nation founded on the principles of a free, diverse society. People were supposed to be able to come to America to escape a rough life and find their dream here, thereby adding one more unique story to the storybook that is our country. It is not a nation solely for the white, Anglo-Saxon, far-right Christians that Trump has been trying to pander to in these tweets.
It is certainly not supposed to be a nation that is afraid of someone just because they are different. We at The Voice recognize that, and we would like to put out a call for the new year.
So far, Donald Trump has seen fewer consequences for his outrageous tweets than college students. When a local sorority’s private Facebook rant went viral, Greek life was flipped on its head. When college athletes tweet racist statements, they are suspended or thrown off the team. When the president tweets racist, anti-Muslim videos that have been proven inaccurate and inflammatory, he’s lauded as doing what others are “afraid” to do despite causing international uproar. The phrase ‘loose lips sink ships’ is not a phrase that has persisted for years in our regular speech just because it sounds clever.
If Trump is allowed to continue his public tirades and disseminating of divisive, false information, America could become much more than the laughing stock of the world. We could become an isolated nation devoid of our traditional allies and the target of extremist groups around the world, who will point to our leader and all that he has said publicly as justification for why our nation should be leveled.
It’s too late to save 2017. We at The Voice would like to ask our fellow Americans to remember what our nation stands for as we head into 2018. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave, a nation built upon diversity and inclusion. We proved that the ultranationalism that Trump has given credit to has no place in the world in 1945; we need to prove it again now.~The Voice