With exam period having arrived and the finishing up of all assignments while being busy saying goodbye to all the lovely people I met during the last 4 months, my sadness is coupled with excitement for what will be next. After all, this is my last semester of my Bachelor studies meaning that I will have to deal with existential questions like my Bachelor thesis topic and Master applications soon. But firstly I will continue my little journey of spending time in different parts of the world by flying to Jordan in exactly 18 days and staying there until the end of January. I am already picturing myself being surrounded by my most favorite thing: Food. Falafel, Hummus, Baba Ganoush and lots of Kunafa. It could not be better. Although, it has to be said that DC was definitely the perfect ‘Foodie’ city with a great variety of ethnic food as well.
Next to the food, I fell in love with DC in its entirety. It is a great city in which I felt homey. The same goes for GW, which did not only allow me to learn and get inspired, but also introduced me to many lovely people, whom I will dearly miss. However, there is one thing that I surely won’t miss about the States: Donald Trump. While he was generally regarded as more of an entertainment factor during the nomination race of the Republicans, he is just not tolerable anymore. Not at all. When he announced during last week that Muslims should not be allowed to enter the US, he just committed ‘political’ suicide. I don’t even want to use the word ‘political’ since I never regarded him as a politician, but someone who is able to infiltrate politics in a system, where money allows for that. He was always a joke in my eyes. Now he has developed into a bad joke. A really bad one, which I don’t want to listen to ever again. All the publicity he received during the last months by the media just shoved him into the faces of the public. It’s not bearable anymore. He had crossed the line with his racist anti-Mexican discourse already, but the context now has just shown how critical the situation is. Not only in the US. But also in Europe and other parts of the world, where right-wing, xenophobic parties are growing through their racist discourse. Trump is not an exclusive phenomenon. There are many Trumps. Take for example, Marine Le Pen – the President of the notorious French right-wing, populist party Front National. She won the first round of regional elections in France 2 weeks ago. Geert Wilders is another prime example of the Trump species, who regularly polarizes with his racist personality in the Netherlands. Or look at Germany – a country, which experienced its darkest times during an era of fascism– where not only two right-wing populist parties exist, but where a big movement called PEGIDA overran the country. People participating in the movement were called “anxious citizens”, whose fears must be understood. I agreed with that as someone, who firmly beliefs in communication and an inclusive dialogue. But after regular arsons targeting asylum seekers’ shelters, increasing attacks against ‘foreign-looking’ (meaning Middle Eastern looking) individuals and the current racist discourse, which starts in its most benign form by arguing in favor of a ‘Clash of Civilizations’, I do not tolerate this anymore. Not even the slightest concern people in Europe, the US, Australia or wherever else might have. Because all these concerns are so simple-minded and don’t grasp the complexity of the problems, which actually pose threats to us, that it is currently not necessary to give these people a platform. For these people terrorism apparently is simply connected to a Middle Eastern person or even just someone, who looks Middle Eastern. Establishing such a link is an indication for the simplicity of these people, which can’t be changed by giving them a voice, but by giving them the means to educate themselves about reality. All these Trumps present themselves as the voice of the ‘ordinary people’ as if we are talking about a majority. They polarize not by saying the truth, but by inciting hate through a simplification and distortion of events and developments, which can also be called lies. Trumps don’t look for harmony, but hatred. They don’t defend values such as human rights, liberty or democracy, but embody racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and fascism. Their discourse doesn’t improve anything, but worsens the situation.
The supporting basis of these Trumps has grown however. It is easy to buy into one-dimensional arguments, when the world and its dynamics are so complicated. So while all these Trumps see themselves as the winners of a long race against progressive parts of society, it is important to acknowledge their growing numbers. But this growing number of Trumps and their supporters comes from a different Region and group of people in particular: radical Salafist-Jihadist including ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Because what they have in common with the Trumps are all the things stated above. They all are awaiting eagerly the so-called ‘Clash of Civilizations’. Dogmatists no matter of which form fight for the same thing at the end. So my advice for ruining the fun for them is to simply: Dump the Trumps.