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COLUMN: Equality at risk for American LGBTQ community and others


The cruel, bigoted, racist and discriminatory mind of American President Donald Trump is having negative effects on U.S. citizens such as that country has never experienced.

He sides with the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists or any organized group that violates equal rights and refuses to criticize those who supported him in his bid for president.

This is an ugly time for the United States and its population. We hear about the rising tensions between factions, good and evil. The ones most affected by this are those in the population who are black, Jewish, LGBTQ, Muslim, or any other minority. The wrath of Trump’s words and ideas that he spews forth are unbelievably capable of producing a hateful society which are reminiscent of some Eastern nations and may be historically associated with the times of Stalin and Hitler.

Perhaps he thrives on this. The point is that equal rights for all are at stake.

The horrifying attack in Charlotteville where Heather Heyer, a fighter for equality, was killed by a madman who represented the white nationalists, is a stark reminder where this may lead. Members of the LGBTQ community and countless others are at the mercy of these evil-minded people who gather in hate, attack and otherwise reject those they view as outsiders in this world.

Trump is a supporter in these actions and shows no signs of changing. LGBTQ citizens also have been targeted by hate, as was the case in the Orlando murders a few years ago.

Safety is not guaranteed and indeed has been lacking. As a matter of fact, attacks and hateful rhetoric have been on the rise and unless we are governed by believers in equal rights for all, change will not be forthcoming anytime soon. If voters put the likes of hate group advocates in power the unifying element we are searching for will be lost.

Trump has proven with his countless statements that he is a fan of the likes of former KKK member David Duke and other anti-social people.

Where do we go from here? Well, let’s not forget that with all that is going on in the United States and with all our neighbours are experiencing, we are not immune from such activities. We may count ourselves fortunate that we do not have such a leader, but we do experience attacks on minorities and we do know that LGBTQ folks remain a target of the religious right and conservative ideology. Our equal rights laws are being challenged daily by those who, on a continuing basis, continue homophobic, biphobic and transphobic rhetoric. Discrimination is alive and well around the world.

In the United States we may expect this downward trend to continue as long as the leadership allows it to do so. From a fractured government with a president who does not know right from wrong, or who indeed couldn’t care less, we may expect a North America where discrimination runs wild, the right wing hate mongers rule.

Donald Trump’s reign must end in order to achieve some success and then we may experience a fair and embracing system in a world where equality matters. The reality is that his influence spills over to this side of the border.

Comments and information: lgbtconnectionsgv@gmail.com  

 

Gerard Veldhoven is a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. His column appears Wednesdays in The News.

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